Carbonnade: Beef and Beer Stew

carbonnadeEnjoy this dish over fresh egg noodles and a glass of Chimay Red beer.  It’s rich and very flavorful.  I like to start this on Sunday around noon & enjoy for dinner later that day.  Leftovers reheat very well.  Never had enough left to freeze!


  • 3 1/2 lbs chuck roast, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 3 medium yellow onions sliced about 1/4 inch thick (about 8 cups)
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken or beef broth
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 oz bottle) Belgian beer (Chimay Red works very well here)
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp whole grain mustard
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar


1 Pat beef dry with paper towels, then season well with salt and pepper. On the stove top, heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large heavy bottomed dutch oven over medium-high heat until hot, almost smoking. Working in batches, brown the meat, without stirring, about 3 minutes on each side (do not stir, give the meat an opportunity to brown well). Transfer browned beef to a separate bowl.

2 Add 2 tablespoons butter to dutch oven; reduce heat to medium. Add the onions and 1/2 teaspoon of salt; cook until onions are browned, about 15 minutes. Add flour and stir until onions are evenly coated and flour is lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Stir in broth, scraping pan bottom to loosen browned bits; stir in beer, thyme, bay, browned beef with any of the accumulated juices, and salt and pepper to taste. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a full simmer. Reduce heat to low, partially cover, let cook for 2-3 hours until beef is fork tender. (Alternatively can cook in the oven at 300°F.) Stir occasionally, scraping up anything that is sticking to the bottom of the pan. About half an hour before it finishes cooking, add the mustard and brown sugar. Adjust seasonings to taste.

3 Discard thyme and bay leaf. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper to taste and serve. Can serve plain, with potatoes, over noodles, or over French fries.

1 in 10 Illinois License Plates Potentially Defective

illinois-vanity-plateThe Chicago Tribune reports nearly 1 in 10 Illinois drivers are riding around with potentially defective license plates, according to the Illinois secretary of state’s office.

Roughly 1.1 million plates, likely issued from 2001 to 2003, could be faulty. The plates’ reflective coating can bubble and peel, making it difficult for police officers to read license plate numbers. [MORE]

Tuna Salad

Tuna-and-crackersI’ve had a love/hate relationship with tuna salad over the years.  It all boils down to the quality of the fish.  I get a craving for this every once in a while & like to eat it on crackers.  Our son really likes this when I make it and usually eats as much as I do (sometimes more!).


2-Cans of QUALITY tuna fish (drained well)*
3 TBL Mayo
1 TSP Dijon Mustard
1-TSP Chopped pickle (sweet or dill, your choice)
1 TSP Shallot (grated with a micro-plane)
Hot Sauce to taste
Salt/pepper to taste


Mix everything but the tuna until well incorporated.
Taste for seasoning.
Add the (well drained) tuna and mix as little as possible to combine.

Chill for 30-min and enjoy!

*I really like the water packed BumbleBee Solid White Albacore (in the gold can).
I’ve been trying to find some European canned tuna packed in Olive Oil.  Anyone have a good source?

Fried Green Tomatoes

fried_green_tomatoesA true southern classic that’s really easy to make at home!  If you grow your own tomatoes you know how productive those little plats can be.  This will help you enjoy the bounty from your garden while you wait for the big ones to ripen up!


3-4 lbs green tomatoes
2-Cups Bread Crumbs
2 Cups AP Flour
3 Eggs beaten well
Canola Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
Dipping Sauce (see below)


Wash and dry tomatoes and set aside
Season flour in a bowl
Season Eggs in a bowl
Put breadcrumbs in a bowl
Heat canola oil to ~400-degrees in a deep (heavy) pot o skillet
Slice tomatoes, dredge in flour and set aside
Once all of the tomatoes are coated in flour dip in egg and dredge in breadcrumbs
Fry in small batches until golden brown and drain on a cookie sheet layered with paper towels

Dipping Sauce:

1-part Prepared horseradish
3-parts Mayo
Hot sauce to taste
Salt/pepper to taste

Blend all ingredients and keep chilled until tomatoes are ready to eat.

Can it Get Any Lighter?

beerOn a recent business trip I was at dinner with some co-workers and the restaurant had a special on “Miller Genuine Draft (light) 64” (MGD-64).  The price was right so I thought I’d check it out.  Being a fan of Miller Lite (96 calories) I figured it would be pretty close in taste.

Amazingly, I think I like the MGD-64 better than Miller Lite!  Now, it’s not something I would drink with a gourmet meal.  I reserve the use of Chimay and the various Micro-Brews for those occasions.  If you’re going to do it, you MUST do it right!

I just got wind from a co-worker that Budweiser has thrown down the gauntlet and just released Bud Select 55.  Are we in store for the zero-calorie beer sometime in the next decade??

All I know is the “ultra-light” beers are a nice alternative to the Imports and Micro-Brews.  I look forward to keeping a supply of these around for the upcoming football season!