Saturday, November 7, 2015

I'm Back!... Carbonade A La Flamande, A Ma Façon

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If it is accompanied by French fries it's Belgian.  If it says Flamande it is Flemish and involves beer ; and if it says a ma façon, it means I can do to it anything I want.

Hi, I'm back! 

Yes, that is truly me with a new neck.  It's all bolted up but only I know that.  I was hopeful of getting a new swan neck like Babe Paley and Marella but when I asked my doctor,  he said he could only get me one millimeter.  Nothing is for free, ever.

Now, it's been there, done that.  While I was convalescing, I connected with friends on Facebook.  It is worse than sugar or nicotine.  It's so addictive I was afraid of  overexposure.  I'm still weaning off. 

So today I did some serious cooking.  As in it has a name.  It was for Madame Mere to remind her of her days in Belgium.  I think it worked.  I added the sweet potatoes,  The Belgians will probably set the gendarmes after me but that's what life is all about.  Vive la difference!


  • 2 lb. beef chuck, cut into 2″ x 12″-thick slices
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 14 cup flour
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 4 slices bacon, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup Pomi chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cups Belgian-style ale, like Ommegang Abbey Ale or dark beer
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 tbsp. dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • Thyme, tarragon, 
  • 1 bay leaf\
  • 1 cup sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed. (optional)
  • 1 cup frozen boiled onions
  • kitchen bouquet, (2 TB.)
  • French fries


Season beef with salt and pepper in a bowl; add flour and toss to coat. Heat 2 tbsp. butter in a 6-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add beef; cook, turning, until browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate; set aside. Add bacon; cook until its fat renders, about 8 minutes. Add remaining butter, garlic, and onions; cook until caramelized, about 30 minutes. Add 1/2 cup chopped Pomi tomatoes,  half the beer; cook, scraping bottom of pot, until slightly reduced, about 4 minutes. Return beef to pot with remaining beer, stock, sugar, vinegar, thyme, parsley, tarragon, bay leaf, and salt and pepper; boil. After 30 minuted add sweet potatoes (if using). After 1 hr. add frozen boiled onion. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, covered, until beef is tender, about 1 ½ hours. Add kitchen bouquet.  cook a few minutes. Serve with french fries or bread.

When you cook your french fries, make sure the heat of the oil is very hot before you add them.  I know about the splash.  It's a tough shot but it's what works best!

Don't tell her but my neck is longer...all I can say is, it hasn't been easy.

All photos Lindaraxa


  1. You look great--that extra millimeter shows to advantage! "Ma façon" is usually the best style of cooking; if you follow someone else's, it is hard to equal the original standard; besides, how can 'they' know exactly how you like your food.

    1. I have always wanted a long neck, Jim. I thought this was my chance! quel disappointment. I have been cooking a ma façon lately. It is actually quite a feat. At least I can get near the stove.and move some pots around. Believe me, there have been some complaints from the
      gallery but they had no choice.

  2. Welcome back! What a perfect Fall meal. Looks so delicious!

    1. It was. the sweet potato addition was a hit.

  3. Welcome back! It's wonderful to see you. You are as pretty & lovely as ever.
    This blog is simply great.

    1. Thank you Donna. You should have seen me a month ago. Scary.

  4. Well there you are. I wondered where you went. Thought you might have skipped town for good, but I'm glad all the pots and pans are back on the stove. Quite the ordeal you went through. I suffered along with you. Want to know who heeved the Le Cruiset to the top of the stove for you? Careful, not out of the woods yet.

    1. Who do you think..Madison? I know I have to go easy, but I am roaring to go. Feel so much better since I last saw you. So many things to do, so little time. Now I regret not planting the tulips. I'll have to steal some from your garden next year!

  5. Welcome back as a blogger but will miss the "Like"

    1. Don't worry, I'll be back. That FB is addictive!!!

  6. So glad to see you looking so pretty and feeling better! The beef looks delicious.

  7. Glad you are on the mend. We both need to remain patient with the healing process. Take care. Beef looks wonderful!

  8. So glad you are on the mend and are enjoying your neck. My daughter likes to tease her parents and asks why is it that her mum has a "giraffe neck" while her dad has no neck at all, the cheeky monkey! I think she got her dna from us both so she's just "normal" if there's such a thing in the neck department.

    Now, onto the subject at hand. I've a fear of frying potatoes but will try my best to follow your tips. My mother made wonderful "chips" as we called them in the UK. I've wimped out but I love them so much I really need to give it a stab. Thanks for the encouragement!

    1. I have the most beautiful Hermes scarves sitting in a drawer that I don't wear anymore because I look like a sausage link. I refuse to give them away hoping for a miracle that will give me a longer neck! I know the moment I part with them my neck will grow.

      My daughter just came back from a business trip to Nottinghamshire and raved about the chips. French fries are her dominion. We use Ore Ida Crispy Golden fries and the other night the pan was really hot to the point I heard the splash in the other room. I thought of the cleanup. What came out were the best fries ever. There is a mesh cover to put over frying pans. We have one for these occasions.

      Go for it!

    2. Obviously, I need to invest in a mesh cover (I recall my mother had one for just such occasions).

      I doubt very much you could look like a sausage link if you tried! Celebrate your scarves and whip them out pronto!

  9. I'm sorry I missed this earlier. You look fabulous! Don't we all want a long neck! And your beef looks scrumptious. Take care I miss you.


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