Pressure Cooker Stoverij

Stoverij (Flemish Beef and Beer Stew)

Stoverij and Fries

I decided to make this particular dish because I was feeling a little Flemish. No, I don’t have a cold, I mean Flemish, meaning “from Flanders”, okily dokily? Doh! Not that Flanders!

Stoverij Ingredients

Anyway, Stoverij (also known as Carbonade Flamande) is a popular dish and street food in Belgium. Usually served with fries (or frites, as they are known in Belgium), it is a hearty beef and beer stew. I highly recommend that you seek out a Belgian ale to use in this recipe. Not only does it lend authenticity, it lends plenty of flavor. A dark Belgian double works best, but if you can’t find one a brown ale such as Newcastle will do. When I say it’s a beef stew, I mean it’s a beef stew. There’s no carrots, potatoes, peas or other vegetables, just onions, beef, beer and flavorings. Usually simmered for 3 hours or more, the pressure cooker makes tender, falling apart morsels of beefy goodness in less than half the time.

Stoverij Spices

I like this recipe because it taps into my obsession with spices. It always fascinates me how you can take the same exact basic ingredients, but a change in the seasonings makes it an entirely different dish. For instance, this starts out almost exactly the same as my German Style Goulash. But instead of adding a lot of paprika, using a little thyme and a couple other ingredients you are instantly transported from Germany to Belgium. Interesting, right? Ok, maybe just to me, but that doesn’t stop this from being a mighty tasty treat, especially in the cooler months.

And as an added bonus, it also satisfies my other obsession, “fries covered with stuff”. I have been on a Poutine kick for a couple years now, and along with the American classic Chili Cheese fries, Stoverij is just another arrow in my “smothered fries” quiver.

Bread with Mustard

The secret ingredient? A slice of bread covered with mustard! You could just add the ingredients, but the slice of bread with mustard placed upside down over the stew is traditional, and who am I to mess with tradition? I used a slice of pumpernickel, but any rye or whole wheat bread will do. If there is a rather heavy crust on it, you can trim it off as I have noticed that the crust doesn’t dissolve into the stew as well as the rest of the bread. The traditional bread would be peperkoek, a dutch spice cake, but alas, I don’t know where the heck to get any. You could use a slice of gingerbread, which would be close, but I haven’t tried that yet.

This recipe also calls for red currant preserves, but some recipes substitute brown sugar, which you can do if you can’t find red currant preserves.

Chuck Roast

Since a lot of folks seem to have received a new Instant Pot electric pressure cooker over the holidays, I made this in my Instant Pot. It can easily be adapted to a stove top cooker as well.

As I do for almost all stews, I start with some beef chuck (about 3 pounds), cut into cubes about 1 inch in size.

Chuck Cubes

In the Instant Pot, with the sauté mode on “more”, heat a few tablespoons of cooking oil in the Instant Pot and brown the meat on 1 side, working in batches. It took me 3 batches. Remove to a plate. If there is a lot of grease in the pot, drain most of it out.

Chuck_Browned2Turn off sauté mode for a couple of minutes for heat to come down a bit, then turn sauté mode to “normal”. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter and sauté two onions, halved then sliced. Stirring occasionally, cook until the onions just barely start to caramelize, about 10 minutes or so.

Onions_BrownedPour in a splash of brown Belgian ale and scrape any brown bits off the bottom of the pan.

Add the rest of the ale to the pot along with 2 cups of beef stock, 2 tablespoons of Red Current jam, 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce and 2 teaspoons of Kitchen Bouquet (you can leave this out if you want to).

Stoverij In Pot

In a spice bag or cheese cloth place 4 whole cloves, 1 star anise, 3 sprigs of fresh thyme and 2 bay leaves. Toss this into the stew.

Add a little salt and pepper.

Bread In Pot

Slather a slice of dark rye or whole wheat bread (crusts trimmed) with a thick coating (about 2 tablespoons) spicy mustard. Place mustard-side down on top of the stew.

Turn off sauté mode and lock the top on the pot.

Turn on “manual” mode and set to high pressure for 30 minutes.

When time is up, let pressure come down on its own for ten minutes, then do a quick release.

Stoverij Finished

Turn back to sauté mode on normal and simmer for 10 minutes to thicken a bit, stirring to dissolve the bread into the stew.

Stoverij Finished Stirred

Give it a taste and adjust salt and pepper to your preference.

Traditionally, this is served with fries. For the leftovers I broke with tradition and served on mashed potatoes, and it was good!

Stoverij Plate

Pressure Cooker Stoverij
Print
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Belgian
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6 servings
A popular dish in Belgium, this tasty, aromatic stew is perfect for those cool days when you want some tasty, stick to your ribs food, and fries!
Ingredients
For Spice Bag
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 star anise
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
For Stew
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 3 pounds chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 medium onions, halved then sliced about ¼ inch thick
  • 1 bottle brown Belgian Ale
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons red current preserves
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Kitchen Bouquet (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 1 slice dark rye or whole wheat bread (crusts trimmed)
Instructions
  1. On "more" sauté mode, heat 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  2. Brown beef on one side, working in batches until all meat has been browned on one side
  3. Turn off sauté mode and let the temperature come down for a couple minutes
  4. On "normal" sauté mode, melt 3 tablespoons of butter
  5. Sauté the onions, stirring occasionally until they just start to caramelize, about 10 minutes
  6. Using just a splash of the beer, scrape the brown bits off the bottom with a wooden spoon
  7. Pour in the rest of the beer
  8. Add in the beef stock, red current preserves, Worcestershire sauce, Kitchen Bouquet, salt and black pepper
  9. Toss spice bag in
  10. Slather the bread with a thick coating of mustard and place, mustard side down on top of the stew
  11. Turn off sauté mode
  12. Lock lid on the Instant Pot
  13. Press "manual" and set to high pressure for 30 minutes
  14. When time is up, remove lid
  15. Set sauté mode to "normal" and simmer for 10 minutes to blend bread into stew
  16. Serve with French fries and mayonnaise for dipping

Pressure Cooker Three-Season Lamb Stew

Three-Season-Lamb-Stew-Final-Small

With the weather we have been having lately, you never know how the heck you are supposed to shop. You buy your groceries when it is 45 degrees, then two days later when it is pushing 80, you don’t know what to make with the stuff you bought to prepare lots of heavy, wintry dishes. Such was my dilemma recently with some lamb that I had earmarked for a hearty winter meal.

Once again, TV to the rescue! I was watching an episode of My Little Paris Kitchen, and Rachel Khoo, who hosts the show (and manages to cook some good stuff in a kitchen even smaller than mine) made a Spring Lamb Stew, which seemed to be just right for the warmer weather. I used her basic recipe as a jumping off point and made a few of my own changes. I would have used a cheaper cut of lamb if my store had it, but I ended up using some bone-in lamb steaks. I threw the bones in with everything else and removed them before serving.

Lamb-Stew-Ingredients-Final-Small

This is a much lighter stew than the heavy, gravy-rich stews that you would serve to warm your chilled bones in the cold winter weather. It is somewhere between a soup and a stew. Served in bowls, it is substantial enough to serve as a meal, but not so much as to induce hibernation. In fact, I think this would be appropriate for all but the hottest summer days, which is why I called it Pressure Cooker Three-Season Lamb Stew.

It was a Friday evening so I just wanted to make something quick and easy. I used packaged pre-peeled carrots and probably would have used pre-cleaned beans as well if the store would have had them. It needs to cook at pressure for only twelve minutes, but the time it takes to bring to a simmer and the natural pressure release brings the cooking time to about 30 minutes. It is very tasty topped with Dijon mustard.

Lamb-Onions-In-Pressure-Cooker-Final-Small

For the pearl onions, I used this method on StartCooking.com to peel them so as not to drive myself crazy peeling many tiny onions.

You could serve this with a salad on warmer days or some good bread on the cooler days, and you’re all set.

I’d love to hear your feedback!

Pressure Cooker Three-Season Lamb Stew
Print
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American/French
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2-4
A French-inspired rustic lamb stew
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds lamb, cut into one inch chunks. If your lamb has bones, save for the pot and remove later
  • 2 tablesppons oil (I used coconut oil)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 can beer (12 oz.), lager works well for this recipe
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 generous tablespoon Herbes de Provence (I use Penzey's, but it is a pretty standard blend, so use your favorite)
  • 1 package (around 20-25) pearl onions
  • 4 stalks celery, cut in chunks
  • ½ pound baby carrots
  • ½ pound green beans, trimmed
  • ½ pound tiny potatoes, halved
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Dijon mustard
Instructions
  1. In the pressure cooker, Brown the lamb in the oil on all sides
  2. Add the chopped onion and sauté until it starts to soften
  3. Add the garlic and continue to sauté for a minute or so
  4. Add beer, chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, Herbes de Provence and thyme
  5. Bring to a simmer
  6. Add the celery, pearl onions, carrots, green beans and pototatoes
  7. Season with a little salt and pepper
  8. Put the top on the pressure cooker and bring to high pressure
  9. When high pressure is reached, reduce heat to maintain high pressure and set timer for 12 minutes
  10. When timer sounds, remove from heat and let pressure come down naturally
  11. Adjust salt and pepper to taste
  12. Remove any bones and thyme stems
  13. Serve in bowls and top with Dijon mustard