So, the story goes like this: it’s Antwerp, 1950. A restaurant cook gets drunk on too much Belgian ale and passes out on deck of a freighter. Weeks later, fully sobered up, he finds himself in “The Land of Dreams”, literally the port of New Orleans. He’s homesick but will do anything to get off the damn boat. He finds work in a bistro in the French Quarter and for Oktoberfest comes up with this recipe using mostly local ingredients. —pierino
1 ½ pound stew beef with good marbling cut into 2” pieces
12 small white onions
superfine flour (aka Wondra)
Neutral oil, or if you would like a stronger flavor use peanut oil
white Belgian ale (but given that this is 1950 you can and maybe should substitute Dixie)
Peel your onions by your own preferred method (blanch if you like), you just want the end result to be little white onions. Set those aside.
In a pie pan or other flat plate combine the flour with the cayenne and thyme. Dredge your beef in this mix.
Heat your oil in a large, heavy casserole with a lid. Brown the floured meat on all sides and remove because at this point you might need to scoop out some oil/fat and discard.
Now, add back the beef along with the onions, the cloves and bay leaf. Add the beef stock and the beer. Season with salt and pepper and bring this up to a simmer with the lid on but slightly askew. Simmer until tender.
Meanwhile cook your rice.
It will probably take at least an hour for your meat to become tender so taste from time to time. Once the meat is done spoon it out over individual plates of cooked rice. The juices will need to be reduced a bit further over high heat. Spoon it out and pass the Tabasco bottle.
Standup commis flâneur, and food historian. Pierino's background is in Italian and Spanish cooking but of late he's focused on frozen desserts. He is now finishing his cookbook, MALAVIDA! Can it get worse? Yes, it can. Visit the Malavida Brass Knuckle cooking page at Facebook and your posts are welcome there.