Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Julia Child, take 7 - Carbonnades à la Flamande

Darr's comment: "Meh. It's perfectly acceptable."

For sure this recipe - beef and onions braised in beer - was relatively easy to make, and it was good enough I'd consider making it again with the following changes - use homemade beef broth and a more substantial beer, along with more spices than called for (it was a little lacking in flavor). But if we were wanting to WOW! people with our cooking prowess, I'd go with the Cook's Illustrated version of this dish. We did serve it with a simple side salad and beer, and those were excellent accompaniments to the meal.


Dr. A said...

Too bad you didn't enjoy it more. Was it really soupy?

I'm finding it quite interesting that as the recipes themselves are pretty straight-forward, the quality of ingredients becomes critical. In this case, the beer. We used a pretty nice beer and it was delicious. And we used some tasty beef hunks. However, our last chicken dish was wonderful, except for the chicken itself which was not our usual organic, free range, spendy kind but a package of frozen stuff. Am I becoming a snob about these things?

Christie said...

It was good but it wasn't nearly as flavorful and rich as the Cook's. But then, Darr makes that and I was the one who threw this together. Since I'm the baker, it could be my inexperience with such dishes that caused it to fail. It was soupy but I blame myself for that. At one point, I think right before you make the "gravy," she mentions you should have about 2 cups of liquid. I had closer to three and a half. (And I didn't adjust the amount of starch added as a thickener.) But comparing this to the earlier beef dish and that one won hands down. I used organic beef broth but I don't think store beef broth comes close to anything you can produce at home, which is sort of weird because most store chicken broths are at least adequate.

And, yes, you are becoming a snob. Enjoy it. They eat better food. :)