I am a big fan of grandma’s cooking style, so I thought I’d start my recipe section with one of our Belgian classics, namely beef stew, or as we call it “stoverij“. It might look like a heap of brown sauce with some meat in it, but trust me, the flavor of this dish is out of this world. If you cook it the right way. So first up, let me share with you the 2 secret weapons I use when cooking this Belgian favorite:
Secret weapon number 1: use the correct beer!For the classic “stoverij”, I use Grimbergen Optimo Bruno. I’ve tried and tested several other beers, but for me, this one works best.
Yes, Belgians love their beer and we’d literally put it into any dish possible. Don’t worry, the alcohol evaporates during the cooking process, so you can feed your kids without any worries. I think. 🙂
Secret weapon numer 2: use the correct cooking pot. Whenever I make stews, I always use my Staub.
I’m told they are quite expensive, but if you’re lucky like I am, your mom will buy them for you because she wants to pass on the cooking legacy the family is known for. Therefore, you need several Staub pots. Trust me, you’ll never want anything else.
So, you’ve acquired your own secret weapons? You’re ready to give it a go? One more thing before you start: your “stoverij” will require about 3 hours to stew … so either get up early in the morning or prepare your stew the evening before for an ever more infused flavor.
Shopping list for Margot’s recipe for “stoverij” for 4 people:
- 1 kg fine quality beef cut up into cubes of about 5 cm (I try to look for the finest beef available)
- about 3 tablespoons of flour
- 2 bottles of Grimbergen Optimo Bruno (or if you can’t find it: another kind of brown beer, but please, try your hardest to find this one)
- 1 onion cut up into small cubes
- some dried laurel leaves
- special stoverij-spices or salt and pepper + half of a beef broth cube
- Stew your onions into some butter in the Staub until soft. Remove and set aside.
- In the same Staub melt some butter and fry the cubes of beef well on all 4 sides. Season with the spices or salt, pepper and the cube.
- At the end of this process, sift the flour over the meat and make sure it’s well distributed over each piece.
- Add the onions and gently pour the beer over the meat.
- Add your laurel leaves.
- Let is stew for several hours on a (very) low heat until the meat is cooked and the sauce is reduced.
- If necessary, add some water if the taste it a bit too heavy for your liking and let it reduce again.
- Serve with freshly cut fries and apple sauce (the one with the chunks in it!) or some salad.
ENJOY! And let me know how it went and what your tastebuds have told you!