Wednesday, January 25, 2012


"I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure in the landscape - the loneliness of it - the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it - the whole story doesn't show."

~ Andrew Wyeth

Bare Bones of Winter
(Hubbard Lake, MI)


~ Hearty rich Belgian beef stew with sweet caramelized onions and dark beer, perfect for a cold winter's eve ...
(The Silver Palate Cookbook)

1/4 pound bacon
2 very large yellow onions, 1 1/2 to 2 pounds, peeled and thinly sliced
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 cup unbleached flour
1 Tbsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
3 pounds beef stew meat (chuck is best), cubed
vegetable oil (optional)
2 cups imported dark beer
chopped parsley (garnish)
  1. Coarsely dice the bacon and saute in large skillet until crisp and brown. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve.
  2. Add onions to skillet and cook in rendered bacon fat until tender, about 20 minutes. Uncover skillet, raise heat, and sprinkle onions with sugar. Toss and stir until well browned. Transfer onions to strainer set over a bowl and let stand while you prepare the beef.
  3. Stir flour thyme, salt, and pepper together on plate and roll cubes of meat around in mixture until well coated. Shake off excess and set cubes on another plate.
  4. Press onions gently with back of spoon to extract as much cooking fat as possible. Transfer fat to a kettle. Add in vegetable oil if not enough for proper browning of beef. Be sparing or carbonnade will be greasy.
  5. Set kettle over high heat; when very hot, add 6-8 cubes at a time to brown properly. Turn heat down slightly and cook until browned on all sides. Transfer with slotted spoon to clean plate and proceed with the browning untilall meat is done.
  6. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  7. Pour beer into kettle and stir browned bits on bottom with spoon. Return beef cubes to kettle along with bacon and sauteed onions. Bring to simmer on stove. Cover and set on middle rack of oven.
  8. Cook 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally until stew is thick and meat tender.
  9. Taste and correct seasoning. Turn into heated serving dish, garnish with chopped parsley, and serve immediately. (6 portions)

Note: Serve carbonnade egg noodles tossed with butter and poppy seeds, sauteed apples, black breads and good dark beer.


Rose said...

There is something lovely about the bare landscape of winter, but Wyeth certainly said it best. The Beef Carbonnade sounds like a perfect dish for a cold winter's night!

Beth at PlantPostings said...

Beautiful winter landscape photo! Enjoy the calm settings!

cherry said...

love this photo Miss Joey it feels like I am sitting in a warm cozy window seat looking out at a beautiful quite world..
hugs to you from me..

D said...

Simply love this photo and also Wyeth... one of my fondest memories was visiting his studio in Chadds Ford, PA.

Joey, this recipe sounds wonderful, especially with the addition of the dark beer. We have lots of microbreweries around here so that's and easy do.

Have a most relaxing weekend at your beloved lake.

imac said...

What a wonderful piece of Art.

Kala said...

What a gorgeous wintry image Joey. I love the tones!

Carol said...

Dear Joey, What a dramatic and intriguing tree and your portrait of it captures the very essence of the powerful quote by Wyeth. Stunning!! Regards, Carol

Cat said...

This sounds delicious...The Silver Palate is such a great cookbook - one of my favorites. There is a fresh tomato, pasta and brie recipe that I make when tomatoes are in season...yum!!

Hope you're staying toasty, warm.

lindalou said...

I want this photo framed. It is just amazing.

And your beef dish sounds perfect for a cold day. I'm going to copy this one and give it a try.

Have a lovely week-end. Stay warm.

joey said...

I did make the rounds to visit all and I thank you for your kind comments. We did not make it to the lake this weekend (where this photo is from) 'cause I had the sniffles and not feelin' too spiffy but much better and hopefully back up next weekend. Blustery winter ((hugs))!

RURAL said...

That photo, and the header are so apt, it is the bare bones of winter right now. Christmas is over, spring isn't anywhere near around here....and it's kind of the middle of a blank spell.

Beautifully put.

Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams