Beef carbonnade


Henry Harris's beef carbonnade recipe is based on the Belgian classic - a rich, comforting dish of slowly braised beef shin in an intense, reduced sauce. Henry calls upon Meantime IPA - as opposed to the traditional Flemish beer - as it brings 'an aromatic depth' to the finished recipe. Henry uses rolled shin of beef, but a large dice of beef would work equally well.

First published in 2015
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To serve

  • mashed potatoes, for 4 people
  • 4 slices of sourdough bread, toasted (optional)


  • Heavy-based saucepan


Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3
Season the rolled beef shin and roll in the flour to form a light coating. Place a large, ovenproof casserole dish over a high heat and add vegetable oil. Once the oil is hot, sauté the beef until well-browned all over, then remove the beef from the pan and set aside
Reduce the heat and add the butter. Then, add the bacon and cook for 2 minutes. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper and gently simmer for approximately 30 minutes, or until the onions have completely softened and taken on a light golden colour, stirring every few minutes
Add the garlic, cook for 30 seconds before adding the sugar, vinegar, thyme and bay. Cook for a further minute, then pour in the IPA and bring to a simmer
Taste the mixture and adjust the seasoning if required. Return the beef to the pan, cover with a lid and place in the oven. Braise for approximately 2 hours, or until the meat is tender
Once tender, remove the beef from the sauce and keep warm for 30 minutes. Bring the sauce back to a simmer and taste - it often needs reducing a little to intensify the flavours. Add more salt and pepper as required
Remove the string from the meat, slice into portions and place onto plates along with some mashed potato and toasted bread. Stir the parsley into the sauce and ladle over the meat. Serve immediately
  • 3 tbsp of parsley, freshly chopped
  • mashed potatoes, for 4 people
  • 4 slices of sourdough bread, toasted (optional)
First published in 2015

Henry Harris’s cuisine recalls the fine traditions of French bourgeois cooking with affection and generosity.

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