Under normal circumstances, the first Sunday of April means the Tour of Flanders. But as you’re surely aware by now, we’re living in far from ordinary times with the Coronavirus pandemic leaving our beloved spring classics postponed. That doesn’t mean we still can’t celebrate Flanders in other ways this weekend. Our friends at the Mémé Gusta restaurant in Ghent, Belgium, have offered up this Belgian stew recipe to bring a little Flemish spirit into your home. We’ll have a video up on our Instagram and Facebook this weekend for you to follow along with.
Images and Recipe Courtesy of Mémé Gusta
Mémé Gusta’s Belgian Stew Recipe
- 1.5 pork cheeks
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 whole cloves
- 8 juniper berries
- 6 fresh bay leaves
- Handful of fresh thyme
- 0.5kg (1.1lbs) onion chopped fine
- 3 brown beers (33cl/ approx. 12oz)
- 3 slices of bread
- 3 tablespoons mustard
- 2 tablespoons syrup
- Butter (off course!)
- Salt and pepper
- Brown the finely chopped onions in butter in a casserole dish.
- In a separate pan, add butter and let it develop a brown color, then add the meat and sear. Add pepper and salt.
- Transfer the seared meat to the casserole dish.
- Pour a beer into the meat pan to deglaze it, then add that beer to the onions and meat.
- Add the other beers—make sure all three end up in the casserole dish!
- Add in the cinnamon, cloves, juniper berries, bay leaves and thyme.
- Add the syrup.
- Spread the mustard onto the bread slices and place them on top of everything in the casserole.
- Cover and let everything simmer for 1.5hr (until you can split the meat with a push of the side of a spoon). Remove the cinnamon stick after 30 minutes of simmering.
- Remove the meat from the pot—it should split easily with a spoon.
- Pass the sauce through a sieve to remove any chunky contents, leaving only a smooth sauce.
- Add the meat back into the sauce.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
And that’s it! You are ready to get some salad, fries and mayonnaise—homemade is easy and the best :)—and you are ready to enjoy a bit of Flanders in these uncertain times!