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Vegan Carbonnade a la Flamande

What you need: 

16 ounces seitan (I use "beef style" seitan), drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons oil
3 onions, sliced
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
1 teaspoon oregano
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 to 2 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups brown beer (I use Chimay Bleue or Westmalle)

What you do: 

1) Brown the seitan in olive oil until somewhat crispy in a large pot.
2) Remove seitan from pot and sautee the onions and garlic on a low-medium heat for about 8 to 10 minutes.
3) Add the herbs, salt and pepper and stir. Add the flour and until it browns.
4) Add the broth and beer, whisking to remove lumps. Add the seitan and simmer on low heat for 2 hours, or medium-high heat for 30 minutes until the volume of liquid is reduced by half and the gravy takes on a silky, smooth, glossy texture and is a deep brown color.
Carbonnade a la flamande is a dish traditionally made in Belgium with beef, beef broth and the remaining ingredients. It's a stew that is traditionally simmered for 2 hours -- you can easily let the stew ingredients simmer on a low heat for that long, but if you're short on time, your goal is to reduce the volume of liquid by half - it'll still take on the silky texture and taste good, just won't be "traditional". I usually get this going first, and THEN prep for mashed potatoes and Brussels sprouts, so it cooks at least as long as it takes for the other two dishes to come together, which is also how it's traditionally served in Belgium. I've actually never had the real carbonnade a la flamande or carbonnade (which is made with red wine instead of beer), but my partner who used to eat meat once upon a time (and is Belgian) said it tasted and looked like the real thing, and that the texture was also spot on.
Source of recipe: I came up with a vegan version of a Belgian recipe, because there was (gasp!) some undrunk brown beer that lost its fizz!

Preparation Time: 
20 minutes, Cooking time: 30 minutes to 2 hours
Cooking Time: 
30 minutes to 2 hours
Servings: 
4
Recipe Category: 

SO HOW'D IT GO?

ok so i made this again last week, this time using morningstar chik'n, (can't buy seitan where i live, and haven't mastered homemade seitan) baby bellas, and then adding some broccoli in the last 15 minutes and ohhhh maaaan this is my new favorite recipe! hubby got to bring the leftovers to work and apparently he made everyone jealous.  ::)

Hey! I'm glad you liked it... I especially liked that you tried it with mushrooms, so I did too, and it was hit - I also used mushroom broth for that time and think it added a lot more umami than veggie broth, so might continue with that. If you want to serve it with "stoemp" (i.e. Belgian style mashed root veggies), then just cook up whatever root veggies you have in the house (potatoes, carrots, turnips, parsnips, onions, kohlrabhi, beets... ) and make a really colourful mashed side dish to spoon the extra gravy over. I tried a vegan version (i.e. no butter or milk) of it with fresh basil and olive oil at a friend's place and really like that combo...

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ok so i made this again last week, this time using morningstar chik'n, (can't buy seitan where i live, and haven't mastered homemade seitan) baby bellas, and then adding some broccoli in the last 15 minutes and ohhhh maaaan this is my new favorite recipe! hubby got to bring the leftovers to work and apparently he made everyone jealous.  ::)

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great recipe! i've been wanting to try carbonnade a la flamande ever since i saw judi dench make it in the britcom "as time goes by." i know that's a silly reason, but by george it's delicious! i only had 6 ounces of homemade seitan, so i filled in the other 10 ounces with mushrooms. also, i used a dutch oven, so after adding the broth & beer and bringing everything back up to a simmer, i stuck it in the oven at 350 for two hours. oh man, did it make my kitchen smell delicious! thank you for an amazing recipe!  ::)

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