Making this week’s Cook the Book Fridays recipe, Belgian Beef Stew with Beer & Spice Bread, was like taking an olfactory journey of delightful smells.
It started the day I made the Honey-Spice Bread. The spicy aroma that wafted out the oven lingered in the house all evening, causing me to not stop thinking about eating a piece of that bread. When Mr. Lebovitz says “If possible, wait a day before slicing”, I thought he meant, “if you planned ahead, wait a day before slicing”. But really he meant, “if you can manage not to tear into the bread as soon as it’s out of the pan because it smells so heavenly”! I did manage to wait until lunchtime the next day before having a slice, and my patience was rewarded with a chewy, tasty, spicy slice of bread.
Next on the journey was the smell of browning beef. I have always loved the smell of browning stew meat, and it always takes me back to childhood. I remember the smell of browning meat coming from the kitchen and wishing I could eat it right then and there. The smell makes me feel safe and warm.
After browning the beef came the smell of browning onions and bacon. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love the smell of bacon!
Of course all those aromatic scents came together for a long simmer, along with some beer and mustard, making me SO ready for dinner by the time it hit the plate. The flavor did not disappoint!
The addition of the Honey-Spice Bread to the stew gave it a wonderful, unique flavor and thickened it up nicely. It contrasted nicely with the beer.
We really must discuss the Honey-Spice Bread. It was wonderful on its own and I will certainly be making it again. It makes a nice breakfast or snack, as well as an accompaniment to savory main dishes.
The recipes for the stew and bread can be found on pages 198 and 294 of David Lebovitz’s book My Paris Kitchen.
Have a wonderful weekend!
12 responses to “Belgian Beef Stew with Beer & Spice Bread”
The bread was the winner this week for me as well. The first bite didn’t blow me away, but I liked it more and more with each topping that I tried.
I don’t know how you waited that long, we lasted about three hours before
slicing the bread. The two recipes combined were so good and even
though it sounded strange with the various ingredients in the stew, it all came together perfectly.
Definitely loved the spice bread. I think I might use it as an addition to sauerbraten, which my mother would use gingersnaps to thicken/sweeten.
Yes the bread was delish on its own – I’ll be making that again soon for sure!
I haven’t made the stew yet, but I’m looking forward to having an excuse to make this bread again when I do! I took the dog out for a walk soon after it came out of the oven and when we came back in, the aroma was wonderful!
I thought both recipes were good (although my spice loaf takes last place in looks but I guess we learnt a new technique there), and with a bit more of salt and pepper.. my stew would have been better! Love the height of your spice loaf!
The bread was definitely my favorite part! I will be making that again.
I am in total agreement with you. On the bread and the stew. They are sensory overloads. I made both of them on the same day. Heavenly scent!
The bread was delicious and the stew was pretty tasty too. There were definitely a whole lot of scents hanging around in my kitchen the day I made this one.
The smells were amazing both from the bread and the stew!
The kids walking in from school were happy to be greeted with that amazing stew smell! Both your dishes look great!
“An olfactory journey of delightful smells”! You nailed it!
Haha, that is so much the truth about how it’s best to wait for the bread to settle out and how our actual impetus is to eat it all immediately. 😉 YES, that bread was great. Glad you all enjoyed the stew.