La Chatte Gitane (or The Gypsy Cat) was the name we chose for our cottage in France. We chose it while on the road, moving home, from Ireland to France with 2 dogs and 7 cats in the car.
This blog began its insignificant life as a recipe book for friends and family who would ask me repeatedly for a recipe of this, that and the other.
Since then it has taken many different directions, like gypsies tend to do. Sometimes making a U-turn and revisiting familiar roads and taking a break when necessary.
You'll find recipes here, but also musings about the places we've called home, the gardens that we've established, not always successfully, the homes we've improved and the environments we've lived in. Currently, that is back in Ireland.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Flemish Beef Stew, but not exactly.

Not exactly, because I didn't use beer and I used beef shin instead of stewing steak.
Why ? Well it's what I still had in the freezer and I love to suck the bone marrow - do I need to blush?

  • 1 kg beef suitable for stewing (I had 3 cuts of shin)
  • 1/2 tbsp flour
  • 3 onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • vegetable oil and a knob of butter
  • a couple of sprigs of thyme
  • 1 bayleaf
  • 500 ml beef stock (can be from a stock cube - I used Kallo organic)
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 2 slices of stale bread, smeared with Dijon mustard
  • handful of raisins
  • a splash of shoyu
  • Dust the meat with the flour.
  • Heat the oil and butter and brown the meat.

  • Take the meat out and set aside.
  • Then sautee the onions and garlic.
  • Bring the meat back to the pan and add the thyme and bay.
  • Pour over the stock, the vinegar and sugar.
  • Put the slices of bread on top and cover.

  • Leave to simmer on the hob or (if you have a casserole type dish, put it in the oven - 170°C) until meat is coming off the bone and is tender.
  • The bread should have disolved somewhat, stir it through properly. It helps to thicken the sauce
  • Add the raisins near the end of the cooking time and the splash of soy sauce.
  • Season to taste with black pepper and salt (if necessary)
I'll tell you this, if you have a good quality beer in the house, please do make use of it in this stew. It will taste devine.

Thank you again for visiting. Don't be a stranger and come again.
Patricia xxx...x


  1. I never tried to prepare beef stew (WITH beer!) in the oven, but I will give it a try.

  2. You know me, I'd stick anything in the oven given half the chance.
    I agree about the beer. ;)

  3. Herself at home here loves marrow so she would for sure lick her fingers anyway it looks delicious Patricia

  4. Interesting that you used soy sauce. Bet this wasn't part of the original Flemish recipe.

  5. Hahaha ! No, Mark, it isn't part of the Flemish recipe.:D
    It did give a deeper colour on the gravy and I didn't need to add extra salt,though.

  6. Dave, your wifey sure has good taste ! ;)


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