I-ATE: Belgium (Europe for all tastes: Recipes for Europe)

September 23, 2017 11:00 am

Earlier this month, we introduced a new series of I-ATE articles based on Europe for all tastes: Recipes for Europe, a book that highlights recipes from each European Union Member State. For this week’s I-ATE Food Term, we will focus on Belgium.

I-ATE Food of Term of the Week banner - Grotte Markt in Bruges, Belgium

 

Salade liégeoise

Salade liégeoise (Liége-style salad)

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg green beans
  • 1 kg salad potatoes
  • 400 g smoked bacon
  • 3 onions
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 50 ml apple or wine vinegar
  • salt, pepper, olive oil, (sugar), curly parsley

Preparation:

Boil the potatoes, peel and slice them. Clean the beans and blanch them for a few minutes in salted water to maintain their freshness. Take the beans out of the water and drain well. Cut the beans up into large pieces and mix with the potatoes.

Dice and fry the smoked bacon together with the finely chopped garlic and onions in a small amount of olive oil. When the onions begin to brown, take the pot off the heat and pour the vinegar into it. Add the mixture to the beans and potatoes, stir well, season with salt and pepper and sweeten the vinegar with a pinch of sugar if necessary.

Leave the salad to macerate for a few minutes and serve sprinkled with chopped parsley.

Paling in 't groenPaling in ‘t groen (Eel in green sauce)

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg fresh eel
  • 300 g fresh herbs
  • cornflour
  • salt, pepper
  • 1 onion
  • butter, wheat flour
  • white wine, fish stock

Preparation:

Have the skin removed by your fishmonger. Clean the fish meticulously by removing the bones from the tail and back. Cut the fish into 5 cm pieces. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with wheat flour. Finely chop the onion and brown it in butter. When the onion starts to brown, put in the pieces of eel and fry on both sides.

Wash the fresh herbs and finely chop them by hand. Never chop herbs in a blender as this will remove the aromatic oils. Put the herbs in a mixture of white wine and fish stock and cook for a while.

Add the herbs and juice to the eel pieces, brown and simmer over low heat for approximately 10 to 12 minutes. The fish must be cooked but without starting to fall from the bone. Once the fish is cooked, remove the pieces of eel from the juice and sprinkle some cornflour over the juice. Bring to the boil for a moment, reduce the heat and stir everything. When the juice is thick enough, put the pieces of eel back in their juice, heat up and serve immediately with some chopped chervil. Rye bread, sautéed potatoes or potato fries can be served as an accompaniment.

Vlaams stoofvleesVlaams stoofvlees (Flemish beef stew)

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg beef
  • 50 g clarified butter
  • 500 ml beef stock
  • 250 ml Flemish dark beer
  • 1 slice of rye bread
  • salt, pepper, thyme
  • 1 kg onions
  • 100 g sugar
  • 50 ml vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 tbs cornflour
  • 1 tbs mustard

Preparation:

Cut the meat into thick chunks and brown in clarified butter in a cast-iron pot. Add salt and pepper, remove from the pot and keep warm.

In the pot, brown the chopped onions in the meat juice with the finely chopped garlic. Then add the beer and leave to simmer until the juice has reduced by half.

Put the meat back in with the other ingredients, add the stock and a cloth bag containing fresh thyme. Spread the mustard onto the bread and sprinkle with sugar. Put the prepared slice of bread on the juice in the pot, close the lid, and leave to simmer for at least two hours in an oven preheated to 120°C. When everything is cooked, take the pot out of the oven, remove the thyme, and stir.

Mix the cornflour with the vinegar, add to the rest, stir well and leave to simmer on a low heat for approximately ten minutes. Serve with chips and a good Flemish beer.

Cûtes peûresCûtes peûres (Cooked pears)

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg pears
  • 150 g sugar
  • 2 tbs of ground cinnamon
  • 100 ml water

Preparation:

Wash the pears (which should have firm flesh) and place them upright in a pot. Put the sugar and cinnamon in the hot water. Cook over high heat while stirring with a wooden spoon to make a uniform syrup. When the syrup is ready, pour it over the pears. Put the lid on the pot and bake for at least one hour in an oven preheated to 180°C.

After baking, let the pears cool off and serve with double cream sprinkled with sugar or whipped cream and liquid chocolate.

Another typically Belgian way to serve cooked pears is with candied chicory. To prepare this, clean six chicories and cut them into 5 mm slices. Put a small amount of water (about 250ml) in a pot and add the chicories. When they are half cooked (after about ten minutes), add a tablespoon of Liège syrup, stir the mixture to dissolve and wait until it starts to boil again.

Then add 200 g of sugar, the juice of one lemon, and (optionally) a teaspoon of pink peppercorns. Simmer over a low heat for approximately 20 to 30 minutes stirring from time to time with a wooden spoon. If the juice becomes too thick, add a bit of water.

Serve the candied chicory as a sauce with the pears, or cut the pears in half, remove the seeds and fill the cavity with a spoonful of sauce. Candied chicory also goes well with venison and roast beef or chicken.


Sources:

  • Coings, Sylvain (2016) “Poires cuites au sirop de Liège (Cûtes Peûres)”, Un peu gay dans les coings…. Available at: http://bit.ly/2flwSFg (Accessed 21 September 2017).
  • European Commission representation in Luxembourg, 2009. Europe for all tastes: Recipes for Europe. Luxembourg: European Communities, pp. 89-92.

Written by Pedro Ramos – Translator, Social Media and Content Manager, Communication Trainee at the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament (Luxembourg).

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