Belgian cuisine is wide-ranging, with specific regional variations, while reflecting the cuisines of France, Germany and the Netherlands. I will share here some of the delights that Belgium can offer:
The stoofvlees is nothing more than the famous pot meat, very soft and cooked with some local beer (or, sometimes, homemade beer). The dish is, without a doubt, an ideal option when you visit Belgium. In all the restaurants I have ordered this dish, it was always served well and in a mini ceramic pot to keep it warm.
Moules-frites (mussels and fries) is another very famous meal that i ate in Belgium. Which, in fact, is not a dish, but a pan full of cooked mussels. Yes, literally a pan but if you choose a more traditional restaurant, it will be a portion so neat that you can hardly stand to eat until the end. The most common flavors are marinière (butter, chives, parsley and white wine), natures (celery, leeks and butter), à la crème (white wine sauce thickened with flour and sour cream), à la bière (it is the same as the marinière, but instead of white wine, it is made with beer) and à l’ail (cooked with garlic).
Vol-Au-Vent is the name of the round pastry, which the Belgians fill with shredded chicken, veal meatballs and mushrooms mixed in a creamy and very tasty white sauce.
Belgian cuisine traditionally values regional and seasonal ingredients. Typical ingredients in Belgian dishes include potatoes, leeks, gray shrimp, white asparagus, Belgian chicory and local beer, as well as common European staples such as meat, cheese and butter.
The stoofvlees recipe is simple and tasty:
2 large onions1.5 kg of muscle meat in medium cubes (yes, muscle meat that goes under pressure and is delicious.)
Butter, as much as is enough to seal the cubes of meat
2 tablespoons of good quality mustard
2 slices of wholemeal bread (the blackest you can find on the market)
2 bay leaves
Fresh thyme (add as much as you like. Sometimes I don’t even put it in.)
3 dark beers
Chop the onions and set aside.
Season the meat cubes with salt and pepper.
In a large, slightly deep frying pan, seal the meat in butter until they are golden brown, but not necessarily all cooked on the inside. Do this in parts.
As you seal, pass them to a pressure cooker (out of the heat, for now).
Once all the cubes of meat are in the pressure cooker, light the stove. In the frying pan in which the meat was sealed, pour the 2 longnecks and let the beer taste like the meat and butter. Then pour all the liquid into the pressure cooker. Then add the bay leaf, the thyme and more salt, if necessary.
These are just fragments of the rich and diverse belgian cuisine.