By Mike Vlieghe
Designing the perfect logo or brochure for a client, is very much alike to cooking the perfect dish. You need a great set of ingredients, a recipe for success, and a bit of pizazz to give it that creative flair. As Mach Media’s Senior Graphic Designer, when I’m not working on creative ways to enhance video and animations or contributing to branding concepts for a new client, I’m cooking with the same creative flair for my beautiful family. I have fond memories of having “stoofvlees” whenever we had family visiting us when I was a child. My mother would always start making it the day before and as the aromas would build up as she was cooking, I would start anticipating that the next day there would be friendly people in the house laughing, talking and playing games all day. Whenever I smell stoofvlees, for a brief moment I’m taken back to that anticipation of a family gathering and I feel warm inside.
- 1 kilo of shoulder beef
- 125 gram beef liver
- 125 gram pork kidneys
- 2 large onions
- 1 bouquet garni (2 bay leaves, a few strings of fresh thyme and a few sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley)
- 2 cloves
- 2 slices of brown bread
- 2 tbsp of sharp mustard
- 2 tbsp of Sirop de Liège (apple/pear syrup)
- 1 litre of Chimay Blue
- 1 tbsp of vinegar
- a few knobs of butter
- vegetable oil
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Peel and roughly dice the onions. Melt a knob of butter and about 1 tbsp of oil in a large (preferably cast-iron) casserole over medium heat. Sauté the onions until they become soft and start to turn brown. Remove them from the casserole and into a large container. Cut the meat into 3cm chunks. Add 2 more tbsp of oil to the casserole. Season the beef and add the meat to the casserole. Brown the beef cubes over medium heat in batches. (About 7 to 8 pieces of meat per batch should do the trick.) Once browned, add each batch to the onions. Do the same with the liver and kidneys. Add the syrup and beer to the casserole and turn up the heat. Bring everything to a boil and scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the casserole.
Once the stewing liquid comes to a boil, add the onion and beef cubes back to the casserole, along with the cloves and bouquet garni. Give the stew a good stir and bring to a simmer. Next, spread 1 tbsp of mustard on each slice of bread and place both slices (mustard side down) on top of the stew. (They’ll disintegrate completely, adding flavour to the stew and thickening the sauce.) Let the stew simmer (uncovered!) for 1.5 hours, stirring every 30 minutes. Then pop a lid on and simmer for another 15 minutes. This adds a touch more moisture back to the casserole, which the dish will need. Turn the heat off. Remove the bouquet garni (and cloves, if you can find them). Add the vinegar, and give your stoofvlees a good final stir. Now leave it alone for at least 12 hours with the lid on while the flavours build up. It can be eaten straight away as well, but it will always taste better the day after. Serve with potatoes or French fries.
This year Mach Media is celebrating 10 years and, as you can see, we’re hungry for more! Contact Mike if you need help with