Ronde-day Ronday begins with suitable preparation. Tomorrow, about an hour and a half after Lord Sep raises his arms in victory, we'll be eating stoofvlees met wortelstoemp. So, on Saturday we'll have to go shopping. Here's your grocery list. The beer is for cooking, but make sure you have more for drinking. We're cooking for a family of four.
- 750 g stewing beef
- two bottles of dark beer – dark leffe or westmalle. If in a pinch blonde trappist beer will do, but dark is better
- 2 thick slices of – preferably homemade – bread
- good grainy Dijon mustard
- 1 onion
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 kg potatoes
- 500 g carrots
- one egg
Ok, that's it for Saturday. I know it's hard because you'll be so nervous it'll be difficult to sleep, but get some rest tonight. Dream you're cresting the Muur solo in the lead. Dream the Muur was still in this race.
On to Sunday! Set your alarm for 9.15 am.
RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGG. Try to solve the three maths problems your alarm clock throws at you. Seriously, 12 times 7 plus 14 before coffee?If you need to hunt down a web stream, get up now.
Ok, enough snooze button. Get up, drag yourself to the coffee maker and start the brewing. Turn on tv. Sporza begins in 5 minutes.
Ok, the end of Sporza's morning show. Get up and stretch. Maybe you'll want to go back to bed. It's a viable option. It's my option. Maybe you'll want to go for a ride. Do what you want, but do it fast. You've only got 45 minutes.
Time to start cooking! Seriously. Stoofvlees prep is easy, but it needs some time to simmer. Your home will smell amaaaazing.
In a big enough frying pan, fry the onions on the highest heat. Then add the beef, quickly searing it on all sides. Don’t worry about them being done or not, they’ll have plenty of time left in the slow cooker.
Add both beef and onions to the slow cooker, which ought to be set to the lowest possible heat. Add the beer, the bay leave and the brown sugar.
Leave it to simmer for a couple of hours (this is not something you just whip up when you feel like it). Two hours minimum, three or four preferably. The longer it cooks, the stringier the meat gets. I like it when it’s all falling apart. Yum. Don’t lift the lid too often, every time you take a peak you should add 10 minutes to the cooking time.
12 am. or pm. 12 m?
Sporza is back! Celebrate with a beer! I'll show you options for blonde or brown beer, you so can choose what you like best.
We'll start of small, with leprechaun beer.
Blonde: La Chouffe. 8%. An unfiltered blonde beer, which is re-fermented in the bottle as well as in the keg. It is pleasantly fruity, spiced with coriander, and with a light hop taste. Correct glass shape (yes Pablo, this is important!)
Brown: McChouffe. 8%. An unfiltered dark beer, which is re-fermented in the bottle as well as in the keg. Behind its fruity flavour a slight hint of bitterness may be found.
Haaghoek! Time for the second bottle. On to animals.
Blonde: Wolf 7. 7.40%, but that doesn't fit nicely on the bottle. A golden blonde beer with white foam. Smells like vanilla, white pepper and some fruit. Correct glass shape.
Brown: Wolf 8. 8.20%. Dark beer with beige-ish foam. Smells of pear and roasted nuts.
Amber if you want to go crazy: 9. Actually 9%. Very fruity smell with banana and pear. Also, apricot. That's a lot of fruit in the description that I never tasted in the actual beer.
Kanarieberg. Canary mountain. Whistle a merry tune.
Blonde: Leffe blonde. 8.50%. Fresh, light, lemony. Fruity with a full flavour. Correct glass shape.
Brown: Leffe brown. 6.50%. Fruity sweet, with brown sugar and caramel and toffee.
Hotond. Think about cx for no more than a minute. The rainy edition from two years ago was really good.
Oude Kwarem... I think we've been here before.
SEEEEEEEEEEP WIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINS! Did I not tell you five years ago Sep was gonna win this? I did! I totally did. Toast to victory.
Blonde: The Chimay Triple. 8%. Of a golden colour, with fruity touches of Muscat grapes and raisins, even ripe apples. Correct glass shape.
Brown: The Chimay Blue Cap. 9%. A dark Trappist beer with a powerful aroma, the complex flavour of which improves across the years.
We'll be eating in about an hour. Now, generously spread mustard on the slices of bread, and add those to the cooker. Take this opportunity to see if the meat isn’t too dry – if too dry, add more beer (add more beer is always the answer).
Boil a big pot of water. Peel the potatoes and carrots. Peel, peel away. Chop the potatoes and carrots. Chop, chop away. Chuck them all in the water and let it boil away. About 20 minutes, til it's all gone soft. Get rid of the water, mash the potatoes and carrots. Preferably by hand with a masher, so there's chunks left, but you can use a machine if you want. I'd advice on a kitchen robot, but you if you're really desperate you can ask your vacuum for help. Add an egg, a splash of milk, some butter and nutmeg.
Season the stoofvlees to taste and remove the bay leave.
Congratulations! You've successfully completed Ronday. See you next year!
Stoofvlees picture by tienvijftien. Used with permission.