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Belgian stew with braised red cabbage

Belgian Stew With Braised Red Cabbage

Belgian stew with braised red cabbage is one of my all time favourite dishes when it’s cold outside and you crave a delicious, hearty meal. Apple Cider Vinegar makes the meat extra tender in this stew that’s served with braised red cabbage and chunky chips.

This recipe highlights the versatility of Apple Cider Vinegar when it comes to cooking. Not only does the ACV make the meat extra tender, it also ensures the beautiful colour of the red cabbage is maintained when you braise it.

The Belgians are famous for their amazing beers, many of them made by monks in an abbey – look out for the words ‘abdijbier’ (abbey beer) on the label. I find the best beer for this stew is a brown abbey beer like Leffe Brun, or Chimay Red or Blue. You should be able to get these beers at good supermarkets and liquor stores, or go for a Belgian style New Zealand beer like McLeod’s Brewery’s Belgian Petite Saison.

I’ll share the stew recipe first followed by the braised red cabbage recipe.

Belgian stew recipe

Use this recipe as the base for your stew, and add extra vegetables like carrots or mushrooms depending on your preferences. You can make the stew on the stove, in the oven, or use a slow cooker. Serves 4.

  • 1kg stewing steak cut into 2x2cm cubes, dusted in 2 tbs flour (use cornflour for a gluten free option)
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 1 bottle (330ml) Belgian beer
  • 3 onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 2-3 tbs Goulter’s Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Butter
  • Salt & pepper to taste

On medium heat, fry the steak in 2-3 portions in ample butter until browned all around. Remove and set aside. Brown onion and garlic, then add the steak back in and bring to a simmer. Crumble over the stock cube. Give the bottle of beer a gentle swirl (you want to get all the yeast that may have settled in the bottom as it adds extra flavour!) and add to the pan. If the meat isn’t fully covered, add some water until fully covered. Add bay leaved and cloves and bring to a simmer again, stirring gently.

Put the lid on and leave to simmer gently. I used to make this on a stove but easily burned the base so now I use an oven-proof pot that I transfer from the stove to the oven (pre-heated to 160 degrees Celsius) at this point. Leave for 1hr and stir through the ACV. If at this point there’s still a lot of liquid, put the lid back on an angle, otherwise cover completely and leave for another 45mins – 1 hr checking regularly to ensure the stew doesn’t get too dry.

Braised red cabbage

  • 1 red cabbage
  • 2 tart apples (e.g. Granny Smith), diced
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 tbs Goulter’s Apple Cider Vinegar

Cut the cabbage in half and remove the hard core. Cut each half in half again and slice the cabbage into fine strips. Put these in a pan with the diced apple, salt, sugar, cloves and some water. Let this simmer with the lid on for 1hr and 15 minutes and be sure to stir regularly. Let the cabbage juice thicken by removing the lid, or add some more water if required. Add 2 tbs ACV and stir through, leave to simmer for another 15 minutes.

Serve the Belgian stew and braised red cabbage with chunky fries and mayonnaise (not tomato sauce) for a real Belgian dish!

About Goulter’s the vinegar people

Goulter’s produce a range of vinegar products for your health and home. Available from select supermarkets, health food stores and online on https://www.vinegarpower.co.nz/.

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