Silver Travel Cook Club - July 2020

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Silver Travel Cook ClubEmerald WaterwaysThis month’s Silver Travel Cook Club features a recipe for Carbonnade Flamande, courtesy of sponsor Emerald Waterways and inspired by their Springtime Delights holiday in Holland and Belgium.

And you could win an Emerald Waterways goody bag and a copy of 150 Dutch & Belgian Recipes by Janny de Moor & Suzanne Vandyck.

Sprintime Delights itineraryJourney from vibrant Amsterdam on this brand-new 10-day river cruise, and enjoy the delights of the Netherlands and Belgium during springtime.

Visit the famous Keukenhof Garden and witness the incredible displays of colourful flowers, before sailing to Arnhem for a visit to Europe’s largest sculpture garden, located within Hoge Veluwe National Park. Take a tour of the Kroller-Muller Museum, which boasts a huge Van Gogh collection of almost 90 paintings.

Enjoy Antwerp, Belgium’s second largest city and onward to Veere, where you will visit the fascinating Delta Works, the world’s biggest storm surge barrier. You will also have chance to embark on a guided tour of Rotterdam, which focuses on the innovative and impressive architecture, and explore quintessential Holland with a guided tour of the charming medieval town of Beverwijk.

Keukenhof Garden

Departure dates and pricing:

  • 10-Day Springtime Delights river cruise with Emerald Waterways departs during April 2021.
  • From £2,370 per person when booked before 31 July 2020.
  • Save up to £1,000 per couple, and enjoy unlimited free on-board drinks, plus receive a free Deposit Protection Plan. In addition, choose to pay your balance in full by 31 October 2020 and save an extra £250 per couple. Terms and conditions apply.

Recipe: Emerald Waterways’ Carbonnade Flamande

This hearty Belgian beef stew is cooked with beer rather than wine.
Cooking time 2 hours.

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 1¼kg stewing beef - cut into 4cm cubes
  • 400ml dark ale
  • 3 garlic cloves - crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 250g diced pancetta
  • 2 carrots – sliced
  • 2 onions – sliced
  • 1 leek – sliced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato purée
  • 350ml beef stock
  • 1 bouquet garni (a small bunch of thyme, parsley stalks, a bay leaf and a few peppercorns, tied in muslin)
  • A handful of chopped parsley


Marinade the beef for 12 hours in the ale, garlic and bay leaves. Remove the beef from the marinade and keep the marinade. Pat the meat dry with and toss it in the seasoned flour until evenly coated.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a flameproof casserole. Fry the beef in batches for about 5 minutes per batch, stirring occasionally until it is golden brown all over. Remove the meat and set aside.

Fry the pancetta in the casserole for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set pancetta aside with the beef.

Preheat the oven to fan 140C/conventional 160C/gas 3. Tip the carrots, onions and leek into the casserole and fry, stirring occasionally, until they start to brown. Add the tomato purée and continue to cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add the beef and pour in the reserved marinade. Bring to a simmer. Add the beef stock and bouquet garni to the casserole. Season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and cook in the oven for 2 hours, stirring once halfway through.

Scatter the chopped parsley over the top and serve with mashed potatoes and buttered greens.

Emerald Waterways goodie bagWin Emerald Waterways goody bag and a copy of 150 Dutch and Belgian RecipesHow to win an Emerald Waterways goody bag and a copy of 150 Dutch and Belgian Recipes

Belgian and Dutch cuisine may not be as famous as French or Italian, but each country has its own special delicacies and culinary traditions. Eating ‘moules-frites’ (mussels and chips) on the Grande Place in Brussels is a real treat, or how about wandering the streets of Amsterdam and enjoying Dutch waffles, still warm from the oven. Tell us about a memorable meal or food-related experience you've had there, and the best entry will win a copy of 150 Dutch & Belgian Recipes.

Read more about all of our Silver Travel Cook Club recipes.


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Other Members' Thoughts - 23 Comment(s)

  • Hardyplant
    about 1 year ago
    My memorable Belgian food has not been eaten in Belgium but in Queenborough on the Isle of Sheppey so I am bending the rules a bit for my comment! The Mint & Chocolate Eatery is run by a lovely Belgian lady who moved to Queenborough some years ago. Sheppey has links with the Netherlands as, for a while until 1994, a passenger ferry operated between Sheerness and Vlissingen so it was relatively easy to make an overnight crossing to Holland and onward to Belgium. Sheppey is also the only part of Britain to have been invaded by the Dutch (in 1667) and I think is twinned with Brielle. But back to the Mint & Chocolate Eatery where you can try all sorts of `healthy and wholesome home-cooked food with a continental twist`. There is Hearty Beef Stew on the menu and much more besides - all delicious - but the House Special is Mint & Choc Cheesecake, which is extra special. (I am currently writing a review of the cafe for Silver Travel.)
  • sefalleyne
    about 1 year ago
    Waffles in Brussels were a revelation. The ones you can buy here are chewy in Belgium they are light and airy.
    Absolutely delicious and such a range of toppings on offer.
  • Marytwirl
    about 1 year ago
    Many years ago i made a rabbit casserole and put a bouquet garni in it i dished up the meal to my niece her boyfriend and my sister-in-law. Then my niece said "I've got a tea bag in my dinner". Yes i had forgotten to take the bouquet garni iout. She still remembers it now 30 yrs later xxx
  • GBG
    about 1 year ago
    Whilst staying on the Dutch coast in a rented apartment we cooked for ourselves most of the time but every night a delicious aroma wafted up to our apartment from the restaurant below. We had to investigate and found that the aroma came from an Indonesian restaurant that cooked one of Holland's speciality meal, The Indonesian rijsttafel. This is a banquet of many delicious small dishes. We had about 30 small plates with a variety of meats, vegetables, and condiments, like sambals and pickled dishes accompanied by rice. This banquet of delight came to Holland from the East Indies many years ago and is now a favourite for Dutch people. It was an amazing meal and one that I will never forget.
  • SilverTravelEditor
    about 1 year ago
    Goedemorgen to everyone who has already left a comment with their Dutch or Belgian food-related experience. How good to hear that it's not all about mussels, frites and waffles!

    Please keep those memories coming to be in with a chance of winning a copy of this month's prize, 150 Dutch and Belgian Recipes AND a goody bag from Emerald Waterways, generous sponsors of the Silver Travel Cook Club.

  • City-dweller
    about 1 year ago
    Was on a visit to Scheveningen, a nice seaside town in the Netherlands, about 50 kilometres from Amsterdam The choice of fish dishes were excellent. The herring was especially in season, so we had " een broodje haring met kaas, ui en augurken", which translated is a herring sandwich with cheese,onion and pickle!.
    So tasty (lekker) , so enjoyable and memorable.
  • Frog13
    about 1 year ago
    When the children were small we took them to a pancake house near the holiday park we were staying at in the Netherlands. Having only ever eaten my rather stern pancakes once a year on Shrove Tuesday, their eyes almost popped out with excitement at the huge variety and size of the offerings. They regretted their greed later, however, at the amusement park!
  • Hitchin_Pete
    about 1 year ago
    On a bitterly cold winters day in Brussels, my wife and I sought out a cafe to shelter from the cold. We ordered something called Waterzooi, which turned out to be a creamy stew which was the nicest thing we'd eaten in ages. As we ate, our frozen extremities warmed up, and the cozy restaurant was so nice, we stayed for several hours enjoying the Belgian beer!
  • lynnekay
    about 1 year ago
    Must be 20 years ago now that went to Brussels and had fillet steak with mushroom sauce - it was amazing but I was too shy to ask for the recipe - it took me about 6 months and a lot of mistakes before I worked it out at home but now it's a firm family favourite and a very 'tasty' reminder of Brussels!
  • crazydiamond
    about 1 year ago
    I just remember the food in Amsterdam being not as vegan friendly as I'd hoped. That was a few years ago so maybe it's improved. I was 5 when I went to Belgium so really can't remember.
  • LolaHola
    about 1 year ago
    One of my most memorable foreign eating experiences was in Tenerife in a Lebanese restaurant of all cuisines! Delicious food in a relaxed setting. Fantastic bfn to boot. Every time I'm on the island I visit even if it involves a journey outside our vicinity. My husband was pleasantly surprised as he thought eastern Mediterranean food wouldn't be his thing.
  • you
    about 1 year ago
    Book would be a nice gift for my granddaughter, she took over the cooking at home when lockdown happened. My daughter is an essential worker and my son-in-law has to work from home, my grandson was kept busy with. online schooling granddaughter has stepped up to the plate [so to put it], taken on the general household chores, and is waiting to learn what her exams results will be,,then she can plan her future....
  • Petunia11
    about 1 year ago
    Dutch waffles in Amsterdam....delicious...brings back memories of two lovely city breaks we had there
  • Ozdevon
    about 1 year ago
    Most types of "sausage in a roll" with mayonnaise & perhaps a portion of fries. Quick snack so you can spend more time sightseeing!
  • Sararose
    about 1 year ago
    My husband and I had a wonderful holiday in our campervan touring Holland and Belgium. We visited a brewery in Belgium and had an very memorable meal - a shrimp salad with several pints of shrimp on each of our plates. All washed down with several glasses of Grimbergen Abbey beer. Fortunately our campsite was nearby so no chance of drunken driving!
  • Rowsie
    about 1 year ago
    My cousin lives in Rotterdam and whenever I visit her we go on the "Pannenkoekenboot" which is a "Pancake Boat". As you cruise down the Maas river, you can eat as many pancakes as you want. They have savoury and sweet and you can add syrups or sugars as you like! It is a great trip and the Dutch pancakes are much bigger and tastier than the ones we cook on Shrove Tuesday.
  • smithy77
    about 1 year ago
    Beautiful gala meal on board arcadia while sailing back from Australia
  • Geoff
    about 1 year ago
    Amazingly I had my first ever Indonesian meal in Amsterdam when I was about 20. It felt so exotic and rather daring. Of course it was a result of the Dutch colonisation in those parts. After that bold culinary experience, I stuck to pancakes and yummy bitterballen, which we often have at home today. Dank je wel.
  • philatel
    about 1 year ago
    I can't remember eating anything special in Amsterdam but the pastries in Belgium were great!
  • DRSask
    about 1 year ago
    When thinking back to my visits to Belgium and the Netherlands to comment on my most memorable Dutch or Belgian meal, it seems we didn’t eat at any Dutch or Belgian restaurants that come to mind. The most recent was 19 years ago - where has the time gone??? I remember we ate at an Irish pub in Antwerp whose servings were so large I wanted to cancel my main after my starter arrived; we found a wonderful Italian restaurant, Via Appia at 35 Paardenmarkt, and the food was delicious and not just because of the great wine we had (there were four of us and the wine was 1/3 of the bill); and we tried a great little French Bistro in Gent, ‘t Keteltje on Nederkouter. So it would seem that the only true Belgian food we had was street food – fresh and crisp Belgian waffles with chocolate that can’t be beat and frites with mayonnaise. Sometimes the simplest things are the best!
  • jaxb
    about 1 year ago
    I remember standing outside a bakery in Bruges, discussing with my husband what to buy. Decision made, I went in and ordered in schoolgirl French, only to receive a reply in perfect English. Are Brits abroad that obvious? The pastry was delicious!
  • jaxb
    about 1 year ago
    Love the thought of new culinary ideas: I need this book!
  • ESW
    about 1 year ago
    I’ve been using beer as the basis for stews for years and find a bottle of Theakston’s Old Peculiar is the best. I try and buy stewing steak that is well marbled as it gives a really rich flavour. The big secret is to cook it slowly in the oven at low temperature for several hours until the meet is really tender. I just add mushrooms and onions, along with 3 or 4 bayleaves and a handful of mixed dry herbs. The other magic ingredients are a good shake of brown sauce, Worcester sauce and a teaspoon of mustard!.

    I always make up a large quantity and then freeze it in smaller quantities for later use. I bag is great for making a steak and kidney pudding too.