Belgium is one of the countries that consistently has the highest number of Michelin stars per head of the population. It offers more than 1,000 varieties of beers from 150 breweries. It is also an award-winning paradise for chocolate, vegetables and seafood.
Below, you will find some of our best regional recipe.
This speciality comes from the Virton region where, every year on 26 December, an eating competition is held for the title of ‘King of Pâté Gaumais’
Serves 4Preparation time (not including marinading): 1½ hoursCooking time: 1½ hoursIngredients1kg pork (preferably very fatty pork chops) chopped into 2cm diceFor the marinade:1 glass of dry white wine1tbs olive oil5tbs vinegar2 crushed cloves garlic6 large shallots4 bay leavesbunch of thyme and parsley4 clovessalt & pepperFor the pastry:500g plain flour, sieved20g yeast150g butter200ml full-cream milk1tbs lard2 eggs1 egg yolk beaten with a little water2 pinches saltMETHODMarinate the meat in the marinade for 48 hours in the refrigerator, stirring from time to time.Make the pastry by combining the ingredients listed above and leaving the pastry to rest for 90 minutes, wrapped in a tea towel in a warm place, until it has doubled in volume, then knead it and let it rise for another 60 minutes. Then cut it in half and make two circles of pastry. Place one in the base of a greased-and-floured pie-dish and raise it up the sides of the dish. Prick the base with a fork and pre-heat the oven to 200°C.Fill the pie-dish with the marinated meat, then wet the edges of the second circle of pastry and use it to cover the meat, pinching the damp edges together with the base and decorating as you wish. Make a hole in the centre of the lid and insert a small roll of foil to act as a steam vent. Brush the lid with beaten egg and bake for 90 minutes.Eric Boschman's suggested drink accompaniment: "La Val Dieu Brune" beer
Double Binchoise pancakes
© Monique BouilliezMakes 12 pancakesPreparation time: 15 minutesCooking time: 5 minutesIngredients • 400g buckwheat flour• 250ml blonde Binchoise beer• 300ml milk• 1 ripe Boulette or Herve Piquant cheese• 100g butter or lardMETHODMake the pancake batter by beating together the buckwheat flour, eggs, beer and 25g of melted butter or lard in a bowl.Let the batter rest in the refrigerator for 30 mins, then make the pancakes in a frying pan coated with melted butter or lard.Spread a pancake with the cheese, then make a sandwich with another pancake on top and fry these double pancakes until the cheese melts.Serve the double pancake on a plate and place a knob of butter on top to melt into it. Season sparingly with salt and pepper.Eric Boschman’s recommended drink accompaniment:“La Binchoise Brune” beerFeuilletés of Molignée snails with herbsServes 4Preparation time: 15 minutesCooking time: 10 minutesIngredients for around 30 feuilletés:1 pack all-butter puff pastry150g cooked Molignée snails8 cloves garlicMixed fresh herbs (dill, parsley, mint, tarragon, coriander) approx ½ bunch of each30g butter1 eggGuérande sea salt and ground black pepperMETHODRinse the herbs and chop them coarsely. Peel the garlic and remove the green shoot inside if it’s not fresh, then finely chop it. Melt the butter in a frying pan and fry the garlic, herbs and snails over a low heat. Season to taste. Put the contents of the frying pan into a blender and pulse-blend to obtain a coarse mixture. Cool, then refrigerate until completely cold.Unroll (or roll out thinly) the pastry and cut into 3 rectangles, each 20cm by 10cm. Beat the egg in a cup and brush it around the edges of the pastry rectangles, then place a sausage-shaped piece of the snail mixture along one edge of each pastry rectangle and roll it up inside the pastry. Trim off the excess pastry and brush the rolls with beaten egg, then place them in the fridge to firm up so that they are easier to slice.15 minutes before serving, heat the oven to 200°C and slice the rolls into 2cm lengths. Place the slices spaced apart on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment (or use a non-stick baking sheet) and bake for 10 minutes.Serve warm to accompany apéritifs.Eric Boschman’s suggested drink accompaniment:White wine “La Combe aux Hérons, Domaine du Chenoy Grafé”.Borinage Pagnons
Serves 6Preparation time: 2 hoursCooking time: 15-20 minutesIngredients for 6 small pagnons :• 300g plain flour• 100g melted butter• 30g yeast, blended with warm milk• 2 eggs• Pinch of salt• 2 tsp caster sugar• Golden granulated sugar• Black coffeeMETHODSieve the flour into a bowl and add the eggs, melted butter, yeast, salt and sugar.Bring the mixture together with a fork, then with your hands and knead well.Leave the mixture to rise in a warm place for 2 hours.Split the risen mixture into two balls and press them into buttered sandwich cake tins.Leave to rise a little more.Press your fingers into the mixture to make holes and fill them with the granulated sugar and a few drops of coffee.Bake in a hot over (200°C) for 15 to 20 minutes and then leave to cool.Serve with coffee or hot chocolate for a delicious tea-time treat!Rice pudding tartServes 8Preparation time: 1 hourCooking time: 20 minutesIngredientsfor the pastry:• 200g plain flour• 1 egg yolk• ¼ tsp salt• 1tbs sugar• 15g yeast• 100ml milk• 30g butterfor the rice pudding• 150g pudding rice• 1 litre milk• 1 pinch salt• ½ sachet vanilla sugar• 4 tbs caster sugar• 2 egg whites• 1 egg yolkMETHODAdd a pinch of salt and the vanilla sugar to the milk and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down to the minimum and add the rice, rinsed in cold water. Cook on a low heat for 40 minutes, stirring from time to time. Remove from the heat and cool. To make the pastry, sieve the flour into a bowl with the salt. Heat the milk until tepid and stir in the yeast with a pinch of sugar. Leave for 15 minutes. Add the sugar to the flour and make a well in the centre. Pour the yeast mixture into the well and mix well. Add the egg white and the softened butter and mix well. Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead well for 10 minutes. Put the dough on one side to double in volume in a warm place, covered with a tea towel and away from drafts.Roll out the pastry into a 30cm diameter circle and use it to line the base and sides of a 27cm tart tin. Prick the base with a fork, and leave to rest for 15 minutes. Beat the egg whites until stiff and gently fold them into the rice pudding with a spatula. Pour the rice mixture into the lined tart tin to fill it. Brush the surface of the tart with the beaten egg yolk, then bake for 20 minutes at 180°C.Eric Boschman’s suggested drink accompaniment: “Cuvée Rufus Domaine des Agaises” winePork Fillet Al'berdouilleServes 4Preparation time: 30 minutesCooking time: 10 minutesIngredients 4 pork fillet chops (approx 150-175g each) 150g margarine Salt & pepper4 tbs mustard For the sauce:80g butter 50g plain flour500ml stock4 large shallots 500ml white wine1 tbs spirit vinegar6 medium-sized pickled gherkins Salt & pepperMETHODMelt the margarine in a frying pan over a high heat and fry the pork until golden on one side, then turn each piece over and season with salt and pepper and spread with mustard. Repeat for the other side (about 5 minutes each side), then transfer to the oven to keep hot.In another pan, make a roux with melted butter and flour then add the stock off the heat, season to taste and mix well. As soon as the sauce is smooth, put back on the heat and whisk until it boils, then remove from the heat. Peel the shallots and fry them in some of the butter melted in a frying pan, add salt and the white wine and the spirit vinegar, then the roux mixture, the rest of the mustard and 2 of the gherkins, finely chopped. Check the seasoning.Take a warmed oval serving plate and pipe mashed potato around the edge. Then place the pork in the centre of the plate and pour the sauce over it. Garnish with the remaining gherkins.Eric Boschman’s suggested drink accompaniment:“La Saint Feuillien Ambrée” beerLiège MeatballsServes 6Preparation time: 45 minutesCooking time: 40 minutesIngredientsFor the meatballs:• 700g minced beef and pork• 100g white sliced bread (crusts removed) or 2 biscottes• 2 shallots• 100ml full-cream milk• 1 egg• 1 tsp dried marjoram or 1tbs fresh chopped marjoram• Salt and ground pepper• Pinch of mixed spice• Beef dripping for deep-fryingFor the sauce:• 2 large onions• 50g butter•1 tbs cornflour• 2 tbs sirop de Liège (apple and pear syrup)• 2 cloves• 1 bay leaf• 1 sprig thyme• 1 tsp dried marjoram or 1tbs fresh chopped marjoram• Salt & pepperMETHODTo make the meatballs, soak the bread or biscottes in tepid milk for 5 minutes or until it swells, then drain. Peel the shallots and chop them finely. Put the minced meat in a bowl and add the soaked bread or biscottes, the egg, the mixed spice, the marjoram, salt and pepper and mix well until a smooth paste is obtained. Shape the paste into 6 meatballs with wet hands.Heat the dripping in a deep-fat fryer to 200°C and drop in the meatballs. Cook until well browned, then drain on kitchen roll and keep warm.To make the sauce, peel the onions and chop them coarsely. Melt the butter in a frying pan and fry the onions in it for 1-2 minutes. Add 50ml of water and cook for 5 minutes over a medium heat, stirring constantly to prevent the onions from browning. In a jug, mix together the flour with 200ml of hot water, and pour over the onions and cook for 3-4 minutes. Then add the sirop de Liège, the spices, the marjoram and season. Mix well and simmer for 20 minutes over a low heat: the sauce should be thick and glossy. 10 minutes before the end of cooking the sauce, add the meatballs to the sauce to warm through. Eric Boschman’s suggested drink accompanimentAny Pils-style beerMatoufet Serves 6Preparation time: 5 minutesCooking time: 10 minutesIngredients4 eggs200g smoked streaky bacon½ litre milk2tbs plain floursalt and pepperknob of butter4 slices spelt breadChop the bacon into lardons and fry gently in a frying pan with the knob of butter.Put the eggs and flour into a bowl and beat together vigorously with a fork until there are no lumps left. Then beat in the milk and season.Pour this mixture over the well-browned lardons and cook, stirring constantly. The mixture will thicken and take the consistency of scrambled eggs or a runny omelette. Serve on slices of spelt bread. Eric Boschman’s suggested drink accompaniment: " La Chouffe Blonde" beer "Grenadin of Veal “Sambre & Meuse” Serves 2Preparation time: 20 minutesCooking time: 5 minutesIngredients:2 veal tournedos (fillet) steaks2 tsp butterFlesh of 2 large tomatoes2 shallots Bunch fresh tarragon200ml dry white wine 200ml single creamSalt & ground white pepperMETHODAsk your butcher for 2 veal tournedos (fillet) steaks weighing about 150g each. Melt 1tsp butter in a frying pan over a high heat and fry the veal until it is browned. Turn the heat down to a minimum and let the veal cook for 12 minutes, turning it over from time to time, then turn off the heat and let the meat rest.While the meat is cooking, peel and de-seed the tomatoes and chop their flesh finely. Chop the shallot and tarragon finely. Heat the other 1tsp of butter in a frying pan and add the shallots. Fry them gently without colouring them, then add the tomatoes and turn up the heat a little. Season to taste, then add the white wine and tarragon and cook for 3-4 minutes until reduced a little. Finally, add the cream and simmer while the meat is resting.Serve the meat on a plate, surrounded by the sauce and accompanied by fried potatoes dressed with chopped parsley.Eric Boschman’s suggested drink accompaniment: “Blanche de Namur” beer.Tarte al d'jote Serves: 6 Preparation time: 1 hourCooking time: 10 minutesIngredients for 1 24cm diameter tart Pastry- 150g plain flour, plus 20g for dusting- 50g unsalted butter, melted- 1 egg + 1 egg yolk- 20ml milk, chilled- 10g yeast dissolved in warm milk with a pinch of sugar- 1 pinch saltFilling- 1 Nivelles Boulette cheese (approx 200g) or similar- 2 hand-sized leaves of chard (with stalk removed)- 1 tsp chopped parsley- ½ onion (about the size of a walnut)- 1 egg- pinch of salt- 2 twists ground pepper (maximum)- 50g salted butter, melted until hazelnut-colouredMETHOD• Sieve the flour into a bowl and add the egg and egg yolk and the yeast mixture and mix well, then add the melted butter and chilled milk.• Dust the dough with the rest of the flour to dry it.• Roll it into a ball and put aside to rise.• While the dough is rising, mix the cheese with the egg, hazelnut-brown melted butter, salt and pepper. Then mix in the chopped chard and parsley.• Line a well-buttered tart tin with the pastry, and brush the edges with beaten egg and sprinkle with salt.• Cover the pastry with the cheese mixture to a depth of about 8mm.• Bake in a hot oven (220°C) until the pastry is golden brown (approx 10 minutes).• Serve hot, dotted with knobs of salted butter, as a Tarte Al d’Jote must always be “bi tchaude, bi blète, qu’èl bûre dèsglète”Eric Boschman’s suggested drink accompaniment“Jean de Nivelles Ambrée” beerPheasant à la Brabançonne Serves 4 Preparation time: 30 minutesCooking time: 1 hourIngredients• 1 cock pheasant• 6 heads Belgian chicory• 150ml chicken stock made from stock powder or stock cube• ground nutmeg• 80g butter• salt & pepperMETHODPre-heat the oven to 180ºC.Melt half the butter in a large casserole. Add the pheasant, season and then pot-roast in the oven for 50 mins, basting frequently.Clean the chicory and blanch in boiling water, then add them whole to the pheasant in its pot for the last 15 minutes’ cooking time, adding seasoning and ground nutmeg to taste.Remove the casserole from the oven, remove the pheasant and the chicory and keep them warm. Deglaze the pan juices with the chicken stock and then whisk the remaining butter into the sauce.Serve the pheasant surrounded by the chicory on a plate with the sauce served separately, accompanied by boiled new potatoes in their skins.Eric Boschman’s suggested drink accompaniment: "La 1815 Waterloo blonde beer"
Makes 12 pancakes
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
You will need a cast-iron 25cm-diameter frying pan
250g buckwheat flour
Pinch of salt
400ml milk or blonde beer
2 eating apples
1 small glass Pékèt apéritif
melted butter for frying
Sirop de Liège (apple & pear syrup) to finish
Macerate the currants in the Pékèt or in hot water.
Peel and core the apples and cut into rings. Place in a bowl of water acidulated with lemon juice to prevent them from going brown.
Mix the flour, salt, eggs and milk or beer in a bowl and beat until a smooth batter forms, then leave to rest for 15 minutes.
Add the currants and their soaking liquid to the batter and mix well.
Place the frying pan over a high heat and add a little meted butter, then place some apple rings in the pan and pour over a ladle (4-5 tbs) of batter. Cook the pancake until brown on both sides.
Repeat the process until all the apple rings and batter have been used.
Serve the boukettes hot, drizzled with the sirop de Liège.
Eric Boschman’s suggested drink accompaniment: "La Val Dieu Brune" beer
Bon appetit !