Beyond a shadow of a doubt, visiting Brussels is a perfect occasion to taste traditional Belgian food. The dishes Belgians mainly eat are influenced by French cuisine in the first place since this country is a home to many people whose descendants came from France. For that reason, you have a chance to visit French restaurants serving meals of the highest quality.
Italian cuisine is also highly widespread in Belgium and it relates not only to pasta and pizza. Asian food can be found in the Belgian restaurants as well.
Even though Belgium is an international country, there is still place for typical authentic Belgian dishes and some of the most popular of them we are going to present to you in this article.
Although the name of this dish suggests it will be both a filet and something coming from American cuisine, in the reality filet Americaine is something completely different. First of all, it is not a traditional filet we know. Actually, it is a minced piece of beef. Note, the dish is made of raw meat!
Secondly, filet Americaine is more French than American. In fact, it resembles of beef tartar popular in France.
Filet Americaine is served with a sprinkle of herbs which add it unique delicious taste. If you enjoy eating raw minced meat, you will definitely like the chewy texture of filet Americaine, however, if you are not ready to eat completely raw meat, you can order this dish slightly grilled.
Boulets a la Liegeoise
Boulets a la Liegeoise is a classic version of meatballs popular in Belgium. Undeniably, meatballs is a highly popular dish cooked in many countries around the world, but boulets a la Liegeoise have their unique Belgian touch.
First of all, it is made of a combination of lean beef mince and pork mince. In order to get a delicate texture of the meatballs, bread soaked in milk is also added.
When it comes to spices and herbs, freshly grounded black pepper and nutmeg are essential ingredients. In addition to them, Belgian meatballs contain parsley and onion.
Still, a crucial part of this dish is a sauce which is absolutely delicious. Its rich taste is achieved due to such spices and herbs as onions, thyme springs leaves, muscovado sugar, bay leaves, juniper berries, whole cloves and freshly grounded black pepper. In addition to this, the sauce for traditional Belgian boulets a la Liegeoise includes dark Belgium beer, beef stock, syrup (for example, pear and apple syrup) as well as red wine vinegar. As you can imagine, all of these ingredients create a unique taste of meatballs which you make them one of the Belgian dishes on the list of the necessary food to taste during your visit to this country.
Do you like eating mashed potatoes? Then, you should definitely try a Belgian version of this popular dish which is made with stewed vegetables and bacon. This dish is usually served with a long sausage of the provincial style. Actually, this side dish is also popular in the Netherlands.
Stoemp is usually made of such vegetables as starchy potatoes, leek, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, carrots, a celery root, onions, shallots and garlic. This makes the dish not only tasty but very healthy as well. The delicious taste of stoemp is achieved by adding butter, heavy cream, chicken broth as well as the following herbs and spices: mustard, parsley, bay leaves, juniper berries, pepper, spring thyme and nutmeg.
Lapin à la Kriek
If you want to taste something else rather than poultry, beef or pork, you should pay your attention to such a popular Belgian dish as Lapin à la Kriek which is made of rabbit meat. Actually, this is a rabbit’s leg cooked in the Kriek beer which adds its unique taste to the dish.
The Kriek beer is a special type of sour lambic beer which is featured with a cherry flavour. This sour and sweet beer creates a rich taste with tender, juice and sweet rabbit’s meat. The addition of such ingredients as bay leaves, thyme, onions and prunes makes Lapin à la Kriek even tastier.
The dish is usually served with mashed potatoes or fries.
Cuisse de Canard
For those people who would like to taste something really unique, Cuisse de Canard can be a great choice. The exclusiveness of this Belgian dish is the result of a special method of meat preservation which used to be popular in this part of Europe before the invention of refrigerators
This technique is based on salting duck legs and then cooking them in a low temperature for a rather long time. Such a method of preparation gives slightly salty and very tender meat that will fall of the leg bones itself.
When there was no other ways for preserving meat, duck legs were prepared according to this technique in large quantities and then were preserved in special cans or jars sterilised. Today, you can order Cuisse de Canard in many Belgian restaurants.