Beef and Beer Stew – Carbonnade à la Flamande: A Belgian Classic Full of Flavor

Indulge in the rich and savory flavors of Belgian cuisine with this recipe for Beef and Beer Stew – Carbonnade à la Flamande. This hearty and comforting dish combines tender beef, onions, and dark beer to create a deeply flavorful stew that’s perfect for warming up on a chilly day. Serve it with crusty bread or over mashed potatoes to complete the experience.


  • 2 pounds (about 900g) beef chuck roast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups dark beer (such as Belgian ale or stout)
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter


1. Brown the Beef:

  • In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add the beef chunks in batches, ensuring not to overcrowd the pot. Brown the beef on all sides, then transfer it to a plate. Season with salt and black pepper.

2. Sauté Onions and Garlic:

  • In the same pot, add unsalted butter and reduce the heat to medium.
  • Add the sliced onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they become caramelized and golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.
  • Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute until fragrant.

3. Deglaze with Beer:

  • Sprinkle the all-purpose flour over the caramelized onions and stir to combine. Cook for 1-2 minutes to eliminate the raw flour taste.
  • Slowly pour in the dark beer while stirring continuously to create a smooth mixture.
  • Add the beef broth, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, bay leaves, and fresh thyme. Stir to combine.

4. Simmer and Return Beef:

  • Return the browned beef to the pot, along with any accumulated juices.
  • Bring the mixture to a simmer.

5. Cook Slowly:

  • Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the stew simmer gently for about 2 to 2.5 hours, or until the beef is tender and the flavors have melded together. Stir occasionally.

6. Adjust Seasoning:

  • Taste the stew and adjust the salt and black pepper as needed. Remove and discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs.

7. Serve and Enjoy:

  • Serve your Beef and Beer Stew – Carbonnade à la Flamande hot with crusty bread, mashed potatoes, or steamed vegetables.

Conclusion: This Beef and Beer Stew – Carbonnade à la Flamande is a true taste of Belgium, where the flavors of dark beer, caramelized onions, and tender beef combine to create a deeply satisfying meal. It’s a dish that’s sure to warm your heart and bring a taste of Belgian comfort to your table.