Winter weather seems to have set in, and what could be better than a warm bowl of stew on a damp, cold night? This Belgian stew is packed with flavor; beef, beer and onions is one of my absolute favorite combinations. There is a Belgian restaurant about an hour from [...]">

Beef Stew

Winter weather seems to have set in, and what could be better than a warm bowl of stew on a damp, cold night? This Belgian stew is packed with flavor; beef, beer and onions is one of my absolute favorite combinations. There is a Belgian restaurant about an hour from our house that makes a killer Carbonnade that they serve with boiled red potatoes tossed with butter and parsley (and they’ve got Troubadour Magma on tap too!); this recipe comes really close.

Beef Stew

Beef Stew

Please don’t use a light beer here – it will just be disappointing.  Try to find a Belgian-style ale or use a dark beer that you like. Ommengang Abbey Ale, Chimay Premiere, or Abby Belgian Style Ale from New Belgium Brewing would all be good choices; I couldn’t find the Abby Ale so I used Ommengang’s Three Philosophers Quad.

Beef Stew

Onions, garlic and bacon caramelizing

Make sure to thinly slice onions so they cook down and disintegrate to create a thick stew.

Parsley, Thyme, and Tarragon

Beef Stew

 

Carbonnade Flamande – Flemish Beef and Beer Stew

Adapted from Saveur
Serves 4
 
Please don’t use a light beer here – it will just be disappointing.  Try to find a Belgian-style ale or use a dark beer that you like. Ommengang Abbey Ale, Chimay Premiere, or Abby Belgian Style Ale from New Belgium Brewing would all be good choices; I couldn’t find the Abby Ale so I used Ommengang’s Three Philosophers Quad.
 
To easily chop the bacon, freeze for 30 minutes or until hard, then chop. Enjoy with crusty bread, buttered noodles, boiled new potatoes, mashed potatoes, or roasted potatoes and some fantastic beer; we really like Troubadour Magma.
 
2 lb. beef chuck, cut into 2″ x ½″-thick slices
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¼ cup flour
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
4 slices bacon, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced lengthwise
2 cups Belgian-style ale, like Ommengang Abbey Ale
1 cup beef stock
2 tbsp. dark brown sugar
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
3 sprigs thyme
3 sprigs parsley
2 sprigs tarragon (optional)
1 bay leaf 
 

Season beef with salt and pepper in a bowl; add flour and toss to coat. Heat 2 tbsp. butter in a 6-qt. Dutch oven over medium to medium-high heat. Working in batches, add beef; cook, turning, until browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate; set aside.

Add chopped bacon to Dutch oven; cook until fat renders, about 8 minutes. Add remaining butter, onions and garlic; cook until caramelized, about 30 minutes. Onions should start to melt and disintegrate into small pieces.  Add half the beer and cook, scraping bottom of pot, until slightly reduced; about 4 minutes.

Return beef to pot with remaining beer, stock, sugar, vinegar, thyme, parsley, tarragon, bay leaf, and salt and pepper; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, covered, stirring occasionally until beef is tender, about 1 ½ hours. For the last 20 minutes of cooking, I left the lid cracked to help thicken the stew. Adjust seasonings. 

Serve with crusty bread, buttered noodles, boiled new potatoes, mashed potatoes, or roasted potatoes and some fantastic beer!

Stew can be refrigerated for up to three days, and re-heated over medium low.   

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2 Responses to Carbonnade Flamande – Flemish Beef and Beer Stew

  1. Derik says:

    Couldn’t agree with you more. Cold weather just hit here and this looks like a perfect meal to fight off the chills.

  2. Mackenzie says:

    Used cornstarch instead of flour, as I had a guest with gluten intolerance and it turned out great!

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