Carbonade Flamande - Flemish Beef and Beer Stew/Casserole

Total Time
3hrs 15mins
Prep 15 mins
Cook 3 hrs

Slow cooked beef with garlic, onions and bacon in Belgian beer - served with Dijon mustard croutons.......absolute bliss! I have eaten this many times on visits to Belgium and it remains a firm favourite, especially when eaten with piles of fluffy mashed potatoes and a glass of fine Belgian beer! This recipe serves two hungry people, but it can be increased to serve a crowd, and works beautifully in the crockpot too. (The recipe is courtesy of Cecile Loubaud and the Batham's Brewery.) NB: Traditionally, the meat should be grilled on a barbecue - hence the name! The word comes from the Italian carbonate (charcoal-grilled).

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Preheat the oven to 170C, 340F, gas mark 3.
  2. Make sure the pieces of beef are thoroughly dry, using paper towels.
  3. In a flame-proof casserole, heat the butter and olive oil. Add the bacon cubes and fry them until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon. Reserve.
  4. Make sure your flame-proof casserole is thoroughly heated. Place the pieces of beef and brown them on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon. Keep warm.
  5. Place the onions and garlic on the bottom of the casserole dish and cook until transparent (lightly golden). Season well with salt and pepper.
  6. Add the sugar and mix thoroughly. Cook until a light caramelisation appears then add the red wine vinegar. Mix thoroughly then cook for 2 minutes.
  7. Add the cooked beef and bacon to the dish. Mix carefully to make sure there is a full marriage of the flavours of the meat with the onions.
  8. Pour the beer then the beef stock until the meat is entirely covered with liquid. Add the bouquet garni.
  9. Cut the slices of bread then spread Dijon mustard on the bread. Cover the meat with the bread.
  10. Place in the oven. The carbonade should cook slowly between 2 and 3 hours, or in a crockpot for up to 5 hours on high.
  11. When cooked mix the bread thoroughly by breaking it up in the dish, the bread works as a thickener for the sauce. Taste then adjust the seasoning. Serve hot.
  12. In Belgium the carbonade will be served with chips/fries/frites. In Northern France, it will be served with either braised chicory in butter or red cabbage.
Most Helpful

I know that this recipe sad that is serves 2, but when I saw 500g meat, I thought it would easily do 5! and, you know what? It did! Great recipe with great flavors that I will make again! I didn't have Belgian beer, but that didn't seem to matter at all. Thank you for sharing this great dish :-)

djmastermum September 17, 2010

This is a wonderful stew recipe! We really enjoyed this. I used 1 pound stew meat and substituted 4 ounces diced pancetta for the bacon. We had 4 very large servings which we enjoyed with mashed potatoes as suggested. We will definitely be making this again.

swissms January 03, 2011

great recipe and really easy to prepare.....three cooking steps, pour in the liquid, bread on top and let it cook....i used a cast iron pot for all time, i plan to brown the meat on a small, indoor grill....the finished product had a wonderful, sweet taste...

zaksdad October 28, 2010