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  • Beef and Beer Stew (Carbonnade)

    Posted on January 20th, 2012 admin No comments


    Wind, Rain, Ice, not a night fit for man or beast, or wolf. All smart ones are lying up in their dens warm, dry and well fed. Time to make myself one of the smart ones…

    The most traditional, classic Belgian beef stew has to be ‘Carbonnade a la Flamande’ well known all over The Low Countries. This Belgian beef stew is made with hearty Belgian ale and plenty of onions

    There are variations as to the cuts of beef and the vegetables involved, but in general a beer and beef stew or a Carbonnade will contain: beef (generally, low-cost, high collagen, less than Gucci prime cuts that need long cooking), a good quality ale, capacious quantities of onions, mustard, and spices.

    A stew is a combination of solid food ingredients that have been cooked in liquid and served in the resultant gravy.

    Ingredients in a stew can include any combination of vegetables (such as carrots, potatoes, beans, peppers and tomatoes etc.), meat, poultry, sausages and seafood. While water can be used as the stew-cooking liquid, wine, stock, and beer are also common. Seasoning and flavorings may also be added. Stews are typically cooked at a relatively low temperature (simmered, not boiled), to allow flavors to combine.

    Stewing is suitable for the least tender cuts of meat that become tender and juicy with the slow moist heat method. This makes it popular in low-cost cooking. Cuts having a certain amount of marbling and gelatinous connective tissue give moist, juicy stews, while lean meat may easily become dry.

    Stews may be thickened by reduction or thickened with flour, either by coating pieces of meat with flour before searing, or by using a roux or beurre manié, a dough consisting of equal parts of butter and flour. Thickeners like cornstarch or arrowroot may also be used.


    Quan Meas Ingredient Comment
    4 Lb Beef Roast, Cubed to 1/2″
    4 Ea Onion Cubed to 1/2″
    1/2 Cup Beef Broth Make Your own
    1 1/2 Cup Belgian Ale GOOD STUFF!
    1 TSP Worcestershire Good Quality, not “lite”
    1 TSB Mustard Good Quality, Whole Grain
    1 TSB Brown Sugar Good Quality
    4 Sprig Thyme Fresh
    Pepper To taste
    Salt To taste


    1. Heat oven to 325
    2. Brown meat on stove top at a medium high heatwith butter in cast iron dutch oven
    3. Remove meat and reserve, add additional butter and cook onions until browned
    4. Return meat and add beer / broth
    5. Bake 2-2 1/2 hours
    6. Add mustard and sugar
    7. Return to oven and bake and additional hour

    The dish is often served over noodles, or potatoes, with coarse sea salt and Dijon mustard and sometimes with pickles and / or boiled eggs. Of course, crusty french bread and butter are a must