Carbonade Flamande-Belgian Stew

A Carbonade is a traditional Belgium sweet and sour stew. It is made with beef, onions and beer and seasoned with thyme and bay.

The beer used is important to ensure the sour flavour it is recommended Oud bruin, Brune Abbey or Flanders red, before serving to enhance the sweetness sugar or redcurrant jelly is added.It is a hearty warming dish and a delicious meal for a cold winter’s day and is traditionally served with boiled or fried potatoes.

The term carbonade may also refer to a dish of grilled pork loin and certain beef stews cooked with red wine such as Beef bourguignon in the south of France, but is more commonly associated with the Belgian dish.



31/2 lbs of stewing beef, diced
3 large onions, sliced thinly
4 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper
12 oz Belgium beer
11/2 cups of beef or chicken broth
3 tbsp flour
2 bay leaves
4 fresh sprigs of thyme
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp whole grain mustard
2 bay leaves

1. This dish can be either cooked for 2-3 hours on the stove top, or in a pre-heated oven at 150 Celsius for 2-3 hours or until meat is tender.
2. Using paper towel pat beef dry and season with salt and pepper. Place a heavy based frying pan on a medium heat until smoking. Add the meat and allow to brown (without stirring) for about 3 minutes on each side, you may need to fry in small amounts. Then put aside in separate bowl.
3. Add the half of the butter to the pan and reduce heat. Fry onions gently with 1/2 tsp salt for about 15 minutes until golden brown. Add flour, ensure all onions are coated, and fry for a few minutes until flour is lightly brown.
4. Stir in the broth, beer, thyme, bay and browned beef with all extra juices and salt and pepper to taste.
5. Bring to boil, and then reduce heat and cover. Stir occasionally; make sure it does not stick to the bottom. About 30 minutes before finished cooking add mustard and sugar and season to suit taste.
6. When cooked, discard thyme and bay leaves and serve with French fries, potatoes or noodles. Enjoy!