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Oh my! This was so delicious. My guests kept referring to it as steak bites, even though I told them it was pot roast. I used Leffe belgian beer and did not do the steps at the end with the mustard and brown sugar. My guests even took a bottle of the beer and the leftover thyme as they wanted to make the meal for themselves that week. Making it again tonite!
We lived in Belgium for 3 years and that is where I began making this carbonnade. I’m still making it all these years later!!! A dark, Belgian beer is ideal for this recipe. That being said, this recipe is also very forgiving and if following the directions as stated, you will have an OUTSTANDING carbonnade that even a Belgian will give a thumbs up to! This has become a staple in our home and one you’ll probably get as a guest in my home. We love it over mashed potatoes, but don’t be scared to try it as the Belgians do…with frites!
I’m so glad you like the recipe Rochelle and that it has become part of your cooking repertoire! Love the idea of serving with fries, yum!
I’ve made this twice now, easy to follow recipe and very tasty! Husband and I really like this stew!
Really impressed. I made mine in a slow cooker (aka Crockpot) but altered the recipe so I coated the beef in the flour before browning. I also added a teaspoon of dried thyme (I didn’t have fresh thyme), but will double it to 2 tspns next time. I used 3 tbspns of dijon mustard instead of 1 tbspn of wholegrain and this really helped. I also added some dried porcini mushrooms which had been soaked for 10 mins, to give the stew a richer flavour and half a teaspoon of garlic granules (this wasn’t really enough but I was worried about overpowering the stew. Again, I’ll add more next time). I put everything in at the beginning and it worked very well. However, I had to add some cornflour slurry to thicken up the gravy (not uncommon with slow cookers) and may just use the beer to make the broth next time, rather than add the additional liquid used to make the broth separately. Thanks for the recipe!
Should be a Belgian sour ale. Also marinate the meat in the ale with garlic cloves overnight for a richer more authentic result. Then save the marinade for the stew.
After visiting Belgium I looked for a good recipe for this wonderful stew . This recipe is on point. I’ve made it several times. I double it so all the cooking times are significantly longer. Don’t be impatient. Let this cook a long time.
Hi, Olga! We don’t use garlic in our recipe, but you could certainly add it! I’d go for about a half-tablespoon to a tablespoon of minced garlic, added along with the onions. Enjoy!
I love this recipe and I have been making it for years with some variations, depending on the occasion. I don’t use flour which makes the recipe a bit healthier. At first, I used the pressure cooker, then the slow cooker, and now I just use a regular pot. They all work, but the cooking time varies of course. Occasionally, I have added pearl onions and carrots which goes well with the beef stew concept and adds nutritional value to the meal.However, when I do that I decrease the mustard and the sugar.
Family favorite recipe, and I’ve made it many times. My electric stove doesn’t simmer consistently, so my favorite way to maintain the constant simmer is to bake in the oven.
They make this on the French side of the border too in ‘French Flanders’. Lille has a number of estaminets serving great versions. Too good just for Belgium!
Love this dish ever since I was in Belgium. Ate the dish several times there. One place used Trappistes Rochefort 10 and the other used Golden Drake. I have since made the dish with both and it is grand my
We always add two cloves as well to spice it up.
I’d love to make this without the alcohol. Any suggestions? Thanks.
Hi Marie, sub out the beer with beef stock.
Needs beef kidney not liver.
I’ve been making this recipe for a couple of years, and I use Leffe Brune Abbey ale, which is so rich and complex that it’s almost a food. It tastes ridiculously better with this ale than it has with any other I’ve tried.
I’m going to prepare this and will be trying to adapt it to a slow cooker. Any tips? I love your site, I’ve made many great recipes from it!
Hi Sylvie, I haven’t made it in a slow cooker yet, but if anyone else has, feel free to chime in.
Thanks for the reply, I noticed that someone mentioned (in 2009) at which point they add to the slow cooker, but only after I’d posted my request. It won’t be ready for a few hours yet, but I added the browned meat to the crock pot, then cooked the onion etc, and added that mix to the beef cubes and set it on low. It smells delicious!
Great recipe. I made it with a Leffe triple and it tasted superb.Definitely one I will be making again.Thanks
Yes, the dark strong Unibroue beers are great for any meat stew – try the spicy, fruity Maudite or the very aromatic, Port Wine-like Trois Pistoles.
Better than Chimay Bleue IMHO.
I found your website through a search for Beef Carbonnade. I made this recipe last night with Chimay Blue and it was outstanding! I started exploring further and cannot wait to try more of your recipes. Thanks for sharing!
Made this last night but after two hours of simmering in my Dutch Oven, the meat was still rather tough but at the same time the bottom of the pot started to burn. As it was quite late already, I stored it in the fridge, thinking I would cook it for another hour or two today, in the hope that the meat will get tender. Any thoughts on whether this should work? Or any other ideas on how to salvage the dish? Thanks!
If there is any burning, you need to transfer the contents to a new pot, without scraping the bottom of the pot. Then add more water. Bring to a simmer, lower the heat to the lowest setting possible and cook for as many hours longer as it takes to get the meat tender. Some meat just takes longer. But you don’t want to cook it at too high a temp either. You could put the whole thing in a slow-cooker at this point too. The fact that there was anything starting to burn, tells me that your heat setting was too high. There should be plenty of liquid that the meat is releasing in addition to the beer and stock. ~Elise
I have cooked this on my electric stove before, and have had this issue. The electric comes on and off to maintain heat, and so this fluctuation is less constant then a gas stove that maintains a constant flame. (It was still delicious, by the way.) I have since made it in the oven or slow cooker, both with excellent results and no burning on the bottom. It’s a family favorite!