Best Belgian Beef Carbonnade

We eat very little red meat in this house, however, once a year I make this Belgian Beef stew known as "carbonnade" with Belgian Ale and onions.
Reserved for winter months only.

It is my go to beef stew and I love it best the next day.

It makes the whole house smell yummy.

I recently brought a pot of carbonnade over to my friend Rosemary's house (check out her wonderful blog Content in a Cottage) for dinner, and it made a cold winter night seem cozy and warm.

Remember to get a good sear on your meat. You will need to do this in 2 batches.
Crowding the meat will steam it.

Have all your ingredients ready to go and this is a cinch to make. Mise en place.

I suggest using a Belgian Ale, not a light beer and definitely not a Corona.
My dad brought this 6 pack over of Palm Belgian Ale, and since I am not a beer drinker, I was waiting to use it in this stew!

Best Belgian Beef Carbonnade:

3 lbs. good quality chuck meat (stew meat)
3 onions, sliced thick
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 slices bacon, chopped
2 bottles Belgian dark beer or ale (or 1 bottle of beer plus 1 cup of beef broth)
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 14 oz. can of chopped tomatoes
kosher salt and pepper
a splash of cider vinegar (optional) for finishing

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Salt & pepper your beef cubes and set them aside.

In a large heavy Dutch oven, fry up the bacon slices until crisp.
Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve 1 tbsp of the bacon fat.

Sear the beef cubes in 2 batches as to not crowd them (or they will steam).
This should take about 7 minutes for each batch, total.
Be patient, a good sear is important.

Set cubes aside in a bowl for later.

Add a small amount of olive oil and cook the onions until wilted. Add the garlic at the last minute. About 5 minutes total.

Now add in the can of tomatoes w/ juice, the 2 bottles of beer, the beef, bacon, herbs and brown sugar.

Bring to a boil then cover and immediately transfer to the oven.

Braise for 2 hours in the oven with the lid on.

I've seen many authentic recipes where they splash a bit of cider vinegar at the end.
That's up to you, but it makes it even more delicious.

Serve over egg noodles and stay warm!



Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Unknown said…
This is one of my favorite recipes ever- you had posted it on your blog awhile back and I am pretty sure I've made it many times since then. Definitely agree on the beer, you have to use a decent one, if you use garbage (Coors Light) it is not as good! Thank you for the recipe.
Melodie Monberg said…
The food looks amazing but I love your table setting! I'd want to sit down and consume scrumptious fare there too!
Stacey Snacks said…
Yes, you are right. I posted it back in 2008!!! It is still my favorite!

Anonymous said…
I love Rosemary's blog and it warms my heart to know that you shared this wonderful stew with her. Did Webster or Tabitha get any table scraps?
Ciao Chow Linda said…
You know I've always wanted to make this after first eating it in Belgium years ago. Seeing yours makes me crave it now more than ever.
Mike in Phoenix said…
Thank goodness -- you have finally posted something I can eat! Beef, at last!

You promised you would post it and I am grateful. Also, thanks for the 10 pounds I have lost!
Kathy Walker said…
This is the perfect comfort food! I just happen to have a good beer in the will become this delicious dish on Saturday!! Yum.

I love Rosemary's blog...such a lovely lady!
Stacey Snacks said…

Yes, as a matter of fact, Webster ate a huge bowl of noodles, and Ms. Tabitha begged me for some beef, which I happily gave her!

Stacey Snacks said…
Mike in PHX,
Not sure how you lost 10 lbs from MY blog! I can't even keep the 3 off that I lost!
I love stews and since I have half a beef in my freezer, I'm up for this one. I just wish my house looked as beautiful as the one in your post. Maybe because I have 7 large dogs....
Stacey and Henry...

Webster still misses you and all of the snacks you left behind for him. We enjoyed the wonderful evening complete with a full course dinner that was too delicious for words.

Love, Rosemary, Webster and Tabitha
Lori Lynn said…
The stew sounds so comforting. Love the wooden table.
What an inviting table and that big pot of stew I can't wait to make, wow that looks good Stace!
Christine said…
Made this Friday night, perfect for being snowed in!! Very easy recipe.