Belgian Beef and Beer Stew
Carbonnade, Belgian beef and beer stew, is a hearty dish with a delicious sauce.
Prep Time
45minutes
Cook Time
150minutes
Prep Time
45minutes
Cook Time
150minutes
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Coat the stew meat in the flour (optional), salt and ground pepper and set aside.
  2. Slow cook the bacon in a large pan. When done, remove and drain it on paper towels.
  3. Leave 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat in pan and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil or use 3 tablespoons olive oil if omitting the bacon. Add the thinly sliced onions and cook on a low heat, covered for 8-10 minutes. Sprinkle on the dash of granulated sugar and cook additional 20 minutes, adding the garlic and thyme 2 minutes before the end of cooking. Remove the onions from the pan and set aside.
  4. In two batches, brown the meat in the pan, using the rest of the oil. (Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan, heat, and brown half of the stew meat on all side, making sure each piece has enough space to brown without crowding. Repeat.) Remove the meat from the pan and set aside.
  5. Add the bottle of beer to the pan on a medium-low heat. stir as it bubbles, scraping up any bits that have adhered to the bottom. This process is called deglazing and adds all the yummy bits on the bottom of the pan to the sauce.
  6. Bring the beer to a boil, add in the browned beef cubes, the caramelized onions, the bay leaves, brown sugar (if the bread is not sweet) and the beef stock.
  7. Slather the mustard on the bread, tear the bread in large pieces, and place it on top of the stew. Cover and cook on a low simmer, covered, for about 2 1/2 hours, stirring gently once or twice. At the end, stir whatever bread remains on top into the sauce and add more beer if the sauce is too thick for your taste. Consider adding additional salt and pepper to the sauce after tasting it.
Recipe Notes

One thick slice of bread with one tablespoon of mustard yields a medium-thin sauce that is lightly flavored. Doubling those ingredients thickens the sauce and makes it spicier. With flour on the meat as it browns and two slices of bread, the sauce is quite thick. If you like those proportions but prefer more sauce, thin it out by adding more beer toward the end of the cooking time.
For slow cooking, add the cooked ingredients to the slow cooker on low for about 6 hours.
For oven cooking, put the covered casserole in a low setting. Simply Recipes, a site I trust, recommends 300 degrees F for carbonnade.