Carbonades Flamandes Recipe from Belgium | Ingredients: Beef, Onions, Flour, Brown Sugar, Wine Vinegar, Salt, Bouquet Garni

Carbonades Flamandes

Carbonades Flamandes Recipe from Belgium | Ingredients: Beef, Onions, Flour, Brown Sugar, Wine Vinegar, Salt, Bouquet Garni
Region / culture: Belgium | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 2 hours | Servings: 4-6


Carbonades Flamandes
Carbonades Flamandes

Carbonades Flamandes is a traditional Belgian dish made with braising beef, onions, beer, and a few other simple ingredients. This hearty and flavorful stew is perfect for a cozy dinner on a cold evening.


Carbonades Flamandes has been a popular dish in Belgium for centuries. It is believed to have originated in the Flanders region of the country, where beer is a common ingredient in many traditional dishes. The use of beer in this recipe adds a unique depth of flavor to the stew.


How to prepare

  1. 1. Cut the meat into large thin slices. Melt 50 g (2 oz) of butter in a large pan, add the meat and brown on all sides over high heat. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  2. 2. Add the onions to the pan with the remaining butter and cook over low heat for 10 minutes.
  3. 3. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir well. Then add the sugar, vinegar, and beer. Cook, stirring, until thickened.
  4. 4. Return the meat to the pan, along with the bouquet garni, salt, and pepper. Mix well, then cover and simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours.


  • For a twist on the classic recipe, try adding mushrooms, carrots, or parsnips to the stew for added flavor and texture.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Be sure to brown the meat well before adding it back to the pan with the onions and beer. This will help to develop a rich flavor in the stew.

- Cooking the stew low and slow is key to tenderizing the beef and allowing the flavors to meld together.

- Serve the Carbonades Flamandes with a side of crusty bread or over mashed potatoes to soak up the delicious sauce.

Serving Suggestions

Serve the Carbonades Flamandes with a side of crusty bread, mashed potatoes, or over egg noodles for a complete meal.

Cooking Techniques

Braising the beef low and slow is the key to tender and flavorful meat in this dish.

Ingredient Substitutions

If you don't have light ale on hand, you can substitute with beef broth or red wine for a different flavor profile.

Make Ahead Tips

This stew can be made ahead of time and reheated before serving. The flavors will continue to develop as it sits.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the Carbonades Flamandes in a shallow bowl with a sprinkle of fresh parsley on top for a pop of color.

Pairing Recommendations

Pair this dish with a Belgian beer, such as a Dubbel or Tripel, for an authentic dining experience.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in a saucepan over low heat until warmed through.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

420 per serving


23g per serving


18g per serving


35g per serving

Vitamins and minerals

This dish is a good source of iron, zinc, and vitamin B12.


This recipe contains gluten from the flour and may contain traces of dairy from the butter.


Carbonades Flamandes is a hearty and satisfying dish that is high in protein and rich in flavor. It is a great option for a comforting meal on a chilly day.


- Carbonades Flamandes is a classic Belgian stew that is perfect for a cozy dinner at home. With its rich flavors and hearty ingredients, it is sure to become a favorite in your recipe rotation.

How did I get this recipe?

The memory of finding this recipe for the first time is a special one. It was a chilly autumn day, the leaves were changing colors and falling gently to the ground. I had just finished shopping at the local farmers market, where I had picked up some fresh beef and onions. As I was flipping through an old cookbook that had been passed down to me from my own grandmother, I stumbled upon a recipe for Carbonades Flamandes.

I had never heard of this dish before, but the description intrigued me. The recipe called for beef simmered in beer with onions and a hint of mustard and vinegar. It sounded like a hearty and flavorful meal, perfect for the upcoming cold months. I decided to give it a try.

I gathered all the ingredients I needed and began to prepare the dish. As I browned the beef in a hot skillet, the aroma of the meat cooking filled the kitchen. I diced the onions and added them to the beef, letting them caramelize and release their sweetness. Next, I poured in the beer, mustard, and vinegar, letting the flavors meld together as the dish simmered on the stove.

As the Carbonades Flamandes cooked, I couldn't help but think about all the different recipes I had learned over the years. Some had been passed down through generations in my family, like my grandmother's famous apple pie recipe. Others I had picked up from friends, neighbors, and even strangers I had met on my travels.

I remembered the time I had spent in France, where I had learned to make the perfect coq au vin from a kind elderly woman in a small village. She had shown me the importance of using a good quality wine in the dish, and how to slowly simmer the chicken until it was tender and flavorful.

I thought about the summer I had spent in Italy, where I had learned to make fresh pasta from scratch with a group of local women. They had shown me how to knead the dough until it was smooth and elastic, and how to roll it out into thin sheets before cutting it into perfect ribbons of fettuccine.

And then there were the recipes I had discovered on my own, through trial and error in my own kitchen. Like the time I had attempted to make a complicated soufflé for a dinner party, only to have it collapse in the oven. I had laughed it off and learned from my mistakes, vowing to try again until I got it right.

As I stirred the Carbonades Flamandes on the stove, I felt a sense of pride and satisfaction. Cooking had always been a passion of mine, a way to connect with my past and create new memories with my loved ones. Each recipe I learned was like a piece of a puzzle, fitting together to create a tapestry of flavors and experiences that made up my culinary journey.

When the Carbonades Flamandes was finally ready, I ladled it into bowls and served it with a side of crusty bread and a glass of red wine. As my family sat down to eat, their faces lit up with delight at the delicious meal before them. I smiled, knowing that I had once again created a dish that would be remembered and cherished for years to come.

And as I savored each bite of the rich and savory stew, I couldn't help but feel grateful for all the recipes I had learned over the years. They were more than just instructions on how to make a meal – they were a reflection of my life, a collection of stories and memories that had shaped me into the cook I was today. And for that, I would always be thankful.


| Beef Recipes | Belgian Meat Dishes | Belgian Recipes | Bouquet Garni Recipes | Brown Sugar Recipes | Wine Vinegar Recipes |

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