Carbonnade I Recipe - Traditional Belgian Beef Stew

Carbonnade I

Carbonnade I Recipe - Traditional Belgian Beef Stew
Region / culture: Belgium | Preparation time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 2.5 hours | Servings: 6-8


Carbonnade I
Carbonnade I

Carbonnade I is a traditional Belgian beef stew that is rich in flavor and perfect for a cozy night in. This hearty dish is made with tender chunks of beef, onions, carrots, and a flavorful sauce made with beer, beef broth, and a touch of Scotch whiskey.


Carbonnade I has been a staple in Belgian cuisine for centuries. Originally made with beer as a way to tenderize tough cuts of meat, this dish has evolved over time to include a variety of ingredients and flavors. Today, it is a popular comfort food enjoyed by many.


How to prepare

  1. Remove the ham from the bone and cut it into cubes.
  2. Brown the beef and ham in oil in a large skillet.
  3. Lift the meat out, sprinkle it with 1 tsp of salt, and set it aside.
  4. Brown the onions in the same oil.
  5. Remove and set them aside.
  6. Drain and save all but 3 tbsp of oil.
  7. Sift the flour into the oil to make a light brown roux.
  8. Gradually add 1.5 cups of beef, stirring until the mixture boils.
  9. Add the broth, the rest of the salt, pepper, sugar, herbs, and garlic.
  10. Alternate layers of meat, onions, and carrots in a large casserole dish.
  11. Add the sauce and enough beer to cover the meat.
  12. Cover and cook in a 300°F (149°C) oven for 2.5 hours (I cook it on the stovetop).
  13. Check occasionally and add beer if needed.
  14. Shortly before the stew is ready, sauté the walnuts in the reserved oil.
  15. It takes only a couple of minutes to get them crisp.
  16. Do not scorch them.
  17. Add them to the stew.
  18. Just before serving, add vinegar and scotch.


  • For a twist on the classic recipe, try adding mushrooms or bell peppers to the stew.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Be sure to brown the meat and onions before adding them to the stew. This will help develop a rich flavor.

- Use a good quality beer for the sauce, as it will add depth and complexity to the dish.

- Don't skip the Scotch whiskey - it adds a unique flavor that sets this dish apart from other beef stews.

Serving Suggestions

Serve Carbonnade I with crusty bread or over mashed potatoes for a complete meal.

Cooking Techniques

This dish is best cooked low and slow to allow the flavors to meld together.

Ingredient Substitutions

If you don't have Scotch whiskey, you can substitute with brandy or cognac.

Make Ahead Tips

This stew can be made ahead of time and reheated before serving. The flavors will only improve with time.

Presentation Ideas

Garnish with fresh parsley or thyme before serving for a pop of color.

Pairing Recommendations

Serve Carbonnade I with a Belgian beer or a glass of red wine for a perfect pairing.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave until heated through.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

400 per serving


15g per serving


20g per serving


35g per serving

Vitamins and minerals

This dish is rich in iron, vitamin A, and vitamin C.


This recipe contains gluten from the flour used to thicken the sauce.


This dish is a good source of protein and essential vitamins and minerals. It is a hearty and satisfying meal that is perfect for a cold winter night.


Carbonnade I is a delicious and comforting beef stew that is perfect for a cozy night in. With its rich flavors and hearty ingredients, this dish is sure to become a favorite in your household. Enjoy!

How did I get this recipe?

I can't forget the moment I stumbled upon this recipe for Carbonnade. It was a warm summer day, and I was rummaging through an old cookbook that I had inherited from my own grandmother. As I flipped through the tattered pages, a faded piece of paper fell out and fluttered to the ground.

Curious, I picked it up and saw that it was a handwritten recipe for Carbonnade. The recipe was written in beautiful cursive script, and it was unlike any recipe I had ever seen before. Intrigued, I decided to give it a try.

I gathered all the ingredients listed on the piece of paper and set to work in the kitchen. As the aroma of onions, beer, and beef filled the air, I knew I had stumbled upon something truly special. The flavors melded together perfectly, creating a rich and savory stew that warmed the soul.

After taking my first bite, I was transported back in time to a quaint little bistro in Brussels. The flavors of the Carbonnade brought back memories of laughter, good company, and delicious food shared with loved ones.

I knew then and there that this recipe was a keeper. I carefully tucked the piece of paper back into the cookbook, knowing that I would return to it time and time again.

Over the years, I have made this Carbonnade recipe countless times, each time tweaking it to make it my own. I have shared it with friends and family, who have all marveled at its complex flavors and comforting warmth.

As I look back on that fateful day when I stumbled upon the recipe for Carbonnade, I am grateful for the serendipitous discovery. It has become a staple in my kitchen, a reminder of the power of a good meal to bring people together and create lasting memories.

And so, I pass on this recipe to you, dear grandchild, in the hopes that you will continue the tradition of making and sharing this delicious dish. May it bring you as much joy and nourishment as it has brought me over the years. Bon appétit!


| Beef Chuck And Blade Recipes | Beef Stock And Broth Recipes | Belgian Meat Dishes | Belgian Recipes | Carrot Recipes | Ham Hock Recipes | Marjoram Recipes | Onion Recipes | Recipes Using Beer | Red Wine Vinegar Recipes | Scotch Recipes |

Recipes with the same ingredients

(9) Accras
(8) Comlek