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Carbonnade Flamande (Belgian Stew)

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This is my version of the best thing my Belgian war bride mom ever cooked for me! She learned to make it from her mother. It's delicious, comforting, and a constant reminder of her and her Belgian heritage. She was a member of the Belgian Underground, the French Resistance--and an amazing cook!

Carbonnade Flamande (Belgian Stew)


  • 4 T. butter
  • 1 large sliced yellow onion
  • 2 lbs. lean beef sliced into 1" cubes or stew meat
  • 2 tsp. brown sugar
  • 3 T. flour
  • 1 T. Dijon mustard
  • 1 can or bottle of beer (dark is good, but use what you have)
  • ¼ c. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • 2 tsp. herbes de provence, or your favorite (thyme, rosemary, etc.)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • slice of bread (optional)


  1. In Dutch oven or large skillet, melt the butter and brown the beef in small batches.. Remove to a bowl.
  2. Cook the onions in the meat drippings over medium heat until lightly browned and remove to the meat bowl.
  3. Stir the brown sugar and flour into the pan (add more butter to the Dutch oven/skillet if needed) and cook until light brown. Pour beer in slowly, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add the vinegar, mustard, and beef bouillion cubes to the Dutch oven, on low heat, stirring until the cubes are dissolved.
  5. Add herbs, salt, and pepper, stirring well.
  6. Add beef and ovens back to the Dutch oven, or transfer all to an oven-safe casserole. Mix beef/onions and sauce well.
  7. At this point you can add a torn-up slice of bread--it was my grandmother's method to help thicken the sauce, but isn't necessary. Cover and bake at 300 degrees for 2-3 hours. Check after 2 hrs.-if the sauce has thickened to a gravy consistency, you can remove from the oven at this point.
  8. Stir well, and serve over boiled or mashed potatoes, or thick egg noodles.

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This is a great dish to freeze in small portions to share with friends or thaw for additional meals! Your kitchen will smell amazing!

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