Recipe

Flavors of Belgian Autumn: Discovering Carbonnade à la Flamande

September 25, 2023

Carbonnade à la Flamande, also known simply as Carbonnade, is a cherished culinary gem deeply embedded in Belgium's rich gastronomic history. This hearty stew, which combines tender beef, onions, and beer, is not just a dish—it's a flavorful journey into the heart of Belgian tradition.

The origin of Carbonnade à la Flamande can be traced back several centuries, reflecting the country's passion for brewing and its culinary prowess. The dish has been passed down through generations, with each adding their own twist. Yet, the essence remains: a rich and aromatic stew perfect for the colder months.

Recipe for Carbonnade à la Flamande:

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg beef chuck, cut into cubes
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 500 ml Belgian dark beer (preferably a Trappist or Abbey beer)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A few sprigs of thyme
  • 2 tbsp mustard
  • 4 slices of bread
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Butter for frying

Method:

  1. In a large pot, melt the butter and brown the beef cubes on all sides. Remove and set aside.
  2. In the same pot, add more butter if needed and sauté the onions until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute.
  3. Return the beef to the pot and sprinkle with brown sugar. Stir well.
  4. Pour in the beer, ensuring the meat is covered. Add the vinegar, bay leaves, and thyme. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
  5. Spread the mustard over the slices of bread and place them mustard-side down into the pot. This will thicken the stew as it cooks.
  6. Cover and let simmer for about 2 hours or until the beef is tender.
  7. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with mashed potatoes or fries.

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