Beef carbonnade

Warm up with this rich beer-based stew.

  • 8 hrs 30 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
  • Print
This classic Belgian beef stew is known for tender beef cooked in a rich beer-based sauce. We've used Belgian style dark beer for a hearty flavour.
Looking for more beef stews and casseroles?


  • ¼ cup (35g) plain flour
  • ¼ cup (60ml) olive oil
  • 1.2 kg gravy beef, trimmed, cut into 3cm pieces
  • 4 rindless bacon slices (260g), chopped coarsely
  • 1 large brown onion (200g), sliced thinly
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1½ cups (375ml) Belgian-style beer
  • 1 cup (250ml) beef stock
  • ¼ cup (70g) tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, extra
  • 1 tablespoon small tarragon leaves, extra


  • 1
    Place flour in a large bowl; season.
  • 2
    Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a 4.5-litre (18-cup) slow cooker on sear (HIGH) setting. Coat beef in flour; shake off excess (reserve excess flour). Cook beef, in batches, turning, for 5 minutes, or until well browned. Remove from cooker.
  • 3
    Reduce cooker to sauté (MEDIUM) setting. Heat remaining oil in cooker; cook bacon, stirring, for 5 minutes until browned. Add onion, garlic and caraway seeds; cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Sprinkle with reserved excess flour; cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Gradually stir in beer, then stock, paste, sugar and vinegar; bring to the boil. Add thyme and tarragon.
  • 4
    Return beef to cooker. Cook, covered, on low, for 8 hours. Discard thyme and tarragon; season to taste.
  • 5
    Serve beef stew topped with extra thyme and tarragon.


Serve with garlic bagels or, if you prefer, mashed potato and garlic beans or chilli-garlic broccolini or grilled crusty bread to mop up the juices..This classic Belgian dish is known for its rich, sweet sour flavour, relying heavily on the deep, dark Belgian-style beer.Refrigerate beef carbonnade in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Freeze for up to 3 months; thaw in the fridge, then and reheat in a microwave.

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