Step by step recipe:

  1. 10 min.Carbonnade : Photo of step #1
    Cut 1 kg beef into large cubes.
  2. 5 min.Carbonnade : Photo of step #2
    Prepare and chop 2 onions.
  3. 10 min.Carbonnade : Photo of step #3
    Prepare and chop 2 carrots.
  4. 10 min.Carbonnade : Photo of step #4
    Pour 5 tablespoons olive oil into a large heavy-based pan on high heat.

    When hot, add the pieces of meat and fry until browned on each side (do not salt, as this will bring out the juices, which will stop them browning).

    When browned, remove the meat from the pan and transfer to a plate to wait.
  5. 2 min.Carbonnade : Photo of step #5
    Use the same pan, which should now contain just a little fat, and fry the chopped onions with salt and pepper for 1 or 2 minutes, stirring from time to time.
  6. 3 min.Carbonnade : Photo of step #6
    Return the cubed meat to the pan and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons flour.
  7. 1 min.Carbonnade : Photo of step #7
    Add the diced carrots.
  8. 3 min.Carbonnade : Photo of step #8
    Add 1 litre beer, then salt and pepper.
  9. 2 hoursCarbonnade : Photo of step #9
    Turn the heat down to minimum and leave to simmer for about 2 hours...
  10. Carbonnade : Photo of step #10
    ...until the beer has reduced to make a thick and tasty sauce. At the same time the meat will have become very well cooked tender.


For the beer, I advise you to use a dark beer which will give stronger flavour.

In the so-called "Flemish" carbonnade, a little brown sugar or a slice of gingerbread spread with mustard is added to the dish. But, I don't feel that either is necessary.

For more flavour, you can add a beef stock cube.

Carbonnade is one of those dishes, like boeuf bourguignon for example, which is even better when it is reheated.

And to drink?

The same beer as you add to the dish - a Belgian beer, of course!

I prefer "Mort-Subite" Geuze ("sudden death"!), but you can use a dark beer like Chimay, or a British-style mild or strong ale.


Home made

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