Carbonnade is a dish that comes from Belgium and the north of France. Large pieces of beef are slowly simmered in beer with carrots and onions. Here's a personal version.
164,182 14.8/5 for 29 ratings
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Last modified on: November 13th 2011

For 6 people, you will need:

Change to the quantities for: 2 people 3 people 6 people 12 people 18 people

How long does it take?

Time required for this recipe:
PreparationCookingStart to finish
32 min.2 hours 12 min.2 hours 44 min.
At what time?
  • When will I finish if I start the recipe at a certain time?
    When should I start for the recipe to be ready at a certain time?
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Several days in the fridge in a sealed container.

Step by step recipe

Stage 1 - 10 min.
Carbonnade : Photo of step #1
Cut 1 kg beef into large cubes.

Stage 2 - 5 min.
Carbonnade : Photo of step #2
Prepare and chop 2 onions.

Stage 3 - 10 min.
Carbonnade : Photo of step #3
Prepare and chop 2 carrots.

Stage 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.

Stage 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.

Stage 6 - 3 min.
Carbonnade : Photo of step #6
Return the cubed meat to the pan and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons flour.

Stage 7 - 1 min.
Carbonnade : Photo of step #7
Add the diced carrots.

Stage 8 - 3 min.
Carbonnade : Photo of step #8
Add 1 litre beer, then salt and pepper.

Stage 9 - 2 hours
Carbonnade : Photo of step #9
Turn the heat down to minimum and leave to simmer for about 2 hours...

Stage 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.

Nutritional information

Whole recipe
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
4,023 Kcal or 16,843 Kj190 gr196 gr275 gr
201 %73 %18 %42 %
Per 100 g
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
147 Kcal or 615 Kj7 gr7 gr10 gr
7 %3 %1 %2 %
Per person
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
671 Kcal or 2,809 Kj32 gr33 gr46 gr
34 %12 %3 %7 %
% are calculated relative to a Recommended Dietary Intake or RDI of 2000 k-calories or 8400 k-joules by day for a woman (change to a man).

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Note : These prices are only approximate.


Home made.

More recipes?

This recipe uses (among others)
BeerBeer: You can check-out other recipes which use it, like for example: Welsh (French Welsh Rarebit), Gratin du Nord, Endive and beer soup, ... All
Beef Beef : You can check-out other recipes which use it, like for example: How to slow cook meat, Beef braised in reduced red wine, Roast beef "like they do it in Santa Fe", Fillet of beef in a rosemary crust, Tournedos Rossini, ... All
Olive oilOlive oil: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Mixed vegetable curry, Scallops au gratin, Spicy seafood plancha, Special Parmesan baguettes, Red rice pannequets, ... All
FlourFlour: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: How to succeed in making sabayon (syllabub), Grandma Solange's biscuits, Chocolate madeleines, Panettone, Crackers, ... All

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