Margarita's International Recipes


Carbonnade a la Flamande

Flemish Beer Stew

Carbonnade is one of the most traditional dishes in Belgium and you can find dozens, if not hundreds, of recipes for this stew of beef and onions cooked in beer. This version produces a pretty soupy stew so it works great as a first course. It's positively delicious and all my guests loved it. It's also quite simple to make, though the amount of bacon used makes it a "special occasion" type of dish. Still, I'm sure I will make it time and time again (and I'll experiment with using less bacon).

Flemish Beer Stew



Blanch and drain the bacon. Put bacon and butter in a large pot. Cook over medium heat until the bacon is browned. Add onions and cook until golden. Add garlic and cook for 1 or 2 minutes. Remove bacon/onion mixture from the pot and set aside.

Add the beef to the fat and brown on all sides. Return bacon mixture to the pot. Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Add the beer. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Right before serving, remove pot from the heat and stir in the parsley, lemon juice and zest.

Adapted from Lavonda Hays's Recipe at

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