Carbonnde Flamande – A twist on beef stew you may never heard of

I have made beef stew hundreds of times. It’s my go to when I don’t feel like cooking, but I can dump some ingredients in a crock pot and make something delicious. When you make beef stew, you probably make a version of Beef Bourguignon. That is a beef stew with wine at the base. It is so good. However, I found out there is another well known beef stew recipe from Northern France that I did not know about. Carbonnade Flemande is a beef stew based on beer. I’ve used beer in barbecue recipes, but never a beef stew. Not only do they use beer, but they caramelize the onions before cooking the stew. That sounds simple amazing. The original recipe from Pardon Your French uses the oven to make the stew. I am going to convert this recipe over to my Instant Pot, which will take less time. I am also going to add a few more veggies to round out the vitamins A and C. Finally I will have to use a gluten free beer, which limits my selection, but will be good nonetheless.

Here are the original stats:

Here’s what I changed:

  • I deleted the salt to remove the excess sodium.
  • I am using a low sodium beef broth to lower the sodium.
  • I replaced the flour with cornstarch to make this gluten free.
  • I added carrot and bell pepper to increase the vitamins A and C.
  • I increased the servings from 6 to 10 to lower the calories.

Here are the final stats:

Here is the final recipe:

Carbonnde Flamande

Serves 10

  • 2 1/2 lbs chuck roast, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 tbsp butter, divided
  • 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and sliced in 1/4 inch thick half rounds
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 4 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled, left whole but lightly crushed
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 12 oz bottle of gluten free beer – preferably an ale.
  • 1 cup low sodium beef stock
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 ½  tbsp  dark brown sugar
  1. Pat the beef cubes dry with paper towel and season them well with black pepper. Let rest to near room temperature for about 30-45 minutes prior to starting cooking. 
  2. In an Instant Pot on sauté mode on high melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Working in batches, add the beef cubes and brown them, about 3 minutes on each side. Transfer the browned beef to a separate bowl. 
  3. Reset your Instant Pot to sauté on low. Add 2 more tablespoons of butter to melt, and add the sliced onions and garlic. Cook for about 10-15 minutes until the onions are browned and caramelized. 
  4. Pour in the beer and scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Add the beef stock, thyme, bay leaves, brown sugar, red bell pepper, carrot, and browned beef cubes and stir to combine. The liquid should almost cover all the beef cubes. 
  5. Set the Instant Pot to pressure cook on high for 25 minutes.  Allow for a natural steam release.
  6. Once the pressure is released, set the Instant Pot back on sauté mode on high.  Allow the liquid to come to a boil.
  7. Mix the cornstarch with 3 tablespoons of water.  Add the slurry to the pot and allow to thicken.  Turn off the heat.
  8. Discard the bay leaves and serve.

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