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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Mueller

Recipes through the Ages Carbonade Flamande (Belgian Beef Stew With Beer)

1920's Belgium

This is a new story reworking one that was erased on accident a while back and stealing the title from another story that is out of print. Now set in Antwerp it follows a female cat burgler and a spy she catches when she breaks into a hotel to rob the safe.


4 slices bacon, diced

2 lb beef roast (round, chuck, or rump work well) cut into 1 inch cubes

4 onions, sliced

1 Tbsp brown sugar

2 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour

1 (12 oz) bottle Belgian Brown Ale or Flanders Red Ale* A Belgian Brown Ale will give your stew a nutty, spice flavor. A Flanders Red Ale will give it a lighter, slightly sour flavor (like sauerbraten).

1 c beef stock (we prefer low sodium)

2 bay leaves ¼ tsp salt (to taste)

¼ tsp pepper (to taste)

Instructions Heat a medium soup pot or Dutch oven over high heat. Add the diced bacon. Sauté over medium-high heat, until crisp, 4-5 minutes. Remove the bacon to a plate and set aside. Drain all but 2 Tbsp of bacon fat from the pan (reserving the extra fat). Season the beef cubes with a little salt and pepper and place them in the pan with the bacon fat to sear. Sear the beef cubes on all sides. Remove the beef from the pot. (If necessary, do this step in batches so you don’t crowd the pot.). Add a little more of your reserved bacon fat to the pan. Then, Add the sliced onions. Sauté the onions over medium heat for 5-6 minutes. Sprinkle with brown sugar and continue to sauté until golden and caramelized, 15 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and cook until the flour is moistened. Add the ale to deglaze the pot. Scrape any stuck bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the beef and bacon back to pot. Add the stock, bay leaves, salt, and pepper. Add extra broth or water as necessary so that the beef is nearly covered with liquid. Place the lid on the pot and simmer over low heat for 1 ½ hours. After 1 ½ hours, remove the lid and continue to simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Once the stew has reduced to a thick consistency it is ready to eat! Serve with wedge fries or boiled potatoes and hearty bread.

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