Flemish beef stew

2014-09-16 a.o. dates

aka stoverij, stoofvlees, karbonade(n), carbonnade(s).

This very flavorful, dark brown stew with dark beer and prunes is a traditional Flemish recipe. Just like with Steak & Fries, the Flemish take enormous pride in their carbonnade.  Strictly spoken, karbonade isn't chuck but a cut off the back, possibly closer to what they sell in the US as pre-cut  "stew meat."

The dark (Belgian) beer adds to the flavor and color of the stew.
The prunes sweeten the sauce and turn it almost black.
Both are optional, but without them, it’s just an ordinary beef stew.

Leffe dark is the only dark Belgian beer I can get here in Deming, NM, and often only on special order.
For lack of the real thing, Guinness extra stout will do. 


This is what you need for 6-8 servings:

  • 2.5 lbs. chuck roast
  • 1 bottle dark Belgian beer
    e.g. Leffe dark
  • S&P
  • optional:
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 1 lb. pitted prunes or raisins
    • bay leaf, peppercorn in a tea ball.
Pic1: Flemish beef stew with prunes, crinkle fries


Pic2: brown the meat
Pic3: add beer, prunes, water
Pic4: stew

Serving suggestions:

A few variations

various dates

Purists might claim it's not the real thing, but you don't have to stick to the letter of the book. I often add the vegetables to the stew pot. Feel free to improvise and put your personal stamp on that meal.


Pic5: with bread
Pic6: with red potatoes ...
Pic7: ... a.o. vegetables


with fries

Pic8: Flemish culinary heritage - internet picture
Pic9: as sold by street vendors - internet picture
Pic10: mine


Pic11-13: all mine