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Unlike French beef stews made with wine, carbonnade simmers beef and caramelized onions in a hearty Belgian ale to create a comforting sweet and sour combination of flavors. Vijay, Recipe Hunter

Vijay Nathan, NoshOnIt Recipe Hunter and Chef

THE RECIPE

Carbonnade – Belgian Beef, Beer, and Onion Stew

Belgian comfort food

Carbonnade is Belgium’s answer to classic French beef stew. Unlike most French stews which are simmered in red wine, this stew uses a rich, hearty Belgian ale as its base, lending a malty tanginess to the final product. Cubes of beef are seared then a heap of onions are caramelized in the same pan, picking up the little brown bits of flavor left behind by the beef. A few sprigs of thyme are tossed in with a spoon of tomato paste and the entire mixture is covered with beef broth and a good Belgian ale (if you can find it – otherwise, any malty beer will work). As it simmers, the beef becomes fall-apart tender and the onions melt into the broth, creating a velvety texture. Finished with a splash of vinegar to brighten it up, this simple beef stew turns into a sweet, sour, and savory combination of flavors that’s Belgian comfort food at its finest.

THE CHEF

Tracey Wilhelmsen

Food Blogger, Photographer, Attorney

Tracey Wilhelmsen from Tracey's Culinary Adventures

I believe good food doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. That said, I find joy in the process so I love spending an entire day in the kitchen tackling more adventurous recipes when time permits.

The best food is creative and handmade without being fussy or difficult. This is exactly the style of cooking that Tracey embraces as she shares her culinary feats with us on her blog, Tracey’s Culinary Adventures. Her recipes are, for the most part, easy enough for a delicious weeknight meal. Nestled in between, though, are a few more “adventurous” dishes that are perfect for those long, weekend days when you really feel like hand-crafting something from scratch. From sweet to savory, you’ll find her take on comforting classics as well as unique creations that use the best of the season.

Say hello to Tracey on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

THE TIP

Soups and Stews: Tie Herbs for Easy Removal

When using herbs like rosemary and thyme in soups and stews, tie the stems together with kitchen twine. As the soup cooks, the leaves will fall off.

Read the full tip >