This Slow Cooker Beef and Beer Stew is rich, delicious and super comforting. Inspired by the Belgian stew Carbonnade and simplified to make in your slow cooker.
Post may contain affiliate links. For more information, check my disclosure
I used to work around the corner from an absolutely tiny Belgian restaurant. It was housed in a dark former pub with incredibly low ceilings and served an astounding selection of Belgian beers.
The food menu wasn’t as extensive but no one cared because they served the most delicious beef Carbonnade. Even as I am typing this my mouth is watering!
The great news is that Carbonnade a la Flamande, to give it its proper name, is actually really easy to make at home.
It usually cooks for several hours to allow the beef to become tender and is therefore perfect for the slow cooker treatment!
Beef and Beer Stew Ingredients
- Braising steak or brisket
- Onions and garlic
- Celery (just using it for flavoring the jus)
- Carrots – these are optional
- Bacon (lardons)
- Dark brown sugar, mustard and red wine vinegar
- Beer or dark beer, ideally a Belgian beer such as Leffe Brune)
How to make Slow Cooker Beef Carbonnade
Full measurements and instructions can be found on the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page. Please take a look at the steps and video before attempting this recipe!
Season the beef liberally with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large skillet and brown the beef, in batches, for 3-4 minutes over high heat.
Transfer the meat to a bowl and add a splash of beer to deglaze the pan. Scrape any browned crispy bits loose and add the pan juices to the beef.
Put the onions, garlic, celery, carrots, lardons, salt, sugar, mustard, tomato paste and red wine vinegar to your slow cooker.
Add the browned beef and any juices and top with the beer. Cover and cook for 8 hours on LOW or 6 hours on the HIGH setting.
Discard the celery and bay leaves. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.
Serve with fries or over roast potatoes or mash with crusty bread on the side and Belgian beer of course!
HAVE YOU MADE MY CARBONNADE RECIPE? Please leave a rating, post a photo on my Facebook page, share it on Instagram, or save it to Pinterest with the tag #supergoldenbakes and make my da
YOU WILL ALSO LIKE
Slow Cooker Beef and Beer Stew
Equipment & Tools
- 2 lbs (900g) braising steak or brisket, cubed
- salt and pepper , to season the beef
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 6 shallots , diced
- 3 garlic cloves , sliced
- 2 celery sticks
- 3 carrots , sliced
- 1 cup (145g) bacon lardons
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 beef stock cubes , crumbled
- 1 tbsp whole Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp tomato paste
- ¾ cup (180ml) Belgian beer such as Leffe Brune
- fresh thyme leaves to garnish
- Season the beef liberally with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large skillet and brown the beef, in batches, for 3-4 minutes over high heat.
- Transfer the meat to a bowl and add a splash of beer to deglaze the pan. Scrape any browned crispy bits loose and add the pan juices to the beef.
- Put the onions, garlic, celery, carrots, bacon, salt, sugar, bay leaves, mustard, tomato paste and red wine vinegar to your slow cooker.
- Add the browned beef and any juices and top with the beer. Cover and cook for 8 hours on LOW or 6 hours on the HIGH setting.
- Discard the celery and bay leaves.Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed. Sprinkle with the thyme.
- Serve with fries or over mash or boiled potatoes with crusty bread on the side and Belgian beer of course!
Thanks for your recipe for Les Carbonnades.
We’ve made this before in the slow cooker (and in the Winter, on top of the log burning stove! With electricity/gas/oil at record prices, who can afford to use the oven?)
Whichever way we do it, we tend to brown the veg first, then the beef, then deglaze the pan with all of the beer.
We don’t add vinegar, indeed as the tomato paste is sometimes a bit on the sharp side, we find the dish sometimes needs a bit of sugar (preferably brown) to balance up the flavours possibly also because we use onions rather than shallots- they’re cheaper!)
We’re a big wary of adding beef stock cubes as well, partly because of the salt content, so we tend to taste the stew in the final couple of hours and add them as needed. We’re lucky here in that the quality of the local beef is excellent; that being said, it won’t be the first time I’ve had to rescue this dish with a couple of OXO cubes when we lived in England.
As a serving suggestion, we put slices of baguette, coated one side with dijon mustard to top the casserole (mustard side down!) when you are about 1/2 to 1 hour from serving, then brown the top under the grill before serving. (As we don’t have a proper grill, we sometimes just toast the bread first, add mustard and top the dish.)
I don’t know if it’s traditional, but our kids used to always fight for a bit of the bread and it makes the meat go further!
Today I’m trying a new beer, a dark spicy winter brew which was gifted to us, partly because I was inspired by the take which Nigella Lawson did on this recipe; well see how it works out. I do know that Guinness Stout or porter also work well in this dish as does Newcastle Brown Ale – our local dark ales in France are less sweet.