Flemish Beef Stew

Flemish Beef Stew

24 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, February/March 2006

For this slow-cooker interpretation of Carbonnades Flamandes, a Flemish stew made with beer, if you can't find a brown ale, use a strong, dark beer (but not a stout).

Ingredients 8 servings

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Original recipe yields 8 servings
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  • 4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
  • 2 pounds bottom round, trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • ¾ pound sliced cremini, or white button mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups brown ale, or dark beer
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 bay leaf


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add half the beef and brown on all sides, turning frequently, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a 6-quart slow cooker. Drain any fat from the pan. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and brown the remaining beef. Transfer to the slow cooker.
  2. Return the skillet to medium heat, add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until they give off their liquid and it evaporates to a glaze, 5 to 7 minutes. Sprinkle flour over the mushrooms; cook undisturbed for 10 seconds, then stir and cook for 30 seconds more. Pour in ale (or beer); bring to a boil, whisking constantly to reduce foaming, until thickened and bubbling, about 3 minutes. Transfer the mushroom mixture to the slow cooker.
  3. Add carrots, onion, garlic, mustard, caraway seeds, salt, pepper and bay leaf to the slow cooker. Stir to combine.
  4. Put the lid on and cook on low until the beef is very tender, about 8 hours. Discard the bay leaf before serving.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 3; cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day before cooking.
  • For easy cleanup, try a slow-cooker liner. These heat-resistant, disposable liners fit neatly inside the insert and help prevent food from sticking to the bottom and sides of your slow cooker.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: ¾ cup
  • Per serving: 301 calories; 10 g fat(3 g sat); 2 g fiber; 17 g carbohydrates; 31 g protein; 36 mcg folate; 81 mg cholesterol; 5 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 7,849 IU vitamin A; 6 mg vitamin C; 43 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 361 mg sodium; 647 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (157% daily value)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 1
  • Exchanges: 2 vegetable, 3 lean meat

Reviews 24

March 18, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
One of our Go-To meals! I never use the caraway seeds but other than that follow the recipe to a T. One of our go-to recipes. We often use venison in place of the beef only because we have it and it's free. :) We often serve it over boiled potatoes. I love that it's made in the crock-pot - I can get it ready in the morning and when I come home - dinner is served! :) Pros: Easy, tasty, healthy Cons: None
February 14, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
there are no carrots or mushrooms in Flemish Beef stew I am from Flanders and have been making this stew for 30 years. the recipe is simple: 2 onions, 2 lobs of stew meat, pungent mustard, dark abbey beer. Glaze onions, rub meat with mustard and sear. poor beer over meat and onions, add a few bay leaves, salt, pepper and thyme. Bring to a boil reduce heat and cook for minimum 3 hours to get the right flavor. You cannot make this in 45 minutes. The meat will be tough. Carrots and mushrooms don't mix well with beer and mustard. They give a rancid flavor and should be cooked separately. The best way to serve is with Belgian fries, mashed potatoes, boiled potatoes or bread. Best sides: fresh apple sauce, green beans or a simple tomato and cucumber salad. Keep it simple and cook it long! Pros: American, version Cons: carrots, mushrooms, short, cooking, time
February 11, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Excellent, even dumb downed I skipped the caraway seeds and step #2 -- I just browned the beef and then dumped everything in the crock pot. It turned out fantastic! I used Yeungling Porter. I also cooked a side of barley (yay! Healthy whole grains!), which made a perfect addition. Pros: Easy
October 10, 2013
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By: Honouria
It's a hit I forgot the mustard, but otherwise made as written. I'm a good cook, and was completely taken by surprise because I just thought this looked an easy dinner for a tired day. My cooker requires more water, and since I didn't have dark beer I used an ale but added a Tblspn of molasses to compensate. My husband said - this is delicious. It is now my go-to stew. I did remove all the solids, then made a gravy using the liquids, but otherwise needed no flavour adjustments. Incredible. Pros: Recipe works, excellent flavour Cons: Adjust for your slow cooker
October 07, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Not the best I ever HAD, but the best I ever MADE As an American living in Belgium for a few years, I have had my share of fantastic Flemish beef stew. I will not say this is just as good, but it is still delicous and evokes the same flavors. I used a tip that I learned from a restaurant in Ghent known for their beef stew- combine a dark beer with a cherry beer. I was really pleased with how this came our and will definitely make again.
January 13, 2013
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By: Millerchateau
So far my favorite eating well recipe LOVED this, so much I am making it for a second time in two weeks. I did omit the mustard. I used Sam Adams Boston lager. And I added two potatoes. I did not find it bitter at all and cannot wait to have it again.
October 29, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Great stew! I modified slightly... I made this for my wife when she was ill. She said it sounded good so I went to the store and got all the ingredients. Guys, you can do this too :-). I did use a couple shallots instead of the onion and I'd highly recommend it to you as well. You'll taste the difference. I did not add the caroway seeds (wife doesn't like them) but I did add some baby Yukon Gold potatoes. Delicious! I took it to work and everyone said how good it smelled when we were eating together. Pros: Easy to make and stores well for leftovers that you can take to work
February 25, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Tasty, filling, and easy-to-make stew! I basically followed the recipe but decided not to put in caraway seeds as I was worried about the bitterness. I added in some fresh thyme that I had on hand as well, and put in more of the veggies (plus potatoes) to stretch the stew out. I didn't have a problem with the bitterness that other reviewers mentioned; the mushroom mixture came out fine! I used Newcastle Brown Ale for my beer. I'll definitely make this stew again and right now, I'm actually putting more veggies in my slow cooker to make more stew! I'd recommend putting in a bit more salt and pepper if you're going to stretch it out; I also put in 1 1/2 cup of water since I had more ingredients than the original recipe called for. It turned out great! Pros: tasty, filling, easy to make, didn't really need to keep an eye on it
February 23, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Delicious, not at all bitter. This stew was great. I made it pretty much according to the recipe, except I substituted parsnips for about half the carrots, since I love both and I doubled the garlic because I usually double garlic! The thickness of the sauce was good, the meat was tender, and unlike other reviewers I did not find it to be bitter at all. It was amazingly good. I recommend using a good sweet Belgian brown ale. We each had half a glass of the one we used with dinner and it was pretty sweet, which is probably why our stew did not turn out bitter in the least.
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