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). Source: EatingWell Magazine, February/March 2006

EatingWell Test Kitchen
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • 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.

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  • 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.

  • Add carrots, onion, garlic, mustard, caraway seeds, salt, pepper and bay leaf to the slow cooker. Stir to combine.

  • Put the lid on and cook on low until the beef is very tender, about 8 hours. Discard the bay leaf before serving.

Tips

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 Facts

301 calories; 10.2 g total fat; 2.9 g saturated fat; 81 mg cholesterol; 361 mg sodium. 647 mg potassium; 16.7 g carbohydrates; 2.5 g fiber; 5 g sugar; 31.4 g protein; 7849 IU vitamin a iu; 6 mg vitamin c; 36 mcg folate; 43 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 33 mg magnesium;

Reviews (24)

Read More Reviews
24 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 4
  • 4 star values: 18
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 5 stars
03/18/2014
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 Read More
Rating: 1 stars
02/15/2014
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 Read More
Rating: 4 stars
02/11/2014
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 Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
10/11/2013
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 Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/07/2013
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. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
01/13/2013
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. Read More
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Rating: 4 stars
10/29/2012
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 Read More
Rating: 4 stars
02/25/2012
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 Read More
Rating: 4 stars
02/23/2012
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. Read More
Rating: 2 stars
12/12/2011
Rather Bland I made this for the two of us and found the sauce to be rather bland and somewhat bitter. Perhaps the beer I used (brown Ale) was too strong? The meat did not turn out as tender as I had hoped so next time I think I will marinate overnight first. I think maybe adding some additional flavorings will help too. Will definitely try again with some modifications. Pros: Nice broth consistency easy to make Cons: Slightly bitter lacking flavor and punch Read More
Rating: 4 stars
11/22/2011
yum I ditched the caraway seeds and added a little celery... i also used red ale instead of brown ale which is a little sweeter... it was awesome! I served it in a bowl and topped it with some pureed cauliflower which my boyfriend loved... it has a mashed potato texture and quality but keeps the dish low calorie. Pros: easy recipe Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
Delicious! I used venison instead of beef because that is what I had. My adult daughter 'sampled' it all day long! Easy and tasty. I have made it with low sodium beef broth instead of beer as well. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
We had it. It was great! But wondered if we could add potatoes to the mix. Or put it over long noodles (stroganoff-like). Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
I could not figure out why my sauce was bitter until I read the back of the caraway seed bottle. It says "Caraway seeds can become bitter when cooked too long. For soups and stews add 15 minutes before food is done to avoid bitter taste." Wasted food and time! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
Could not figure out why my dish tasted bitter. I found that cooking caraway seeds an extended period of time will make a dish bitter. I am sure it would have been good but I wasted my ingredients and time this time. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
My husband and I love this! My mom also made it and thought it was bitter. I have never had this problem. Stephanie Arizona Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
Incredibly good. I really Incredibly good. I really can't believe a serving is under 300 calories! I don't have a slowcooker so I used my cast-iron dutch oven and put it in the oven at 250 degrees to simmer away. I wonder if the people who had a problem with bitterness used the wrong beer? I am not a beer drinker so I went to a local store that specializes in "fancy" beers. They helped me pick out a Flemish beer - Monk's Cafe Flemish Sour Ale - which was made in Belgium. It worked out very well. Oddly enough my butcher had a sale on bison chuck that was cheeper than the beef chuck and I bought it. It worked very well. Making this stew was how I entertained myself during the big snow storm that hit Philadelphia on Feb. 6 2010. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
This is a wonderful comforting dish. Use Guinness beer to give it a richer flavor. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
I made this without caraway seeds with potatoes and with a stout instead of just a dark beer. It was amazing. I used fresh garlic cloves and fresh onion peppercorns and added carrots and potatoes as well. It was very thick and very delicious. Also made it in the crock pot. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
There should be a change in this recipe It has only cooked for two hours and the stock is already bitter! But I will choke it down some how when it is done. I paid way too much for the meat (Whole Foods Market) and the beer to throw it away!!! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/29/2011
I loved the simplicity of the recipe but the caraway was too overwhelming. I did add potatoes to the mix and was glad for it. I will probably make it again but without the caraway and with more veggies like peas. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/29/2011
I read the comments before making this dish. Since one reader said the caraway seeds could cause bitterness I avoided the caraway seeds altogether. However my sauce was STILL bitter. Luckily I discovered this before I added it to the meat so I didn't waste a lot of money but was still disappointed with the time I wasted. Perhaps there is some reaction with the beer that caused it to turn bitter? I used Tucher. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/29/2011
I used Hobgoblin beer and no seeds. My husband loves it and he hates stews. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
Delicious! I bought carraway seeds just for this recipe then I forgot to use them! Everything else I did was exactly as the recipe directed. I used Newcastle Brown Ale for my beer and sliced baby portabella mushrooms. We all loved it! I had no trouble with the sauce being bitter. Pros: I love crockpot meals Cons: meat was a little dry Read More