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Carbonade Flamande (Flemish Beef Stew)

Serves 2
500g of beef (chuck cut into 5mm thick slices)
4 thick bacon slices cut into cubes.
3 onions roughly diced (mirepoix)
3 garlic cloves
1 bouquet garni (bay leaf, parsley, thyme)
1 bottle of Batham's Special Strong Ale
1/2 litre beef stock
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
20g butter
2 tbsp olive oil
4/5 slices of bread
2/3 tbsp brown sugar
Dijon mustard


  • Preheat the oven to 170°, gas mark 3.
  • Make sure the pieces of beef are thoroughly dry, using paper towels.
  • In a flame-proof casserole, heat the butter and olive oil. Add the bacon cubes and fry them until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon. Reserve.
  • Make sure your flame-proof casserole is thoroughly heated. Place the pieces of beef, without superposing them in the casserole and brown them on all sides. (Maillard reaction) Do not use a fork to turn the meat, as you will let the blood escape. Remove with a slotted spoon. Reserve.
    Place the onions and garlic on the bottom of the casserole and cook until transparent (lightly golden). Season.
  • Add the sugar and mix thoroughly. Cook until a light caramelisation appears then add the red wine vinegar.
  • Mix thoroughly then cook for 2 minutes.
  • Reintroduce the beef and bacon to the dish. Mix carefully to make sure there is a full marriage of the flavours of the meat with the onions.
  • Pour the beer Batham's Special Strong Ale then the beef stock until the meat is entirely cover with liquid.
  • Add the bouquet garni.
  • Cut the slices of bread then spread Dijon mustard on the bread.
  • Cover the meat with the bread.
  • Place in the oven. The carbonade should cook slowly between 2 and 3 hours.
  • When cooked mix the bread thoroughly by breaking it up in the dish, the bread works as a thickener for the sauce.
  • Taste then adjust the seasoning.

Serving suggestions; Serve hot, and in Belgium the carbonade will be served with chips.
Beer match; Batham's Special Strong Ale