Belgium- Carbonnade Flamande Recipe

Carbonnade Flamande

We thought of making a recipe for Carbonnade Flamande because of a recommendation. It sounded like a good way to make a stew using Belgian beer! This recipe for Carbonnade Flamande comes from Nigella Lawson, and I have simplified some of the ingredients and instructions. Technically, the dish is called Carbonnade a la Flamande but I have shortened it so the title is not too long.

This may have been the first time I ever bought beef shins, but several recipes mentioned this specific part of the beef. Luckily I found it at the local butchers. The recipe was not difficult but it did take a long time to cook. If you can’t find lardons then you can use pieces of bacon. Also, for the beef shin you can use other cuts of beef, but something high quality and with some fat is probably best. We accompanied the stew with mashed potato and green beans and it was delicious!

Beef shin from the local butchers
Beef shin from the local butchers
Westmalle Dubbel dark Belgian beer
Westmalle Dubbel dark Belgian beer


1 Tbsp oil
20 grams smoked lardons
2 onions, chopped
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp dried parsley
750 g boneless shin of beef, cut into large cubes
2 carrots, cut into 1 cm rounds
30 grams plain flour
350 ml beef stock
2 tsp wholegrain mustard
2 Tbsp soft dark brown sugar
330 ml dark belgian beer (or other dark ale)
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 large pinch of black pepper


Preheat the oven to 150C/130C Fan (300 F)

First, in a large, oven-proof casserole, heat oil over medium. Add the lardons and cook, stirring frequently, for 8 minutes, until they are crispy. Then add the chopped onion, stirring well, and turn down the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes.

Next, mix in the allspice, thyme and parsley. Then add the cubed shin of beef and carrots. Add the flour and stir to mix it in.

Pour the stock into a large jug and stir in the mustard and sugar and add to the casserole. Then add the beer. Stir to mix then bring to a boil. Add the bay leaves, salt and pepper. Then cover the casserole and put it into the oven.

Cook gently for 3 hours, until the meat is fork tender. Serve hot with roasted or mashed potatoes.

Cooking the Carbonnade Flamande
Cooking the Carbonnade Flamande

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