Drunken Stew in Belgium Ale

"For the ultimate comfort food on a cold night you can’t beat this tasty slow-cooked stew. Serve it on top of buttery mashed or French fries. We call this Drunken Stew but it is traditionally known as “Carbonnade a la Flamande”. This Belgian beef stew is made with hearty Belgian ale, plenty of onions and seasoned with bay and thyme. What really gives the dish its distinctive character is the addition of brown sugar and cider vinegar, a sweet-sour combination that plays beautifully against the caramelized onions and rich beer."
-- @dianemorrisey

A Note from Feedfeed

Cold winter nights make us want to curl up on the couch with a hearty bowl of beef stew. By slow cooking it, you end up with melt-in-your-mouth chunks of the most flavorful beef ever. A healthy dose of beer never hurt, either!

Craving more comforting stews? Check out this Red Wine Braised Beef Stew!

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  • Recipe Card
Prep time 15mins
Cook time 4hrs
Serves or Makes: 8-10

Recipe Card


  • 3-4 pounds chuck roast, (or stew meat) cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 3 yellow onions, sliced about 1/4-inch thick
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 large Belgian beer
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar


  • Step 1

    Season beef cubes with salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of butter until hot. Working in batches, sear beef about 5 minutes until charred a bit, adding more butter as needed. Transfer browned beef to a separate bowl.

  • Step 2

    In drippings cook bacon until crispy. Add to bowl with beef.

  • Step 3

    To the bacon drippings, add onions and garlic until tender and starting to caramelize, 10-15 minutes. Add flour and stir until onions are coated, about 2 minutes.

  • Step 4

    Add in broth, beer, thyme, bay, mustard, beef with accumulated juices, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook partially covered, until beef is fork tender and falling apart, 3-4 hours.

  • Step 5

    About half an hour before it finishes cooking, add brown sugar and vinegar. Adjust seasoning to taste.