Carbonade Beef Stew from Northern France

Classic French Flemish beef stew long cooked in beer, with onions and a few slices of gingerbread spread with mustard. That’s all, you’ll see this comforting dish is super easy to cook.

Carbonade Northen France beef stew cooked in beer

This dish is the same kind of cooking process as bœuf bourguignon. Slow cooking cuts of beef, first browned a bit then cooked in liquid for several hours. Bœuf bourguignon is cooked in red wine. This carbonade flamande comes from the Flemish Flandres region in Northern France, just next to Belgium, where there is an important tradition of beer. So here, meat is cooked in beer.

A few tips to cook the perfect carbonade flamande

  • Ideally choose amber beer. The dish can however be prepared with other beers, just avoid too bitter beers.
  • Pain d’épices and Dijon Mustard. The second trick of the recipe is to add slices of pain d’épices (the French honey and spices gingerbread) with Dijon mustard spread on it. It might seems strange to you but it actually gives an incredible taste and texture to the sauce (and the meet by extension).
    Two solutions: either make my family’s honey and spices gingerbread, the recipe is since the beginning on the blog, see here.

Appart from thar the recipe is super simple. Beef, coated with flour, is pan fried for a few minutes. Then beer and onion are added. Some prefer to fry onions before pouring beer, that’s not necessary. Finally slices of gingerbread with mustard are added to the dish, just put them on top, they will quickly sink. Cook over medium – low heat for 3 hours, covered with a lid. Gingerbread with disappear in the sauce and together with flour that coated meat, it will thicken the sauce.

Carbonade Northen France beef stew cooked in beer

Carbonade Beef Stew from Northern France

Briefly brown meat in a pan, then add onions and pour in beer. Add slices of gingerbread spread with mustard and cook for 3 hours.
Course: Main dish
Cuisine: French
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Portions: 6
Print Pin


  • 1,2 KILO slow-cooking cuts beef boneless, cut into large chunks (chuck, shoulder or shin)
  • 2 onions
  • 75 cl amber beer not too bitter
  • 6 slices gingerbread see the recipe
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 50 gr butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour



  • Peel onions and thinly slice them.
  • Put flour in a plate. Coat meat on each side the meat. Tap to remove the excess flour, we just want a thin layer.
  • Spread Dijon mustard on the slices of gingerbread.


  • In a large casserole, heat butter.
  • Fry meat for a few minutes on each side, until brown.
  • Add the chopped onions and sugar, combine.
  • Pour beer in, up to the height of meat.
  • Arrange gingerbread with mustard slices on top.
  • Cook for 3 hours over low - medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  • That’s all
You tried this recipe?Share your pic, mention @My_Parisian_Kitchen & tag #myparisiankitchen

Bon appétit !

Carbonade Beef and beer stew traditional French dish
1 reply
  1. Laura Otto
    Laura Otto says:

    Northern France food is based on 3 pillars : beer, fries and generosity. It s a rich and bounteous cuisine, to warm you up during the long winter evenings  You share it with friends and family, at home or in restaurant.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *