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This is a rich stew thanks to the stout beer. Serve on egg noodles tossed with butter, poppy seeds, black bread and butter and a bottle of stout beer.


Beef Carbonnade

A Belgian beef stew cooked with sweetly caramelized onions and dark beer.


1/4 pound bacon

1 1/2-2 pounds yellow onions (approximately 2 very large)

1 tablespoon sugar

1 cup unbleached flour

1 tablespoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

3 pounds beef stew meat (chuck is best), cubed

vegetable oil

2 cups stout dark beer

chopped parsley


1. Coarsely dice the bacon and sauté in a large skillet until crisp and brown. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside.

2. Add the onions to the skillet and cook them in the rendered bacon fat uncovered until tender, about 20 minutes. Uncover the skillet, raise the heat, and sprinkle the onions with the sugar. Toss and stir them until they are well browned. Transfer the onions to a strainer set over a bowl and let stand while you prepare the beef.

3. Stir together on a plate the flour, thyme, salt and pepper, and roll the cubes of meat around the mixture until well coated. Shake off the excess and set the cubes on another plate.

4. Press the onions gently with the back of a spoon to extract as much of the cooking fat as possible. Transfer fat to a Dutch oven or other large stew pot. Add additional fat in the form of vegetable oil if it appears you will not have enough for proper browning of the beef. Be sparing, however, or the carbonnade will be greasy.

5. Set the stewpot over high heat; when the stewpot is very hot, add 6 to 8 beef cubes. Do not crowd them in the stewpot or they will not brown properly. Turn the heat down slightly and continue to cook cubes until browned on all sides. Transfer them with a slotted spoon to a clean plate and proceed with the browning until all the meat is done.

6. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

7. Pour the beer into the stewpot and use a spoon to stir up all the browned bits on the bottom. Return beef cubes to the stewpot along with the bacon and sautéed onions. Bring to a simmer on the stove. Cover and set on the middle rack of the oven.

8. Cook for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally, or until stew is reduced and thickened and meat is tender. Regulate the oven temperature as needed to maintain a moderate simmer.

9. Taste and correct seasoning. Turn stew out into a heated serving dish, garnish with chopped parsley.

10. Serve on egg noodles tossed with butter, poppy seeds and sautéed apples. Black bread and butter on the side. Serve the same beer you used in the stew.

Cooking time: 2 hours

The Silver Palate Cookbook