Smoked Flemish Beef Carbonnade (Beef, beer & onion stew)

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Meat Mopper
Original poster
May 28, 2012
Hampton Roads, VA
While I was in the Air Force, I spent about 3 years in NATO AWACS, one of the only completely integrated flying units in the world with 13 nationalities. One of my favorite meals was eating with the Belgians something they called Beef Carbonnade which is basically a beef, beer, and onion stew and one of the most common meals in Belgium. I was up to trying something different so I tried to replicate it in a smoker!

First, I browned about 3# of beef stew meat cut up in ~1" cubes in a dutch oven with EVOO on my grill.

 Then I chopped three yellow onions and, after taking the beef out of the Dutch Oven, browned the onions in the beef drippings/EVOO.

 Threw the beef back in the Dutch Oven and added 2 1/2 bottles of Guinness Extra Stout, 3 beef bullion cubes, 2 bay leaves, fresh thyme, pepper and two packets of beef flavor enhancer.

Stirred and simmered it for about 15 minutes, then added 3 slices of French Bread slathered heavily in with Dijon Mustard.

I simmered it for a few minutes until the bread got good and soft, then shredded the bread and stirred it into the Carbonnade. The bread thickens the stew but really serves as a mustard delivery system!

Into the smoker for 2 1/2 hours with half oak and half cherry at about 240* chamber temperature (just enough to keep a slow simmer all around the edges. Stirred ever 30 minutes or so.

After 2.5 hours pulled it and served in it bowls with a side salad. This has a very complex set of flavors with the beer, beef, onion and all the seasonings. It came out great and everyone loved it! I would have rather used a Belgium Dark Nut ale instead of the Guinness but the market didn't have any. The smoky flavor really adds a different level of complexity and I'll do this again!

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AMNPS Test Group
Sep 8, 2011
Very interesting! I bet it was real Good!!!
Thanks for sharing and the great detail!!!


Meat Mopper
Original poster
Thread starter
May 28, 2012
Hampton Roads, VA
Thanks S2, it was an experiment and I liked the smoky flavor that is not traditional. I plan on trying some more of these hearty soups and stews to see how they go. Seems like they would be good during the winter (not that we have really severe winters in Virginia).  


Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Oct 31, 2012
Canadian Rockies
I love beef carbonade and this looks great. Please post you future efforts too!

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