Carbonnade Flamande #SundaySupper
Cuisine: Belgian
Author: Susan Palmer
Traditionally this is made with stew meat, I've updated the recipe a bit by swapping it out for tender short ribs. When you get your short ribs, be sure to ask your butcher to cut them into 1 rib sections, it makes browning them easier, as does serving.
  • 3lbs bone-in short ribs, cut into 1 rib sections
  • 3 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 12oz dark Belgian ale (see note about type of beer)
  • 2 cups low-sodium beef stock
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard or cider vinegar
  1. Pat your short ribs dry with paper towels and generously season on both sides with salt and pepper.
  2. Using a dutch oven, over medium heat melt 1 tablespoon butter and olive oil.
  3. Working in batches, dredge the short ribs in the flour, shaking off excess and brown on all sides in the dutch oven. Remove and continue with remaining ribs. Add another tablespoon of butter in between batches and adjust heat if necessary.
  4. Once all the short ribs have been browned, melt the remaining tablespoons of butter and add the sliced onions.
  5. Cook the onions for about 15 minutes, making sure not to brown them, but soften them to the point that they just begin to caramelize. Pour in the beer and scrape the bottom of the pot.
  6. Nestle in the short ribs amongst the onions and beer and pour the beef stock so that the meat is almost completely covered. Add the fresh thyme and bay leaves, cover and let simmer for 2½ to 3 hours or until the short ribs are fork tender.
  7. Five minutes prior to serving, mix together the mustard or vinegar and brown sugar in a small bowl and mix it into the stew. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes.
  8. Serve with a bowl of frites, mashed potatoes or Belgian's version of mashed potatoes stoemp.
  9. This dish tastes even better a day later, so feel free to make this ahead of time to serve for later.

The best beer to use for this dish is a Belgian abbey ale such as Chimay Bleue or Rouge or an American-style Belgian beer such as Ommegang Abbey ale, which is what I used. Abbey ales are malty with a nice sweetness to them but are higher in alcohol than most beers found in the U.S.

Recipe by The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen at