Carbonnade Flamande #SundaySupper

I would first like to start today’s post by saying that my thoughts go out to everyone who has been affected by Hurricane Sandy.   I realize that many of you can’t even read this today, but I hope the people that can will take some of the recipes listed below and make a big batch to share with friends/family/people in need.  

Today’s #SundaySupper theme couldn’t come at a better time.  When Isabel, our fearless Sunday Supper leader, asked me to host this week I was honored.  I picked a season appropriate theme – dishes to keep you warm; a soul warming #SundaySupper.  Little did I know three weeks ago how important this theme would be now.  

We have over 50 contributors bring their best dishes, we have soups, stews, chilis, main entrees, and even something sweet to eat and drink! 

I’m bringing you one of my favorite stews, Carbonnade Flamande – a Flemish Beef Stew.  We first had this in Belgium, I believe it was in Brugges on our honeymoon.  Tender chunks of meat, slow cooked with a dark Belgian ale and finished with brown sugar and cider vinegar for a little tang. Perfect to sop up all the Belgian frites that were served on the side! 

My husband is not a big stew fan, but this is one dish he always enjoys when I whip it up.  Okay whip might not be the right word, it does take about 4 hours of your time but that 4 hours is worth every minute. 

Carbonnade Flamande #SundaySupper

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.

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  • 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 2 1/2 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.
Cuisine: Belgian | Recipe Type: Main Dish


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.

Now here’s that long list of soul warming dishes I told you about! I also hope you’ll join us for our weekly twitter chat tonight at 7pm EST!

Main Entrees: 




Join on us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper.  In the evening we will meet at 7pm EST for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat. 

All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag or you can follow us through TweetChat.

We’d also love to feature your Sunday Supper Soul Warming Recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers, too.


Little Red Kitchen Bake Shop

63 thoughts on “Carbonnade Flamande #SundaySupper

  1. Renee

    Almost every week at the grocery store I look at short ribs but never buy them. I’ve been looking for the right recipe and this looks like it is the one. What a wonderful dish.

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  6. Family Foodie

    Susan~ I am so glad you and your family were safe during the storm. I am so honored to have you host this fabulous event! This recipe looks absolutely amazing. I can not wait to try it… my husband will love it!

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  14. Carla

    I learned something new today because I had no idea what carbonnade flamande was (I was guessing steak in some way – I was right with the beef at least!). I also enjoying cooking with beer, so I’ll have to try this one! Thanks for being a great hostess this week 🙂

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  16. Nancy @ gottagetbaked

    Susan, you’ve been a fabulous host this week and I absolutely love this theme. It’s so appropriate for both the season and for the events happening in the world (the devastation of Hurricane Sandy). I can see how your hubby is a big fan of this dish – it sounds and looks AH-MAZING! We love stewing/braising short ribs so this is definitely going on my to-cook list.

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  26. Liz

    Thanks so much for hosting! Perfect theme for this chilly autumn day…wish I could share with those still homeless due to the hurricane. Your stew looks awesome…I can only imagine how wonderful your house smelled while this was braising!

  27. Sarah

    Thank you for hosting this great event Susan. Can I just say, this dish looks amazing. I love short ribs and add some beer to it and you got me. You got me good. I wish I could be eating a big bowl of this right now. Making me hungry.

  28. The Wimpy Vegetarian

    You’ve did a beautiful job of hosting this past week’s event! Your dish looks wonderful – perfect for this past week’s warming topic! I typically add red wine to my short ribs, but I love, love, love the idea of adding beer instead. I’m totally making this for my meat-loving family!!

  29. Sasha

    This is an incredible dish. There’s a restaurant called Petite Abeille (a few locations here in the city) and they make this dish extremely well.

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  32. Anne @ Webicurean

    Thanks for hosting! Sorry it’s taken me so long to make the rounds! This looks amazing–you know, I often stick with quick and easy recipes, but the most rewarding ones are like this–maybe little more involved and simmer for hours–but definitely worth the effort!

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