Carbonade Flamande © French Moments

Last Updated: 4 March 2020


A Carbonade Flamande is a traditional sweet-sour beef dish from Belgium and the north of France. This recipe is quite similar to the beef bourguignon except that the carbonade flamande is cooked with beer and not wine and has the added gingerbread.

What is Carbonade Flamande?

Carbonade Flamande © French Moments
Home made Carbonade Flamande © A. Vandermeir – French Moments

Carbonade Flamande is a very famous dish in the north of France and it’s always a pleasure to share it either with your family at home or at a good restaurant with your friends. Usually, the region is quite cold and rainy that’s why a good carbonade flamande is a good choice as it brings warmth and conviviality. Also, like all stewed dishes, a carbonade flamande can be eaten during a whole week and it’s even better if it’s reheated!


Preparation time : 30 minutes
Cooking time : 3 hours
Serves 6

Carbonade Flamande © French Moments
Carbonade Flamande © French Moments
  • 1.5 kg of beef (paleron cut – ask for upper blade roast or top blade roast)
  • 6 onions
  • 3 carrots
  • 20g butter
  • 3 dessert spoons of flour
  • 3 dessert spoons of red wine vinegar
  • 1 litre amber beer
  • 3 dessert spoons of brown sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs of dried thyme
  • 3 cloves
  • 8 slices of gingerbread (160g)
  • salt, pepper


  • Cut the meat into thick cubes (about 2cm squares). Peel onions and carrots and then thinly slice.
  • In a heavy based large saucepan, brown the meat in the butter. Season and add the flour, onions and carrots. Mix it all together and cook for 5 minutes. Keep on stirring until the onions are soft without browning them.
  • Add the vinegar and cook for further 2 minutes. Then add the beer, 500ml water, brown sugar, thyme, bay leaves, cloves and 5 slices of gingerbread cut into pieces. Bring to boil, cover and reduce the heat. Let it cook on a low heat for about 2 3/4 hours.
  • After this time, remove the lid, increase the heat and let it cook further until sauce has reduced (to about 1/2 the amount of liquid).
  • Toast the remaining slices of gingerbread and cut it into cubes.
  • Serve the carbonade flamande with French fries and the toasted gingerbread.


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