We've been to Brussels a couple of times and in each visit we've always had a wonderful time! One thing we truly enjoyed in Belgium is the food....oh glorious food. Brussels is the city where we enjoyed the best fries, best waffles and naturally, the best chocolate! For a foodie like me, it was culinary heaven, indeed! But there is another food from this lovely place that we have totally loved at home and is often requested by hubby as it has become his favorite (insert drum roll here!) - the classic Belgian Stew or Carbonnades a la Flamande, if you want to sound more posh and sophisticated. :)
I am not much of a wine or beer drinker at all but I sure love to use both in cooking. That is the case with this amazing stew. It is braised in Belgian dark ale for several hours resulting in meltingly tender meat with superb and robust flavor! The sauce is so tasty you'd want to drizzle it all over your rice (what we love as side dish for this though traditionally, it is eaten with bread to mop up all the yummy sauce!).
While the traditional recipe, does not use the usual stewing vegetables, I decided to add some in this one towards the end of cooking. I had some extra carrots and cabbages in the fridge, so why not? Besides, I wanted to add some color to an otherwise dark brown looking stew! I must say it worked well because my whole family, including my aunt who was visiting at the time I made this, totally loved it! Hope you try this and enjoy it with your family, too. If you don't fancy using the slow cooker, I also have the classic version of this stew as done on the stove top here. I suggest using Chimay - the classic Belgian beer as that tastes really good even for a non-drinking person like me. If you aren't able to find it simply use other dark ale.
Slow Cooker Beef and Beer Belgian Stew
Beef chunks are steeped in Belgian beer in the slow cooker and results in a melt-in-your-mouth delicious stew! This is the best beef stew ever!
- 1 Kilo/ 2.2 lbs Stewing beef (pref. chuck steak or roast), cubed
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 large Onion, chopped
- 4 Garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
- 1 (12 oz) Bottle of dark Belgian Beer
- 1 Bouquet Garni (2 bay leaves, a few thyme sprigs, 1/4 cup unchopped fresh parsley - all tied together or added loosely)
- 2 Tablespoons Vinegar (pref. wine vinegar)
- 2 Tablespoons brown Sugar
- 1 Large Carrot or 2 cups baby Carrots, thinly sliced diagonally (optional)
- 1/2 Green Cabbage, chopped (optional)
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Liberally season the beef cubes with salt and pepper. You can also roll it in flour, if you wish. I wanted a thinner stew with lots of sauce and also a gluten-free version so I didn't bother with adding the flour. Heat a deep pan or large skillet. Melt the butter and oil using medium-high heat. Brown the cubed beef to sear in batches and avoid overcrowding the meat. Place the beef cubes in a large platter as you cook. Searing is worth the work to add more depth of flavor.
- Quickly, sauté the onions and garlic in the remaining fat in the pan for a couple of minutes. Scrape all that yummy brown bits in there.
- Place the sauteed onions and garlic and everything else left on the pan on the slow cooker and add the beef cubes on top. Pour in the beer and vinegar and add the brown sugar. Stir everything. Cover and cook on low for about 6-8 hours.
- After 6-7 hours of cooking, when the beef is already tender, add the vegetables and herbs. Cook for another hour or 2 until the vegetables are tender. Transfer to a serving platter, removing the herbs, if desired. Enjoy with some rice or mashed potatoes.
- NOTES: If using dried bouquet garni in a sachet or chunkier carrot slices, you may add them together with the beef and beer in the slow cooker at the beginning. Enjoy!
Prep Time: 00 hrs. 15 mins.
Total time: 8 hrs. 15 mins.
Tags: Belgian, Slow Cooker, Beef, Stew, Gluten Free, Easy Recipe, Beer