Beef chunks flavored with dark ale and fresh herbs all cooked in the pressure cooker resulting in a melt-in-your-mouth-tender beef stew that is so robust in taste! Making it in the instant pot is such a breeze!
A few years ago my family and I went to Brussels, Belgium to visit some friends and do some sightseeing. I have been to Belgium before so I was excited to go back and learn more about this beautiful country.
I know Belgium is well known for its chocolates, waffles, fries, and beer but beyond that, I didn’t know much about its culinary heritage.
With influences from other neighboring countries – the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the East, and France to the South – its varied cuisine reflects that of its neighbors.
I have read that Belgian food is served in the quantity of German cuisine but with the quality of the French! Having tested quite a few dishes there, I completely agree.
The quality of food and the taste is truly superb! I can’t wait to go back there again.
Hankering for something Belgian and yummy, I decided to make this famous Belgian stew – Carbonnade a la Flamande (Flemish-style stew).
Since I didn’t have enough time to wait for hours to tenderize the meat, I decided to make an instant pot version of this delicious meat dish!
I have attempted the French Beef Bourguignonne before and totally love it but I thought this time I ought to make the Belgian version, after all the fall cooler temperature calls for a hot bowl of delicious stew!
The main difference with the French stew and the Belgian Stew is that the former uses red wine for flavoring while the latter uses beer instead, particularly dark ale which until today are still manufactured in medieval Trappist monasteries using the same traditional technique of brewing beer from hundreds of years ago!
No wonder Belgium is so well-known for its beer.
Having already previously made this Flemish stew in the slow cooker and on the stovetop, I know that this beef braised in beer results in such a delicious, mouth-watering dish.
Indeed, the dish didn’t disappoint and I must say – I now rank this Belgian Beef Stew number one, too – a tie with the French Beef Bourguignonne version that I make! It is that good!
In fact, my husband actually prefers this version because it has that hint of sweetness which makes the beef oh-so-yummy!
Make sure that you use a good quality dark ale preferably the Belgian variety (I like the one I used above) to ensure the most flavorful and truly delicious stew.
If you wish to eat like a Belgian, have the stew with some fries or bread and mustard sauce on the side. I like it with rice, too. I am Asian after all!!! Enjoy!
INSTANT POT BEEF & BEER BELGIAN STEW (Carbonnade a la Flamande)
Beef chunks are cooked in beer and flavored with fresh herbs for a deliciously addictive beef stew that comes out melt-in-your-mouth-tender in no time because it’s all done in the instant pot! This is the best INSTANT POT BEEF & BEER BELGIAN STEW!
- 1 kilo stewing beef pref. chuck steak or roast, cubed
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 12 oz bottle of dark Belgian beer or ale
- 1 bunch bouquet garni (see note)
- 2 tbsp vinegar pref. wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 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.
Choose the saute setting in your instant pot. Melt the butter with the oil. Brown the cubed beef in batches to sear. Place the beef cubes in a large platter as you cook.
Saute the onions in the remaining fat in the pot until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or 2. Pour a little of the ale to deglaze the pot.
Return the meat to the instant pot and mix well with the onions and garlic. Pour in the entire content of the beer bottle. Add the bouquet garni, vinegar and brown sugar. Stir everything.
Cook on high pressure for 35 minutes or until the beef is fork-tender. Allow a natural release.
Taste and adjust the seasoning with a little salt and pepper, if desired. Remove the bouquet garni. Add a little flour or cornstarch diluted with a little water to thicken the sauce. Alternatively, simply continue cooking the stew on saute setting until it thickens to your liking. Garnish with some fresh chopped parsley before serving, if desired.
Serve with fries, bread or rice! Pour all that yummy sauce on top!
Use a good quality beer here preferably the Belgian variety for perfect results.
In Belgium, they add a slice or two of bread with a spread of mustard to thicken the stew. You may add that at the end of cooking instead of using flour or cornstarch.
Bouquet garni is a bundle of herbs usually tied together with a string or placed inside a small sachet and is cooked with the other ingredients but is removed before the food is served. The herbs may vary but the usual ones are thyme, bay leaves, and parsley. You can use fresh like the photo below or buy the dried ones in a sachet. The dried bouquet garni in sachets may be found in the spice and herb section of your grocery store.