Instant Pot Beef and Beer Belgian Stew (Carbonnade a la Flamande)

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!


Belgian stew


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.


Belgian Stew


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!

4.97 from 26 votes

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!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Belgian
Keyword beef stewed in beer, easy instant pot beef stew, instant pot beef and beer belgian stew, instant pot belgian stew, instant pot Carbonnade a la Flamande, pressure cooker beef stew
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6
Author Manila Spoon


  • 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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Cook on high pressure for 35 minutes or until the beef is fork-tender. Allow a natural release.
  6. 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.

  7. Serve with fries, bread or rice! Pour all that yummy sauce on top!

Recipe Notes

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.






  1. Noelle
    September 18, 2020 / 12:20 pm

    5 stars
    I always love finding new instant pot recipes, can’t wait to try this one out. Thanks for the weekend meal plan.

  2. Stine Mari
    September 18, 2020 / 12:20 pm

    5 stars
    I didn’t know much about Belgian cuisine apart from fries, waffles and chocolate either. But now I want to try this delicious looking Belgian stew!

  3. Priya Lakshminarayan
    September 18, 2020 / 12:23 pm

    5 stars
    Love how easy this beef stew is to make in the Instant Pot! Nice recipe!

  4. Irina
    September 18, 2020 / 1:07 pm

    5 stars
    Your recipe is a treasure! I was looking for a beef stew recipe made in a pressure cooker. Here we go! Making it now!

  5. Lisa | Garlic & Zest
    September 18, 2020 / 1:17 pm

    5 stars
    I think Carbonnade is my favorite way to cook with beers and ales. It’s such a rich, hearty DELICIOUS dish. I am making this for the weekend!

  6. Toni Dash
    September 18, 2020 / 2:21 pm

    5 stars
    This is so perfect!! Everyone at my house loved it!

  7. Jere Cassidy
    September 18, 2020 / 9:51 pm

    5 stars
    I can’t wait to make this stew, this looks deliciously hearty. I need to learn to use my InstaPot so this will be my first recipe.

  8. Amy Liu Dong
    September 19, 2020 / 8:17 am

    5 stars
    Oh my gosh, seeing this dish is making my mouthwatering, I would love to try Belgian beef stew for my family.

  9. Marta
    September 19, 2020 / 10:17 am

    5 stars
    I’m so glad you made this Belgian beef stew recipe for the Instant Pot. It cut down on a lot of cook time but still yielded tender beef.

  10. Emily
    September 19, 2020 / 6:29 pm

    5 stars
    I love this recipe! Making it in the instant pot was so easy and the beef turned out so tender!

  11. Kari Alana
    September 19, 2020 / 6:36 pm

    5 stars
    You have managed to make this look like the most scrumptious beef stew! I want want want want!

  12. Chef Dennis
    September 19, 2020 / 7:34 pm

    5 stars
    I don’t have an instant pot but I will be trying this dish soon, the old fashioned way on the stove! It looks ah-mazing!

  13. Lesli Schwartz
    September 19, 2020 / 7:55 pm

    5 stars
    This beef stew looks so delicious! I will be breaking out my Instant Pot for this yummy recipe!

  14. Fred N
    September 19, 2020 / 8:58 pm

    5 stars
    This recipe looks and sounds so delicious! Definitely another way to make beef stew and will be trying this soon.

  15. Sarah James
    September 20, 2020 / 11:11 am

    5 stars
    Your Belgian stew looks so tasty, perfect for this time of year. I really like the idea of dark ale and fresh herbs with the beef, looking forward to trying your recipe.

  16. Julie @ Running in a Skirt
    September 20, 2020 / 1:05 pm

    5 stars
    What a great instant pot recipe. This beef stew is so great for a cool fall night. Perfect for a nice family dinner too.

  17. Leslie
    September 20, 2020 / 1:13 pm

    5 stars
    I just purchased an instant pot and have been searching for recipes to use with it! I cannot wait to give this Belgian beef and beer stew a try!

  18. Genevieve |
    September 21, 2020 / 1:52 am

    5 stars
    I don’t use an Instant Pot, but this stew looks amazing! I love Belgium cooking and I know my parents would love this recipe.

    • abigail
      September 21, 2020 / 8:40 am

      You can certainly cook this on the stovetop, oven, or slow cooler Genevieve. Enjoy!

  19. Jacqueline Debono
    September 21, 2020 / 2:43 am

    5 stars
    I’ve been to Belgium a few times and really like the food, particularly the mussels (which they also eat with French fries!) and the beer, of course! I’ve never had this stew but it sounds like great comfort food for the soon to be with us cooler weather. On my to-make list!

  20. Kushigalu
    September 21, 2020 / 2:52 am

    5 stars
    What a delicious beef stew recipe to try on the instant pot. I totally love the texture and flavors in the dish. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Beth
    September 21, 2020 / 3:19 pm

    5 stars
    My husband is always impressed with tender, flavorful beef dishes, and this looks just like something he would enjoy. I’m always interested in a new set of ingredients for an Instant Pot meal. We’d probably have it with rice, too!

  22. sapana
    September 22, 2020 / 6:19 am

    5 stars
    When it comes to soups and stews instant pot is such a bliss. I am sure this Belgian beef stew stew must have been so flavorful and comforting for you.

  23. Alexis
    September 22, 2020 / 8:43 pm

    5 stars
    So delicious! My family loved every bit of this dish. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

    • abigail
      September 23, 2020 / 11:46 am

      I am absolutely glad that you enjoyed this! Thanks for kindly giving us feedback! This is a family favorite too.

  24. Linda
    April 24, 2021 / 4:45 pm

    Can’t find the bouquet garni ingredients in your recipe

    • abigail
      April 26, 2021 / 9:01 am

      Hello Linda!

      Sorry, it must have gotten cut off when I pasted the notes. Anyway, I added a photo and description of the bouquet garni in the notes so you should be able to decide whether you want the fresh or dried version of it. Thanks for stopping by.

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