Carbonnade (Belgian Beer and Beef Stew)

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Recipe from chef Chris Brill (pictured)

Iowa Meat Farms & Siesel’s Old-Fashioned Meats

Iowa Meat Farms

6041 Mission Gorge Road


Siesel’s Old-Fashioned Meats

4131 Ashton St.


Siesel’s Old Fashioned Meats and Iowa Meat Farms have offered quality meats, poultry, game and accompanying ingredients, condiments and beverages for a combined 73 years. Natives of Sioux City, Iowa, the Cohn family opened Iowa Meat Farms in 1982. Their objective was to offer San Diego the same quality meats they had known in their heartland home.

In celebration of our city’s stature as a dignified beer mecca, chef Chris Brill doles out his best techniques using San Diego’s favorite suds in everyday at-home cooking. He warns that cooking with beer can be tricky. His recipe for Carbonnade uses the acidity of the mustard and vinegar and the sweetness of the tomato paste to balance out the bitterness of the ale.

Carbonnade (Belgian Beer and Beef Stew)
Serves 6-8


3 1/2 pounds chuck roast, cut into 1-inch pieces

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 tablespoons butter

3 medium yellow onions sliced about 1/4 inch thick (about 8 cups)

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups brown veal stock

12 ounces Ballast Point Calico Amber Ale

4 sprigs fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon whole grain mustard

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 tablespoon tomato paste

Brown sugar to taste


  • Pat the beef dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat the butter in a heavy-bottomed stew pot and brown the beef in batches over medium heat.
  • Remove the meat and add the onions to the pot and cook over medium-low heat until they are lightly browned. Add the flour to the pan and stir to form a roux. Add the stock and beer to the pot and stir well while bringing to a simmer. Scrape the bottom well to remove any browned bits.
  • Return the meat to the pan along with the remainder of the ingredients. Simmer partially covered over low heat on the stove or place in a 300-degree F. oven. Either way, cook the stew gently for 2-3 hours until the meat is tender. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Serve over potatoes, french-fries or buttered noodles.

Categories: Food & Drink