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The first time I tried this recipe I had no idea that it would change the way I make beef stew. Beef Carbonnade is a Flemish stew, featuring beer as the main liquid ingredient. It results in the most amazingly robust flavor—and I just can’t get enough. The aromas that fill my kitchen makes this dish worth the time and effort.

A traditional Belgian beer is typically used to prepare this stew, however, I replaced it with Green’s Endeavor Dubbel Dark Ale. This beer is my favorite gluten-free alternative for recipes that call for dark beers, such as Guinness, or red wine. I also coat the beef in a gluten-free flour mix, consisting of equal parts brown rice flour and tapioca starch, instead of white flour. The ale and flour combine to impart a rich, decadent broth that pairs perfectly with the fork-tender beef.

As always, quality is key. Opt for nitrate-free bacon and grass-fed beef, if possible. Serve over steamed rice or gluten-free noodles like Jovial Tagliatelle for a hearty meal. I like to enjoy this with a side salad to round out the density of the dish.

Gluten Free Beef Stew

A Note About Gluten Free Flours

You can easily replace wheat flour with gluten free flours to dust stew meat like in this recipe. There is nothing you need to change in the cooking steps in traditional recipes like beef stew, chicken marsala or a scallopini when you switch out the flours. Just dust the meat and pan fry like usual.  I keep a jar of half brown rice flour and tapioca starch on the shelf in my kitchen for whenever I need it. You can do this too. Here is a post I created to show you how I use gluten free flours in my kitchen.

Let’s Make Some Stew!

This recipe makes about 8 servings. If you have leftovers, simply freeze them in an airtight container for an easy reheat-and-eat dinner the following week.


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Beef Carbonnade (Flemish Stew)

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  • Author: Andrea Sprague
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 60 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


Beef Carbonnade is a Flemish stew, featuring beer as the main liquid ingredient. It results in the most amazingly robust flavor— you won’t be able to get enough. The aromas that fill your kitchen making this dish worth the time and effort.


  • 2 Tbsp. brown rice flour
  • 2 Tbsp. tapioca starch
  • 2 tsp. salt + more as needed
  • ½ tsp. ground pepper
  • 4 lbs. chuck steak or bottom roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 5 oz. thick-cut bacon (about 3 slices), cubed
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced, about 2 ½ cups
  • 6 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced or chopped
  • Grapeseed oil, as needed
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 3 cups dark gluten-free beer (I like Green’s Endeavor Dubbel Dark Ale)
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 ½ cups low-sodium chicken stock + more as needed
  • 1 lb. carrots, chopped, about 2 cups
  • 1 lb. Baby New or Yukon Gold potatoes, chopped, about 2 cups
  • Fresh parsley, minced


  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, starch, 2 tsp. salt and pepper. Add the beef and toss well to coat each piece.
  2. Heat a stockpot over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until fat is rendered and bacon is browned, about 6-8 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and place on a paper-towel lined plate. Set aside. Drain fat into a bowl, leaving about 2 Tbsp. in the pot.
  3. Add the onions to the pot and cook over medium heat until translucent and slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Place in a small bowl and set aside.
  4. Preheat the oven to 315° F. Add the remaining fat to the pot. If you don’t have at least 2 Tbsp. of rendered fat, supplement with olive oil.
  5. Increase the heat to medium-high. Brown the beef on all sides, about 6-8 minutes, in batches. As each batch is done, place the beef on a baking sheet. Make sure there’s enough oil in the pot before adding more beef. NOTE: The oil will be hot from sautéing the onion and garlic, so you may need to turn the heat down a bit if the meat browns too quickly.
  6. Add the vinegar and deglaze the pot, scraping the brown bits off the bottom. Stir in the mustard, tomato paste and 1 cup of the beer, and bring to a boil.
  7. Remove from the heat. Add the thyme, bay leaf, bacon, onion, garlic and beef. Pour in the remaining beer and enough chicken stock to submerge meat about half way, you want to braise the stew, not boil it.
  8. Cover the pot and place it into the oven. Cook for 2 hours.
  9. Carefully remove the pot from the oven and stir in the carrots and potatoes. If the stew looks dry, add a splash of stock. Cover and cook for another 30-40 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and the meat is tender.
  10. Adjust salt to taste. Garnish with parsley before serving.

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