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  • Writer's picturecindyryb

Carbonnade a la Flamande - Beef & Guinness Stew Recipe

beef and guinness stew

This is usually one of our favorite meals in the wintertime, but I started craving it again just recently. My husband is by far the better cook - I've said that many times! He has an amazing ability to look at a recipe and know if it's likely to be good or not. I don't have that skill! For that reason, when I need a recipe, I always ask him to search for recipes he feels will be good. Somehow, he ended up on the Viking River Cruises' website and he found a recipe for Carbonnade a la Flamande. My guess is you have the same question that I had when he suggested it - what in the world is that? If I had to come up with what it is so that everyone would understand, it's a Beef and Guinness Stew that is wonderful! I'd say it's the perfect dinner for a cold night or in my case, when you're craving it!

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chuck roast needed for beef and guinness stew

We made a few changes to ingredients due to what we didn't have available and they worked out just fine. I like to specify brands of products that we use in recipes. I find it can make a huge difference in the flavor, and by saying what we used, I know I'll be able to replicate a meal that turned out great. This version of the recipe is for cooking in a large Dutch Oven or pot on the stovetop. I've also made this in an Instant Pot or a Crockpot - alternate directions follow for cooking this way.

baby potatoes for beef and guinness stew

Here's our version of this Beef & Guinness Stew recipe. I hope you'll try it - I think you'll enjoy it just as much as we did! The recipe says it serves 6-8 people. We love it with biscuits or bread - the liquid soaks in and it's a wonderful addition.

Carbonnade a la Flamande (from Viking River Cruises)


  • 3 1/4 pound chuck roast cut into 2-inch pieces

  • 1 tsp salt

  • ½ tsp black pepper

  • 3 heaping tbsp all-purpose flour

  • 3 tbsp olive oil

  • 2 tbsp butter

  • 3 large onions, peeled & chopped

  • 16-ounce bag of baby carrots

  • 4 cups Progresso Beef Broth

  • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar, packed

  • 1 tbsp Pomi Double Concentrated Tomato Paste

  • 3 tbsp Better Than Bouillon – Roasted Beef Base (substituted for beef demi-glace)

  • 1.5 cups Guinness Extra Stout Beer (substituted for an Oud Bruin Style Beer from Belgium)

  • 24 baby Yukon gold potatoes (or larger ones cut into chunks)

  • 8 oz. sliced or button mushrooms

  • 2 tsp dry thyme (the recipe said fresh)

  • 1/2 tsp granulated garlic powder

  • 1 tbsp dry parsley (the recipe said fresh)

  • 2 tsp optional cider vinegar (I didn’t use this)


  • Season the beef pieces with salt and pepper and dust with flour. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the beef in batches: sear on all sides. Transfer to a plate and set it aside.

  • Add butter and reduce heat to medium. Add the onions and the carrots, and sauté until lightly golden, about 6-10 minutes.

  • Whisk together 1 cup beef broth, brown sugar, tomato paste, and Better Than Bouillon (or demi-glace). Add to vegetables, stirring to combine. Add beer and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

  • Return the beef to the pot along with the potatoes, mushrooms, thyme, garlic powder, and remaining beef broth. Cover and simmer for 2 hours until the beef is very tender. Before serving, stir in parsley and optional cider vinegar to taste.

Optional Changes and Ideas:

  • Instead of putting in the potatoes, consider serving the stew over egg noodles or mashed potatoes.

  • Feel free to adjust the recipe including the liquid based on the size of your chuck roast.

  • Rather than having to cut the chuck roast into 2" pieces yourself, ask your butcher at the grocery store to do it for you. Our Publix in Florida has a great butcher who is happy to help you save time by trimming off the heaviest fat and cutting up the roast for you.

beautiful kitchen

Crockpot / Slow Cooker Directions (if you prefer this method):

  • Season the beef with salt and pepper and dust it with flour. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat on the stovetop. Add the beef in batches: sear on all sides. Transfer it into the crockpot once browned.

  • Add butter to the saute pan and reduce the heat to medium. Add the chopped onions and sliced carrots and sauté until lightly golden, about 6-10 minutes. Add in the tomato paste and the Better Than Bouillon and mix well, cooking for 1-2 more minutes. Add in 1/4 cup of Guinness and scrape up the bits from the bottom of the pan. Transfer all into the crockpot.

  • Add into your crockpot the remaining Guinness, beef broth, brown sugar, mushrooms, thyme, garlic powder, and parsley. Stir to combine all ingredients.

  • Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours. Note that cooking times can vary depending on your crockpot. When finished, adjust the seasonings if you feel it needs it.

  • About 30 minutes before the meal is finished, boil your potatoes or make your egg noodles or mashed potatoes (your choice).

  • To serve, place your starch (potatoes, egg noodles, or mashed potatoes) into a bowl and top them with the Beef & Guinness Stew mixture. Top with some optional cider vinegar to taste.

Instant Pot Directions (if you prefer this method):

  • Season the beef with salt and pepper and dust it with flour.

  • Place half of the olive oil into the Instant Pot. Set it to saute on high. Heat the olive oil.

  • Add half of the beef into the Instant Pot, searing the meat on all sides. Transfer the meat to a plate or large bowl and set it aside. Add the remaining olive oil, allow it to heat, and then sear the remaining meat on all sides. Once finished, add it to the same plate or bowl.

  • Add in the butter, onions, and carrots. Stir and saute until lightly golden, approximately 10 minutes.

  • While the onions and carrots are sauteeing, whisk together 1 cup of the beef broth, brown sugar, tomato paste, and Better Than Bouillon Roasted Beef Base. If necessary to get it to thoroughly combine, heat it in a microwave for about a minute.

  • Add this to the sauteed onions and carrots, stirring to combine. Add in the Guinness Extra Stout Beer and stir. Bring this to a boil, still utilizing your Instant Pot's saute setting on high.

  • Add in the remaining beef broth, mushrooms, thyme, garlic powder, and parsley. Add in the seared beef. Stir and sink the beef and mushrooms into the liquid if possible.

  • Close your Instant Pot and make sure that the pressure release valve is closed. Set it to pressure cook on high for 30 minutes. It will probably take 10-15 minutes for the pressure to build up before it begins cooking.

  • While the Instant Pot is pressure cooking, make what you want to have with this: either the 24 small boiled potatoes, the mashed potatoes, or a bag of egg noodles. Also, prepare the biscuits (I love Pillsbury Grands) if you are having them with your meal.

  • Allow the Instant Pot to naturally release the pressure for 15 minutes. Then do a quick release by turning the steam release valve to the venting position. Once the float valve drops, remove the lid. Dinner's ready!

  • If you've made noodles or mashed potatoes, place some into the bowl you'll use for serving and then top this with the stew. If you've made boiled potatoes, add some of the stew to a bowl and then add in some potatoes. Enjoy!

If you don't have an Instant Pot or a multicooker, here's the one I love: the Instant Pot Duo Crisp 11-in-1 Air Fryer and Electric Pressure Cooker. I swear this one device replaces so many separate appliances in the kitchen! You can use it as an Instant Pot (an electric pressure cooker) or as a Crock Pot / Slow Cooker. The nice thing - there's no need for a separate pan for browning, thanks to the saute feature. By using the air frying lid, you can use it as an air fryer, eliminating one more device! You can roast in it, bake, dehydrate, steam, make yogurt, sous vide, and more. The best part is it's big at 8-quart, making it perfect for large families. It works great for just me and my husband too, because we like to make larger meals and then freeze leftovers in individual-sized portions for nights we don't feel like cooking. It comes in a smaller 6-quart size too if you prefer. I can't say enough good about my Instant Pot - I use it a lot!

Before I jumped into Instant Pot cooking, I had a Cuisinart MSC-800 which was a 7-quart multi-cooker. It could also saute before cooking, and that's a feature that for me makes sense - why dirty a pan on the stove if it's unnecessary? You could slow cook, roast, or steam in it too. But if you like fast cooking, you'll be much happier with an Instant Pot!

Interested in more recipes? Great! I write for the NewsBreak app and I have at least 100 of our best recipes posted, all tried and all good! You'll find recipes that you can make in many different ways: crockpot, Instant Pot, air fryer, stovetop, grill, and oven. If you're interested in following along, here's what you need to do - download the Newsbreak app, create a User Account, and follow me at Lake County Florida - Here's What's Happening! If you enjoyed this post and you think others may enjoy it as well, please share it with them. Thanks!


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