Belgian Beef and Beer Stew

Kitchen Tested
  • Yield 6 servings

Frites are the traditional accompaniment to this beef stew, but we suggest noodles so you don’t miss a drop of the luscious sauce.

Belgian Beef and Beer Stew
Mark Boughton Photography / styling: Teresa Blackburn

Wine isn’t the only way to add great flavor to a beef stew. A bottle of dark ale is the secret to this Belgian classic.


3 pounds boneless chuck, trimmed, and cut into 1½–inch cubes
1 teaspoon coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper
8 teaspoons vegetable oil
3 yellow onions (about 2 pounds), cut into halves and sliced 1/4-inch thick
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1 (12-ounce) bottle dark ale (Belgian ale is best)
3 large thyme sprigs
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon red currant jelly
1 teaspoon cider vinegar


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Pat beef dry with paper towels; season generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 teaspoons oil and a third of the beef. Sear 2 minutes on each side, or until well browned; transfer to a large Dutch oven. Repeat with remaining beef, using 2 teaspoons oil per batch.
  3.  Add final 2 teaspoons oil to pan; reduce heat to medium. Add onions and a pinch of salt. Cover; cook 5 minutes. Uncover and sauté until onions are soft and golden, about 20 minutes. Add garlic and toss with onions 1 minute. Add flour; stir 2 minutes. Pour in broth; increase heat to a simmer. Transfer contents of pan to Dutch oven, scraping bits from bottom of pan; add ale and thyme. Return to a simmer, stir well, cover, and transfer to oven. Cook until beef is very tender, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
  4.  Stir in mustard, jelly and vinegar; cool completely and refrigerate. (The stew is best made ahead 1 or 2 days, and gently reheated).



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