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Belgian Beef Stew with Dark Beer

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1 kilo Beef Chuck you can also use different kinds of beef meat like: Chuck Shoulder, Chuck Roast, Chuck-Eye Roast, Top Chuck Bottom Round Roast, Bottom Eye Roast, Rump Roast, Eye Round Roast, Top Round, Round Tip Roast
1/2 cup Plain Flour
1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
2 tbsp Butter
2 medium Onion
2 cloves Garlic
350 - 500 ml Dark Beer
80 - 100 gr Brown Sugar
300 ml Beef Stock
2 Bay Leaves
to taste Salt
to taste Pepper
2 slices Dark Brown Bread
2 big tablespoons Dijon Mustard We use Dijon Mustard, but you can also use a rough grainy mustard
2 slices Ontbijtkoek or Gingerbread this is optional, the dark brown bread should be enough, this is just for extra taste!

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Belgian Beef Stew with Dark Beer

  • 3.5 hours
  • Serves 4
  • Medium


The darker the beer, the better the stew, we like to say when referring to this dish. If you wish to find the perfect description for this kind of stew, I think the best would be “the ultimate comfort food”, perfect for cold autumn or winter days. But what makes this stew so special is not the meat, is not the beer and not the method of cooking. The secret hides in the little piece of “ontbijtkoek” that gives a total different taste to the entire dish.

What is ontbijtkoek? It is a rye loaf loaded with spices such as cloves, cinnamon, ginger, succade, nutmeg or anise. The Dutch and Belgian people love to eat this for breakfast, with a thick layer of butter and there so many varieties in our stores that it’s pretty easy to find one that is perfectly adapted to your taste. We love the one full of nuts (peanuts, almonds), a little sweet, with lots of cinnamon and not so dry. This, combined with the dark, dark beer is the key to this delicious piece of heaven. I know that it’s not easy to find if you are not from the Netherlands or Belgium, but a very good substitute could be not too sweet gingerbread and a a few almond flakes. But if you have the chance to come to pay us a visit, don’t forget to put a piece of “ontbijtkoek” in your luggage, cause it make one of the best memories ever.


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Preparing the Meat

Cut your beef chuck into nice bitesize pieces and place them in a bowl. Mix the flour with some salt and pepper and cover the beef with the dry flour mixture.


Grab a large, non sticking pot, preferably a dutch oven. Put in the vegetable oil and butter and fry the floured beef chunks golden brown over high heat. We do this to seal the juices inside the meat so it doesn't lose it's flavour and becomes dry. After the beef is golden brown, put the heat off, take it out of the pan and put it aside to rest. Be sure NOT to clean the pan, unless it is very burnt.


Preparing the Stew

Cut the onions in slices and mince or crush the garlic. Grab the pan, add a little vegetable oil and fry the onion together with the garlic until fragrant over medium heat.


Add the dark beer and brown sugar in the pan and bring to boil while scraping the burnt pieces loose from the bottom, this actually gives an amazing taste to your stew (if it's not too burnt of course!). When the mixture is boiling, add the seared beef chunks, cold beef stock, bay leaves and bring to boil again.



Before we go any further, it's important to taste your stew and add salt and pepper accordingly. Depending on what kind of dark beer you are using, the taste can be a bit too bitter, be sure to add a little extra brown sugar if needed!


Finishing up

Spread the mustard over 2 slices of dark brown bread. (If you are using the optional ontbijtkoek (or gingerbread), spread some mustard on those as well!) Put them with the mustard side down on top of your stew. They will slowly release the flavours into your stew and sink in.
Put the pan on low heat and let it simmer and stew for at least 2-3 hours, the longer the better in this case! Every once in a while check on your stew and give it a stir.


When this delicious, strong flavoured stew has finished cooking it's ready to serve! The belgian and dutch version of this stew is always served with a plate of fries, but of course you can also serve this strong tasty meal with potatoes, rice or bread (to dip in the stew, yum...) Enjoy!

Daniel van de Graaf

Hello there! I'm Daniël, 32 years young, from the Netherlands and a big foodie! I've always enjoyed cooking and food, throughout the years I gained certain cooking skills (especially in the meat category) and kept on going. I started this project together with Adriana to share our interest and joy in making the most amazing dishes, desserts and snacks :) I hope you all will enjoy our recipes and keep on cooking!

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