Drunken Slow Cooker Beef Stew (Beef Carbonnade)
This slow cooker beef stew is made with Belgium beer and served over buttery egg noodles or mashed potatoes! The ultimate comfort food!
Perfect for a chilly night, this slow cooker beef stew is actually a crockpot version of a Belgium classic, beef carbonnade! All the flavors, a fraction of the work, and the result is an incredibly tender beef stew with a silky sauce that will have you coming back for more!
I can’t believe the time has come for my last post of 2017! For a while, I thought about posting new recipes next week… but instead I’m going to take some rare semi-time off and do some recipe testing and photography to work ahead for January 🙂
For my last post of the year, I wanted to go out with a bang, and this is a recipe I’ve been super excited to share with you guys for a while now. Beef carbonnade. Have you heard of it? It’s a Belgium stew, traditionally NOT cooked in a slow cooker, but rather slow simmered for hours on the stovetop. It’s full of a myriad of flavors… savory, sweet, a touch sour, and the texture is so silky and tender.
I love to serve this beef carbonnade with egg noodles or some mashed potatoes, to really up the comfort food factor. But I heard that in Belgium it’s also served with fries… how awesome is that?!
TIPS AND TRICKS FOR THIS SLOW COOKER BEEF STEW:
- Brown your beef. I know it’s an extra step, and probably another pan to wash… but it’s SO worth it. I’ve made it without browning the beef before, and it’s still good, but the version with the browned beef is amazing! If you have a slow cooker with a cast aluminum insert (I’ll link to mine at the end of this post), go ahead and brown the beef right in that insert, so you don’t lose any flavor from those browned bits, PLUS, no extra pan to wash!
- Use the beef base if you can. It adds such an amazing extra boost of flavor!
- This recipe makes a lot, and the leftovers are even more amazing, so definitely save what you don’t eat the first night!
This version of beef carbonnade uses some shortcuts, in that even though the beef is browned, the onions aren’t caramelized. Of course that would add some incredible flavor, so if you feel like it, go right ahead! But the onions cook all day in the slow cooker, so they get plenty tender this way, and it saves you a good 40 minutes of cooking time.
OTHER SLOW COOKER FAVORITES:
- Slow Cooker Cheesy Ham Chowder
- Slow Cooker Shredded Italian Beef
- Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili
- Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana
The next time you’re in the mood for a stunning comfort food meal, try this Drunken Slow Cooker Beef Stew (Beef Carbonnade)!
- Slow Cooker with Aluminum Insert – this is an awesome slow cooker that lets you actually brown the beef right in the unit! No extra pot to wash!!
- Beef Base – you’ll be amazed at how much flavor this adds to the dish… and it’s great for making beef stock when you don’t have any on hand!
Drunken Slow Cooker Beef Stew (Beef Carbonnade)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 3-4 lbs boneless beef chuck roast (I usually use the English cut that's flat), cut into 1-2" pieces
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2-3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 cup beef broth
- 2 large yellow onions, sliced in half, then sliced into thin strips
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 Tbsp beef base
- 12 oz dark beer (brown ale is best)
- 1 Tbsp whole grain dijon mustard
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme (can substitute with 1/2 tsp dried thyme)
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour + 3-4 Tbsp beef broth
- 12 oz extra wide egg noodles
- minced fresh parsley, for garnish
- Season beef pieces with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour. Heat a large skillet (cast iron works super well here - or heat your cast aluminum slow cooker insert if you have one) over MED HIGH heat with olive oil. Shake off excess flour and brown beef in batches (don't overcrowd the pan) for several minutes, until you get a golden brown crust on all sides. Remove beef to plate, and continue with all batches.
- When all beef is browned, add beef broth to skillet and use a wooden spoon to gently loosen the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.
- To bottom of a 6 quart slow cooker, add sliced onions, minced garlic, beef base, beer, and mustard. Stir together, then pour in beef broth from skillet. Top that with browned beef, thyme sprigs and bay leaves.
- Cover slow cooker and cook on LOW for 8 hours.
- About 20-30 minutes before serving, bring a big pot of water to a boil for the egg noodles. Mix 2 Tbsp flour and 3-4 Tbsp beef broth until no lumps remain. Stir into beef stew in slow cooker. Increase heat to HIGH and cook uncovered for 10-15 minutes.
- Add egg noodles to boiling water and cook according to package directions. Drain and toss with a bit of olive oil or butter to prevent sticking, and a pinch of minced parsley.
- To serve, add some egg noodles to bowl or plate. Top with a few ladles of beef carbonnade and sprinkle with some more minced parsley. Alternatively, add egg noodles to slow cooker and stir it all together, then ladle the egg noodle/beef stew mixture into bowls or onto plates.