Gluten-Free Carbonnade (Flemish Beef & Beer Stew) Recipe


Now that I have an apartment of my own and the PG&E bill is lovingly addressed to yours truly, I’ve become somewhat of a heat Nazi. Following in my mother’s footsteps, the solution to a cold winter night is no longer cranking up the heater and happily lounging in pajama shorts and a tee. Rather, the new protocol includes suiting up in a big sweatshirt and thick socks and happily spending hours hovering over a warm stove and enjoying a hearty, hot meal.

I came across Saveur’s Carbonnade (Flemish Beef & Beer Stew) recipe and knew I had to make it for a satisfying Sunday night meal. Note: cooking with meat and beer is always a good idea.

Of course, I had to experiment with a gluten-free version, using almond flour to coat the beef and gluten-free beer…and I loved the result!

Carbonnade is a Flemish beef and onion stew that, unlike many French stews, is braised in beer instead of wine. The beer makes the dish extremely rich, but apple cider vinegar and brown sugar add a sweet note and a slightly sour taste that, altogether, melt in your mouth and make you kind of excited it’s cold enough to enjoy a hot bowl of stew.

I served the carbonnade over gluten-free fusilli, but it would be equally good served over polenta or along with roasted carrots.

(Ingredients & directions adapted from Saveur)


  • 2 lb. beef chuck, cut into 2″ x ½″-thick slices
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 slices bacon, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 2 cups Omission Lager (technically not labeled as gluten-free, but it is below the established cut-off line for gf products)
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 tbsp. dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 3 sprigs parsley
  • 2 sprigs tarragon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Gluten-free noodles and/or bread, for serving


Season beef with salt and pepper in a bowl; add almond flour and toss to coat. Heat 2 tbsp. butter in a 6-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add beef; cook, turning, until browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate; set aside. Add bacon; cook until its fat renders, about 8 minutes. Add remaining butter, garlic, and onions; cook until caramelized, about 30 minutes. Add half the gluten-free beer; cook, scraping bottom of pot, until slightly reduced, about 4 minutes. Return beef to pot with remaining beer, stock, sugar, vinegar, thyme, parsley, tarragon, bay leaf, and salt and pepper; boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, covered, until beef is tender, about 1 ½ hours. Serve over gluten-free pasta or accompanied by bread.

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