Beef Carbonade flamande in the Instant Pot (Recipe)

Get cooking with this easy French and Belgian recipe for Carbonade Flamande, made in the Instant pot. With accompaniments, drinks, and more.
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This Recipe includes

Main ingredients:

beef Beef chuck
bacon Bacon lardons
mushrooms Mushrooms
carrot Carrot
leek Leek
onion Sandwich bread
mustard Dijon mustard

Spices, herbs and flavoring ingredients:

parsley Parsley leaves
thyme Thyme
bay leaves Bay leaf
garlic powder Garlic
salt and pepper Salt and pepper

Accents for the sauce:

beef stock Beef stock
butter Butter
flour Flour
Beer (Optional) Dark beer like Guinness, Oud bruin, Brune Abbey beer or Flanders red *

* To cook without alcohol:

vinegar Wine vinegar
beef stock Additional beef broth

Why we love it

In the North of France and Belgium, the classic dish for centuries has been the Carbonade Flamande. Similar to the Boeuf Bourguignon recipe from the nearby region of Burgundy, it is a popular beef stew that can be found in most family homes.

It is called Stoofvlees in the Flemish language, and is also sometimes referred to as a Flemish stew. It is meat traditionally slow-cooked for hours into a rich and hearty meal, made with beef, onions, leek and dark beer instead of wine.

But if you are like me and have no time to babysit over a stove for hours on end, you will want to use the instant pot. Easy to set up, and much quicker to cook, this delicious stew will be ready for dinner in no time. So let’s get cooking, shall we? Allons-y!

Cooking without alcohol

The Carbonade Flamande recipe leans heavily on the Boeuf Bourguignon from the region of Burgundy (Bourgogne), so it stands to reason that since the boeuf bourguignon includes alcohol, the carbonade flamande does as well.

Since the carbonade flamande comes from the north of France and Belgium however, it includes dark beers which are very popular and produced in the area.

beef carbonade flamande before cooking in instant pot
Carbonade flamande before cooking

The slow cooking time is meant to assure that any alcohol has long been cooked off, and locally I see that French parents don’t hesitate to serve it to their kids. Nevertheless, for various reasons you may not want to cook with alcohol.

In this case, I would recommend adding an additional 1.5 cups of beef broth and about 1 tablespoons of wine vinegar. You can also try a beef pot-au-feu which adds more vegetables, but no alcohol.

Sliced bread and Dijon Mustard

The traditional recipe for a carbonade flamande includes a nod to another local specialty, the dijon mustard. In order to thicken the stew, two slices of ordinary sandwich bread are slathered lightly with dijon mustard and mixed into the stew.

dijon mustard
Dijon mustard from the City of Dijon

The bread is meant to disintegrate into the stew, thickening it up, with the dijon adding that extra kick.

In addition, there are a lot of spices on the list, but in essence this is a French bouquet garni. You don’t need to have every single one, a French bouquet garni involves mixing and matching what you have.

What to serve with it?

In France, Carbonade flamande is traditionally served with served with rice, steamed potatoes, or mashed potatoes. But it can also be served grilled bread or baguette that has been lathered with garlic butter.

But there are many other accompaniments that go very well with beef stew, such as brown rice, white rice, green lentils, polenta, or even bulgur.


What drinks to serve with it?

Traditionally in France, the carbonade flamande is served with light red such as one from Beaujolais or Bourgogne with lower tannins so as not to compete with the stew. You can read more about French wines here.


How to store it?

Carbonade flamande is one of those recipes that tastes better the next day. You can easily put aside portions in an airtight container and put in the fridge or freezer.


Similar recipes

carbonade flamande

Recipe for Beef Carbonade Flamande in Instant Pot

Nassie Angadi
A traditional Beef Carbonade Flamande recipe from the north of France, made in the Instant Pot.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Course Main dishes
Cuisine French
Servings 4
Calories 942 kcal


  • 1 kg of beef chuck cut into medium-sized pieces
  • 1 cup of lardons or 6 strips of bacon sliced into small pieces
  • 1 onion chopped up
  • 1 carrot sliced
  • 1 leek sliced
  • 1.5 cups of dark beer eg. Guinness, Oud bruin, Brune Abbey beer or Flanders red
  • 2 cups of liquid beef stock
  • 1 garlic clove chopped up
  • 4 sprigs of thyme
  • 4 sprigs of parsley
  • 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard
  • 2 slices of sandwich bread
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Add the beef, bacon, and butter in the Instant pot and sauté for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients (except the flour, bread and mustard), and set the Instant Pot to High Pressure for 45 minutes.
  • Once the countdown has finished, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes.
  • Mix in the flour with a tablespoon of water to make a slurry. Add the slurry to the Instant Pot.
  • Spread the mustard on the sliced bread and add it into the Instant pot.
  • Press the Sauté button again for 5 minutes to let the sauce thicken and the bread disintegrate into the stew while mixing.
  • Let the carbonade flamande rest for 10 minutes on the Keep Warm function.
  • Taste to add salt and pepper if necessary.


The alcohol usually cooks off by the time it is served, but if you don't want to use beer, replace it with:
    • Additional 1.5 cups of beef broth
    • 1 tbsp of wine vinegar


    Serving: 1gCalories: 942kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 79gFat: 55gSaturated Fat: 24gPolyunsaturated Fat: 26gTrans Fat: 2gCholesterol: 270mgSodium: 397mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3g

    Please note: We are not certified nutritionists and these estimates are approximate. Each individual’s dietary needs and restrictions are unique to the individual.

    You are ultimately responsible for all decisions pertaining to your health. This website is written and produced for entertainment purposes only.

    Keyword Beef Stew, carbonade flamande, Instant pot
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    If you enjoyed that, check out our other classic French recipes that you can make in an instant pot. Bon appétit and à bientôt !

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