Belgian Beer & Beef Stew

Beef brisket, bacon, caramelized onions, and Belgian beer gravy.

Beef brisket stewed in an instant pot with caramelized onions, mustard, herbs, and Belgian beer until fall-apart tender.

This recipe uses an Instant pot. They have become very popular in the past few years, and there are a million recipes out there for them. I had never used one before but recently received one as a gift. I thought a Belgian beer beef stew would be an excellent test for my new toy.

If you have never had a Belgian beer stew or carbonade, it’s flavor relies on the beef, caramelized onions, and the beer. It is a Belgian beer stew, so of course, dark abbey-style ale is used as a base for the gravy. Chimay is one of the most popular types of these beers. If this type is not available, pick a rich dark flavorful beer.

The beef in this stew is brisket. Brisket has a lot of fat, marbling, and flavor. It is a tough piece of meat that usually requires a long cooking process to tenderize it, making it perfect for stew. The instant pot speeds up the cooking and releases the meat’s juices into the gravy.

The caramelized onions add sweetness to this dish. I used sweet onions in this stew but, any type of onion can be used. They just need to be browned and caramelized before adding the beer. These items and a few other ingredients transform in the instant pot into a rich-hearty delicious stew!

Belgian Beer & Beef Stew

Course Dinner, Main Course
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 5


  • Instant Pot


  • 2 3/4 pound beef brisket
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 5 strips bacon chopped
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 onions julienne
  • 1 1/2 tbsp garlic minced
  • 8-10 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 cups Belgian abbey-style beer such as Chimay
  • 1 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 1 tbsp grain mustard
  • 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar


  • Trim the large pieces of fat from the brisket and cut it into 2-3 inch pieces. Mix the flour, salt, and pepper. Dredge each piece of brisket in the flour. Reserve any unused flour.
  • Heat an instant pot on sauté, Cook the bacon until crisp and drain on a paper towel. Add one tablespoon of olive oil to the pot. Brown the beef in batches and set aside. Melt the butter in the pot and add the onions. Scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Cook until soft and add the sugar and thyme. Cook the onions until caramelized. Add the remaining flour to the pot and cook for one minute. Add the beer, stock, mustard, vinegar, and bay leaves. Add the beef to the pot. Place the lid on the pot and turn it to meat/stew normal. Cook for 30 minutes. Allow the pressure to release on it's own. Serve with roasted potatoes and vegetables.

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