Flemish Beef Stew

Every time our lace making sister comes home from Belgium, one of the first things she’s eager to do is cook something from her adopted homeland for all the sisters here at home. Not only does she want to introduce us to Flemish cooking, she also wants to be able to share the response of the sisters “here” with those “back there.”

This time, she’s chosen to make Flemish Beef stew, a simple stew with a unique flavor provided by one key ingredient, which is beer. Frequently when referring to this meal it will be said “The better the beer the better the stew.” Now beer is not something we regularly have on hand in the convent, but only when its given to us as a gift for some celebratory occasion, but our determined sister would not be put off by lack of one ingredient, even though it be the most important one in the recipe. She is known for having everything fall into place at the right moment regardless of the odds. So it was no surprise to anyone when a 6 pack of Stella Artois appeared on the kitchen counter. Without skipping a beat, she continued working on her stew while quietly throughout the convent sisters could be heard quietly chanting “The better the beer, the better the stew.”

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Flemish Beef Stew
8 hrs45 min



  1. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add half the beef and brown on all sides, turning frequently, about 5 minutes
  2. Transfer to a slow cooker and drain any fat from the pan.
  3. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and brown the remaining geef and add to the slow cooker.
  4. Add mushrooms to the skillet and cook, stirring often, until they give off their liquid (5-7 minutes).
  5. Sprinkle flour over the mushrooms and cook for half a minute. Add beer and bring to a boil, whisking constantly to reduce foaming, until thickened and bubbliing, about 3 minutes. Add the mushroom mixture to the beef in the slow cooker.
  6. Add carrots, onion, garlic, mustard, caraway seeds, salt, pepper and bay leaf to the slow cooker and stir to combine.
  7. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low until the beef is very tender, about 8 hrs.