Covering the culinary specialty of two of the regions we go through on our riverboat cruises. This dish will be served on our Holland and Belgium cruise and also on our Seine-Normandy cruise.

Classic French Flemish beef stew slow cooked in beer, with onions and carrotsWe also add mushrooms to our recipe.

That’s all, you’ll see this comforting dish is super easy to cook. Briefly brown meat in a pan, then add the vegetables and pour in beer.


  • 2 lbs Stewing steak, cut into cubes
  • Seasoning. Salt and pepper
  • Oil
  • 6 oz Flour
  • 1 pint Beer
  • 2 tablespoons Vinegar
  • 1 pint Beef Stock
  • 1 lb Onions, skinned and chopped
  • 1 lb Carrots, peeled and chopped  
  • 3 cloves Garlic skinned and chopped     
  • 5 leaves Bay leaves
  • Bouquet garni
  • ½ pound small button mushrooms


  • Season the meat and fry in oil until brown.
  • Remove meat from pan, stir in the flour and brown lightly. Gradually add the beer, stock and vinegar, stirring continuously until the mixture thickens. Fill a casserole with layers of meat, onion, carrot, mushroom and garlic. Pour sauce over and add the bouquet garni and bay leaves.
  • Cover and cook in the oven for 3 – 4 hours at 150 C. Add more beer if required. Remove bouquet garni before serving.

One of the highlights of this dish is that it is usually served with French Fries!!

  • Add an extra special flavour to this dish by adding slices of pain d’épices (the French honey and spices gingerbread) with Dijon mustard spread on it. It might seems strange to you but it actually gives an incredible taste and texture to the sauce (and the meat by extension).
  • If you wish to carry out this variation, place the gingerbread on the meat prior to cooking.

If you wish to cook the gingerbread yourself here is the recipe for one gingerbread loaf:

  • 9 oz spelt or rye flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 2 ½ tsps pain d’épices spices (French gingerbread spices)
  • 3 oz light brown sugar
  • 2 ½ oz candied orange peel, chopped
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 eggs


  • Preheat oven to 180°C and line a 11 inch rectangular baking pan with parchment paper.
  • Put the flour, baking powder and baking soda into a large bowl. Add in spices and the brown sugar and mix well. Stir in the candied orange.
  • Whisk the honey, water and eggs in a small bowl.
  • Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients. Pour in the wet ingredients and fold until you have a smooth batter.
  • Pour the batter into the baking pan and bake for 40-45 minutes.
  • Check the cake after about 20 minutes and cover with foil if the top is getting too dark.