Pot Roast Carbonnade – Beer Braised Pot Roast

Pot Roast Carbonnade – Beer Braised Pot Roast

Pot Roast done perfectly tender, a rich, silky gravy.  Is there anything better? Here’s one that’s full of flavor, a play off of the Flemish Stew with beer, Beouf Carbonnade. If that sounds too fancy, just call it Pot Roast Carbonnade – Beer Braised Pot Roast. Does a roast with any other name still smell as good? Oh, that’s Rose? Silly me…

Pot Roast Carbonnade – Beer Braised Pot Roast

Pot Roast Carbonnade – a play on Beouf Carbonnade. A Beer Braised Pot Roast


I grew up with Pot Roast made by sprinkling a packet of Lipton’s Onion Soup over the top, That Old Lipton’s Onion Soup Pot Roast. I loved it then, and to tell ya the truth, I still do – but this Pot Roast Carbonnade – Beer Braised Pot Roast? My goodness. From the first bite, a single taste you’ll know exactly what’s been missing in your life. Even if you didn’t know you were missing anything!

About Pot Roast Carbonnade – Beer Braised Pot Roast:

Pot Roast Carbonnade – Beer Braised Pot Roast is really going to up your pot roast game. It has a hint of sweetness and just a touch of tangy from the beer. And it’s just dripping with caramelized onions. By the way, that gravy is so good you’re seriously going to wish you could lick your plate.

This pot roast is going to be perfect for a family dinner but definitely good enough for a celebration dinner or for company. Use a good, thick pot roast if you can; it always seem s a bit more elegant. Serve your Pot Roast Carbonnade – Beer Braised Pot Roast with mashed potatoes. It would be good with noodles, too, but why, why, why? (Yep, I’m a Northerner, you betcha.)

There’s a bit of time and work invested in Beer Braised Pot Roast. The onions need to be cooked to perfection, which takes time, but that’s the key to building the color and flavor. But once the onions are caramelized, it’s a breeze to finish up the dish and lovingly toss it in the oven to slowly braise. Go about your business.  Enjoy the tantalizing aroma wafting from the oven. Maybe make a simple salad, or maybe fresh green beans. Pot Roasts shrink – a lot. A couple sides round out the plate.

Pot Roast Carbonnade – Beer Braised Pot Roast

Pot Roast Carbonnade – a play on Beouf Carbonnade. A Beer Braised Pot Roast

Making Pot Roast Carbonnade – Beer Braised Pot Roast:

The only madness needed to turn plain old chuck into a gourmet experience is to really take your time browning up and caramelizing the onions. I start out the dish by browning the beef well, then removing it and adding the onions. I do like to use bacon drippings rather than oil if I have them in the fridge.

Belgium beers add a bit of a bitter, sour note, and there’s a touch of vinegar, too. That’s why the jam is added in the end to balance the flavors. Some recipes just use a little sugar, and if you use a “tamer” beer, watch the amount of sugar or jelly used.

Beef & Barley Soup

Beef & Barley Soup

Saving Money on Pot Roast Carbonnade – Beer Braised Pot Roast:

A good-sized chuck roast (my favorite cut for a braised meal like this because of its marvelous marbling) is going to set you back a few bucks, so look for them on sale. And try to squirrel away a little of the roast and a bit of the gravy to shortcut a Beef Barley Soup. A little trick when serving a more expensive meal is to use a bit of it for another…then the cost is essentially spread over two meals.

Shop carefully for your alcoholic beverages and be aware of seasonal and cyclic changes as well as great prices on newly available offerings. Holidays and before big sporting events are often the best times to buy. Cost varies wildly, but a plain old beer will likely set you back by about a buck, an expensive import, two, two-fifty or so.

Onions keep well, so try to buy on sale. Aldi is a good place to find reasonably priced onions. Always less expensive in the fall/winter months, the pricing in my area runs from 33 to 66 cents a pound. Store them in a dark, cool place but not near potatoes. If you’ve bought too many onions, don’t let them go bad. • Slice or dice them, saute and portion into Ziplocs labeled “onions” and freeze. You’ve just saved yourself a step for next time you make a dish.

While an excellent chicken stock is cheap and easy to make and just takes a little time, a good beef stock, in my area, is very difficult to bring in on a budget. Bones are often removed from roasts, difficult to find, meager and very expensive! I’ve seen a few during the winter holidays, now and then for $6.99 a pound, but they often range up to $12.99 a pound! The obvious solution is to stock up with sales priced store beef stock (use a coupon) when prices are low, usually during the holidays.

Pot Roast Carbonnade – Beer Braised Pot Roast

Pot Roast Carbonnade – a play on Beouf Carbonnade. A Beer Braised Pot Roast just dripping with Caramelized Onions

Pot Roast Carbonnade – Beer Braised Pot Roast

  • Servings: 4 to 6
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print
  • 3-pound beef chuck roast
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 3 tablespoon butter or bacon drippings, divided
  • 3 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 teaspoon of brown sugar
  • 1 Belgian-style ale, an Abbey Ale is great, almost any beer is good
  • 1 cup beef stock, approximate
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon stone ground mustard (optional)
  • salt and pepper as desired
  • 1/2 teaspoon tarragon
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon red or black currant or blackberry jam or jelly

Season beef, both sides, with salt and pepper. Place flour on a plate and dredge meat, both sides, in flour.

Heat 2 tablespoons of butter or drippings in a heavy Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add beef and sear, turning, turning once, until browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate; set aside.

Add remaining butter or drippings, onions, and the teaspoon of brown sugar. Cover, cook 30 minutes, over very low heat, stirring after15 minutes. Remove lid; at this point, the onions should be very soft and starting to brown. Continue to cook, stirring every few minutes until caramelized and brown.

While onions cook, preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Add half the beer to the onions and continue to cook, scraping the bottom of the pan, until slightly reduced about three to four minutes.

Return beef to pot with remaining beer, vinegar, thyme, tarragon, bay leaf, mustard and salt, and pepper. Add beef stock as needed to bring the level of liquid 3/4’s of the way up the roast. Bring to a boil. Cover pot and place in oven until very tender (nearly falling apart) when pierced with a fork, three to three and a half hours.

Watch your liquid level and check now and then towards the end of the time, as timing and evaporation can vary with different ovens, pans, and thicknesses of roast. Add water if needed.

Place pot roast on a platter to rest for 10 minutes, stir jelly into the sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning and serve sauce with the roast.


There\'s really nothing like this play off the classic Flemish dish, Pot Roast Carbonnade – Beer Braised Pot Roast. And what a pot roast it is!  You\'re gonna want to lick your plate! #BeefCarbonnadePotRost #BeerBraisedPotRost

13 thoughts on “Pot Roast Carbonnade – Beer Braised Pot Roast

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Hi Sue, yes you can. It gives it a slightly richer taste but isn’t necessary. 🙂 Having you comment here makes me hungry for this! It would have been a perfect snow day meal, here! 🙂

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