Beef Carbonnade with Mixed Mushrooms and Dijon Crostini

There are days when I could stand in the kitchen all day, making one delicious recipe after another. I wake up in the morning with creativity and food on the brain and I don’t stop until I fall into bed that night, exhausted and ridiculously happy. Then there are the rest of the days, when life and its other responsibilities crowd the brain and don’t allow for any fun! Boo. That’s when I like to make stews the most. Sure they take a little time up front, browning meat, cooking the onions and vegetables, but then it’s “sit back and relax” and let the oven make the magic. We eat for days, allowing me to get caught up on my work, making time for another fun filled day of creativity and food!

The first time we ate this beef carbonade we did as the the book The Food of France recommended, which was to serve this stew with dijon crostini. However I feel like meal 2 and 3 were the highlight. Instead of slicing the bread thin, adding dijon and baking until crispy and dry, I mixed a couple of Tbsp of olive oil with dijon, and tossed it in with large 1 inch by 1 inch bread cubes and broiled until golden. This makes large dijon croutons. We served the stew on top of the croutons along side green beans, and we were in heaven. The bread does a great job of absorbing all the lovely juices and distributes the mustard more evenly, which is crucial in balancing the flavors of the rich stew.

Carbonade means charcoal cooked. This boeuf carbonade is traditionally a Flemish recipe but it’s also popular in Northern France.  Does this mean you need a hot bed of charcoals? Not so much. Fancy speak aside, this is a  hearty oven cooked beef stew with beer. This a perfect weekend dish that you put on just after lunch so you’re greeted with the rich smell of stew when you arrive home for dinner.

Since there is only 2 of us, we also got to enjoy the leftovers for days, something that makes me really happy.

Boeuf Carbonade with Mixed Mushrooms and Dijon Crostini

Inspired by The Food of France

  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 lbs lean beef or chuck steak cubed
  • 4 onions
  • 1/2 lb of mixed mushrooms (we used oyster, cremini and white)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp flour ( we used sprouted spelt)
  • 2 cups beer (a hoppy ale or stout)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs of thyme

In a large oven proof pot with a heavy bottom and a tight fitting lid, such as a Dutch oven, melt the butter and 1 Tbsp of oil. Dry off the meat cubes with a paper towel. Over high heat, brown the meat in batches and set aside. Reduce the heat to medium.

Preheat oven to 300 F.

Roughly chop the onions. Clean the mushrooms with a paper towel or peel them. Give them a rough chop. Peel and mince the garlic. Add the remaining oil to the pan. Add the onions into the pot and cook for 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 7-8 minutes. Add the garlic and maple syrup and cook for 5 more minutes. Remove the onions and garlic from the pot and set aside. Pour the meat drippings that have drained off the browned meat into the pot along with the flour. Add the beer a little at a time, stirring to remove any lumps. Simmer, thicken and season with salt and pepper.

Return the meat and the onion mushrooms mixture back to the pot. Stir to cover with the beer sauce. Tuck in bay leaves and thyme sprigs.

Cover  the stew with a tight fitting lid. Place in the oven to bake for 3 hours.

To make the Dijon Crostini, take thin slices of bread (baguette works well for this), spread a thin layer of dijon on one side. Place the bread slices on a baking dish and broil until crispy and golden. Place the crostini dijon side up on the stew to serve.


Instead of slicing the bread thin, adding dijon and baking until they’re crispy and dry, I like to mix a couple of Tbsp of olive oil with 1 tsp dijon, and tossed it in with large 1 inch by 1 inch bread cubes and broil until they’re golden brown. This makes large dijon croutons.


I’m sharing this with The Local Cook.


12 Responses to Beef Carbonnade with Mixed Mushrooms and Dijon Crostini

  1. Cindy January 17, 2012 at 5:08 am #

    This recipe looks delicious! I’d like to try it. My question is- is there a substitute for the beer? We have never bought any beer and would rather not for this recipe. I do use cooking wine, would that work?

    • France Morissette January 17, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

      Hi Cindy, I know for us, when we buy beer for a recipe we buy 1 bottle. Most of the stores around here sell 600 ml bottles as singles and it’s typically less expensive. That being said, wine would absolutely work. It just would render a different result, but one that is sure to be equally as delicious. You won’t get that slightly bitter hoppy taste with the wine, so I’d omit the maple syrup (you won’t need it). I hope that helps.

  2. Koko January 17, 2012 at 6:39 am #

    I totally swing between those cooking moods where I can go and go and everything turns out great….and then those days where I feel uninspired and any attempts leave me slightly disappointed and confused…It’s great that you have found something like this delicious dish that you can depend on when low on time or energy!

    • France Morissette January 17, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

      HI Koko, I’m so glad I’m not the only one!! hahaha

  3. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) January 17, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

    Maple syrup for the sweet balance — what a great idea. These are the kind of stews that are better the second and third day, and my husband can eat stew for days on end without ever getting bored, so this one is going on my list.

  4. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles January 17, 2012 at 10:54 pm #

    I hear you on the fluctuating rhythm… some days, I have lots of energy for cooking but even then, I try to keep the fuss to a minimum because I’m always thinking there are other things I could be doing with my time! lol. What a gorgeous beef stew… love the mixed mushrooms and the Dijon crostinis sound out of this world! Beautiful recipe France.

    • France Morissette January 18, 2012 at 5:36 am #

      Thanks Kelly! Let me know if you make this one. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

  5. Linda January 17, 2012 at 11:28 pm #

    I never knew about Carbonnade…how interesting and how delicious this looks. I too can go and go in the kitchen and then have days without ever getting back in because of too much going on…and I hate that!! This is a nice comforting dish and I like your version of the crostini.

    • France Morissette January 18, 2012 at 5:37 am #

      Linda, carbonnade is super fun and hope you get a chance to try it. I think you’ll really like it. Plus it keeps you out of the kitchen once it’s on the stove :)

  6. The Café Sucré Farine January 18, 2012 at 12:02 am #

    Yum, Frances, this looks amazingly delicious! I’m just like you – some days I can cook all day and then on others it’s the last thing I have time or ambition for. Thanks for sharing this yummy comfort meal!

  7. Lauren January 19, 2012 at 1:29 am #

    Love a good carbonnade! I like the addition of mushrooms and dijon crostini–I’ll have to try it out.

    I’m very lazy and I hate doing dishes, so I love anything that’s a bit of work up front and then gloriously work-free!

    • France Morissette January 19, 2012 at 7:30 am #

      Hi Lauren, I totally agree when it comes to dishes. My favorite part is the leftovers. No mess with lots of flavor.

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