1 set of ingredients, but 3 sets of directions: oven, slow cooker and pressure cooker!  Choose your own adventure stew!  This is a big batch that can be halved easily – and it means you get to share the beer with your beef!

  • 5 lbs of chuck roast, cut into 1.5 inch cubes (or just buy some stew meat)
  • 3 lbs yellow onions, diced
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 12 oz dark beer
  • 3 tbl dijon mustard
  • 2 tbl crushed garlic
  • 2 tbl brown sugar
  • 2 tbl rosemary/thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 thick slices sourdough bread
  • olive oil, as needed
  • kosher salt and black pepper

Traditional Method:

  1. Blot the meat dry with paper towels and season generously with kosher salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a large Dutch oven over a medium-high flame. Add a slick of oil to the pan and brown the meat on all sides.  Do this in batches and take your time.  This is making dinner extra delicious.  As the batches of meat are browned, move the meat to a big bowl.  Add oil as needed to keep a layer in the bottom of the pan.
  3. When all of the meat is browned, add a little more oil to the pan, and add all of the onions.  It’s a lot, but they will cook down to nothing.  Season very generously with kosher salt and black pepper and give it a stir to distribute.  You can cover the pan to steam the onions for a few minutes to get a cook start on the cooking, if you want.  We are looking for a deep, dark caramelized onion.  This will take about 30 minutes, with stirring every few minutes.
  4. Add the garlic, stir until fragrant.  Then put in the bay leaves, mustard, brown sugar and rosemary/thyme.  Add the beer slowly and watch the magic of science as it bubbles away.
  5. Now that our meat and onions are all golden brown and delicious, they need to get married!  Pour the beef cubes and any juices.  Add the broth, give it a good stir.  Top with the bread slices.  Bring the stew to a boil and pop the lid on.
  6. Put the pot in the 350* oven for about 2 1/2 hours, until the meat is nice and tender.  Taste a bite to make sure, and a little of the gravy to see if it is seasoned to your liking.  All tender? Good, pull the stew out of the oven and let’s finish up!  Stir the remains of the bread chunks into the gravy to thicken and add any salt or pepper needed.

For a slow cooker:

  1. Follow steps 1 thru 4 above, then move the contents of the pot to the slow cooker and add the beef.  You will only need 2 cups of broth.  Top with the bread slices.  Cook on low for 10 hrs or high for 4 hrs. Stir all together and adjust seasoning before serving.

For the pressure cooker:

  1. You can follow steps 1 thru 4 on the range, or if your pot has a browning function (as my Instant Pot does), do it all in the pressure cooker.  I find it easier on my range, but that’s because I’m a little short to stir in the Instant Pot.
  2. After everything is browned, add the liquids and then the bread.  Cook on high pressure for 20 minutes with a natural release, or just use the stew setting.


  • Pressure cookers and slow cookers will need to do a half batch of the Carbonnade.
  • Serve with more bread, a nice green salad and some glazed carrots.
  • If you like your stew even thicker, add more bread than the 3 slices I call for.

Watch the Video!