Flemish Stew: A Legendary Belgian Dish

This rich and hearty Flemish stew recipe is one of the Belgian signature dishes. It fills and warms you, not only in winter. Belgian cuisine is rich in hearty dishes like this one.

The most important factor for this dish is time. The meat has be cooked for around 2, better 3 hours on low heat. Your patience will be rewarded with one of the most tender meat you will ever eat. For the stew meat, choose shoulder meat if possible.

The right beer for your Belgian goulash

A great pick for cooking a Flemish beer stew is a Belgian sour red ale, such as Rodenbach Grand Cru, or a Flanders red ale, or Dubbel. Beers for a Belgian beef stew have a sour and fruity flavor that complements the flavors of the meat and herbs. It is meant to add complexity to theis iconic dish.

And because there is not enough beer in the stew itself, have some beer on the side also 😀

If you can’t get Belgian beer, look for top-fermented beer (sour ales), like red ales and dark beer. Do not use IPA, as it is not a good choice for a Flemish beer stew.

Cooking tips

  • Use a big pot with a heavy base. Beef stew is also perfectly done in a pressure cooker or slow cooker.
  • To avoid residus in your goulash, fill herbs and spices into a metal tea egg, or a small spice bag. This can be easily removed at the end.
  • Buy a good quality beef cut, such as chuck or brisket. These cuts have a high fat content and make for a tender stew.
Dark and flavorful – that’s what a good Flemish beer stew looks like.

Find more Belgian recipes here.

Side dishes

Serve this special recipe with French Fries, potatos, rice, or bread.

Also try Gentse waterzooi: Belgian chunky chicken stew, dark Chili con Carne or Creamy Venison Mushroom Stew.

belgian-beef-stew (2)

Dark Flemish Beer Stew “Stoofvlees of stoverij”

Flemish stew is one of the most delicous Belgian dishes. It is eaten all year round and has a hearty, full flavour. Try our recipe and enjoy.
5 from 3 votes
Total Time 3 hrs 25 mins
Course Main Course, Meat
Cuisine Belgium
Servings 4 persons
Calories 808 kcal



  • 1 kg goulash meat cut to medium sized cubes
  • 100 ml dark or red beer originally “Rodenbach” beer
  • 500 ml beef stock
  • 2 big onions
  • 1-2 slices dark brown bread
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 clove
  • 2 laurel bay leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • salt & pepper
  • 50 g all-purpose flour


  • Wash the stew meat and remove from tendons. Tap dry and cover with flour all around. Cut the onions into not too thin slices, mince the garlic cloves.
  • Add butter or ghee to a frying pan and fry the meat chunks until browned. Add onion and garlic now. Let fry for 2 more minutes.
  • Now add the beer, beef stock, vinegar and all the spices in a spice bag, or a tea egg.
    Cover the pot and let it simmer on low heat 2 – 3 hours until the meat is tender. It is important not to cook on high temperature, medium to low temperature is just perfect.
  • Uncover the pot, add the mustard and place the slices of bread on top of the dish. Let it simmer until the desired thickness of the stew is reached. The bread will slowly dissolve and thicken the dish.
  • Remove the herbs. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir.
  • Serve with French Fries, short pasta or homebaked bread.
    The Flemish stew gets even better if you let it stand overnight, or a few hours minimum. This makes it really hearty.


To make it gluten free, just replace the flour with gluten free flour and do not use bread to thicken. 


Serving: 1personCalories: 808kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 48gFat: 56gSaturated Fat: 23gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 24gTrans Fat: 3gCholesterol: 193mgSodium: 598mgPotassium: 973mgFiber: 1gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 217IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 80mgIron: 6mg
Keyword Beef, Oventop
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Image credits: Unless otherwise stated: ©Angela Darroch, ©Pro Stock Media via Canva.com or ©Unsplash.com.

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About Susan 171 Articles
Hi, I am Susan. I love the art of cooking and I love life! Also am keen to inspire you and try out new ways of cooking. Here on My Golden Pear I write about the latest food trends, recipes and share my travel discoveries. As I am German by birth, you will also find many authentic German recipes here. Enjoy!


  1. How much vinegar is needed?

    • Hi, you need just a bit of vinegar to add some acidity. For this amount above, a teaspoon full of 10-15% concentrated is fine.

  2. 5 stars
    I’m so excited about finding this recipe- I loved the Flemish stew I had in Belgium. Your recipe looks delicious.

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