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Beef and Onions Braised in Beer

July 14, 2020 | Updated March 31, 2022 | Laura Bullock

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Julia Child's Beef and Onions Braised in Beer

✽ Recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. I | Julia Child ✽

Julia Child Recipe 126 | 402 recipes to go!

✽ Beef and Onions Braised in Beer [Carbonnades à la Flamande], p. 317


✽ Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. I was written by Julia Child who co-authored with Simone Beck & Louisette Bertholle and was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1961. You can buy Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I which contains these recipes here. (affiliate link)

The purpose of this Julia Child section of my blog is to document my journey of learning how to cook. To show my successes, my failures, and what I learned along the way.

Since I didn't create these recipes (if only!), I do not post exact amounts of ingredients or word-for-word instructions. If any of these recipes spark your interest, I highly recommend you buy Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking (affiliate link). It's a great investment and learning tool and contains hundreds of classic recipes.

I hope that you enjoy reading my thoughts, learn something new, and leave inspired to try a new recipe. Bon appétit!


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Butter Count & Cost: Carbonnades à la Flamande

✽ Butter Count: +0 TB

✽ Cost: $26.75 [~$4.46 per serving]

Check out the total Julia Child butter count & cost here!

→ Looking for a different Julia Child recipe? Here's a list of all of the completed and pending Mastering the Art of French Cooking recipes!

Boeuf Bourguignon but with beer instead of wine.

This recipe is for all of you beer lovers out there.

The one recipe in Julia’s book that I’ve found where she recommends drinking beer over wine. Of course, what do I run out of after I make this? Beer. Go figure.

I was a little worried about this one because the boeuf bourguignon was SO good. How could this one even come close?

I find that when you cook with beer this can leave the meat tasting a little bitter, but Julia suggests adding brown sugar and vinegar to help with this. She was right.

This dish was very flavorful, and I kept wanting to go back for more. I served it with buttered egg noodles, and that’s all that was needed! Excellent!

Though I wouldn’t say it beats boeuf bourguignon, it does come close.

Beef & Onions Braised in Beer: Questions

What should you know about cooking with beer?

Beer has a bitterness to it. When cooking with beer, you'll want to add acid, something sweet, or fat to the mix as well to cut down on that bitterness.

In this recipe, Julia suggests adding brown sugar to help mask it. Brown sugar works great since it is both acidic and sweet. Vinegar is also added at the end of the recipe.

According to, you could also add lemon juice, mustard, honey, oil, cheese, or even caramelized onions.

If you don't want to end up with a beer-forward tasting dish, you should add a lighter beer that isn't as flavorful and has less hops.

Also adding the beer at the end of cooking will tone down the bitterness since the flavor will concentrate the longer the beer cooks and the liquids reduce.

What do you serve with beef braised in beer?

Julia suggests serving this dish with noodles or potatoes, a salad, and beer. I served mine with buttered egg noodles, and it was amazing!

Looking for more Julia Child beef recipes?

→ Check out all of the meat recipes that I've completed so far!

Fun Pilsner Beer Facts

✽ What is a pilsner beer?

• According to Spruce Eats, Pilsners are pale lagers that are crisp, straw-colored, low in hops, and have a moderate alcohol level.

They are brewed with pilsner malt and lager yeast and are bottom-fermenting. Bottom fermenation is when the yeast cells collect at the bottom of the fermenting liquid at temperatures between 39.2°F to 50°F.

✽ Pilsner History:

• Pilsners were originally brewed in a town called Pilsen which is now the Czech Republic. It was first made in 1842 by a brewery that is now known as Pilsner Urquell by Josef Groll.

He also came up with the concept of the beer glass. Prior to pilsners, all beers were dark and served in mugs. Still today, Pilsner Urquell, uses the same recipe and brewing process as the very first pilsner made in 1842.

✽ Are pilsners lagers?

• All pilsners are lagers, but not all lagers are pilsners.

For this recipe:

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How to Make Beef and Onions Braised in Beer

✽ Step 1: Brown Beef Quickly

Julia Child Beef Recipes

First, the beef is cut into slices and browned in oil.

✽ Step 2: Brown Onions Lightly

Once the meat is removed from the skillet, add in 1 ½ pounds of onions. Yep, it’s a lot of onions. Be prepared to cry!

The onions are browned for a few minutes, removed from heat, seasoned, and mashed garlic cloves are added.

Julia Child Onions

Onions Julia Child

✽ Step 3: Layer Beef and Onions

Next everything is layered just a like a lasagna. Browned beef, then salt/pepper, then onions, and repeat.

✽ Step 4: Put in Oven

Heated beef bouillon and beer are added to the meat to barely cover. Julia says to use a light beer such as a Pilsner.

The brown sugar and herb bouquet are added, and it is all brought to a simmer on the stove. Once simmering, its covered and put into the oven until the meat is fork-tender.

Julia Child Carbonnades a la Flamande

Beef and Onions Braised in Beer

✽ Step 5: Make the Sauce

It smells so good when it first comes out of the oven. WOW.

The braising liquid is poured into a saucepan, and the fat is skimmed off. A starch and wine vinegar mixture is added to ensure the sauce will get nice and thick.

After simmering, the sauce will be a perfect consistency and will be packed full of flavor. It is poured all over the meat and onions.

✽ Step 6: Serve

Lastly, decorate with parsley sprigs. This dish can also be served with parsley potatoes which I’m sure is delightful as well.

Overall, great dish that would be amazing to eat during the winter.

Julia Child Beef and Onions Braised in Beer

Beef and Onions Braised in Beer Julia Child

*This blog, Laura The Gastronaut, and this post were/are not endorsed or supported by Julia Child or The Julia Child Foundation.

Category: Julia Child, Meat Cuisine: French
Keywords: Julia Child beef stew, Julia Child beef, beef carbonnade julia child, beef in beer

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More Beef Recipes:

Boeuf Bourguignon (do I even need to say?- this recipe is the best)
Minced Braised Beef Served in a Beef Shell (one of my favorite Julia Child recipes)
Steak au Poivre (one of the best steak recipes)
→ Check out all of the completed Julia Child beef recipes!

✽ You can find this recipe and all the other Julia Child recipes I make in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I (affiliate link). Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. I was written by Julia Child who co-authored with Simone Beck & Louisette Bertholle and was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1961.

✽ Check out my Julia Child Recipe Checklist to see a list of all my completed and pending recipes from Mastering the Art of French Cooking!

Bon appétit!

July 14, 2020 by Laura Bullock

*This Beef and Onions Braised in Beer blog post may contain Amazon affiliate links. These link to products that I personally use and recommend. If you purchase anything using my links, it will not cost you anything. It will though give some financial support which helps me keep this blog running. Thank you for reading my blogs and your continued support.