Olive Magazine

Short-rib beef carbonnade

Published: April 20, 2016 at 8:57 am
  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Total time
  • Easy
  • serves 6

This classic Belgian one-pot works really well with beef short-ribs, slow-cooked until meltingly tender and falling off the bone. Plus, it's really easy to make.



  • 50g butter
  • 4 small or 3 large onions, sliced
  • 6 about 1.5kg
  • 4 tbsp flour, seasoned
  • 900ml brown or ruby ale
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp light muscovado sugar
  • to serve buttery mashed potato
  • to serve spring greens


  • STEP 1

    Heat the oven to 140C/fan 160C/gas 3. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil and the butter in a large frying pan and cook the onions for 10-15 minutes, until really soft but not too coloured. Scoop them into a large casserole dish that will easily fit the beef ribs in one layer. Toss the ribs in the seasoned flour and shake off any excess. Heat 2 tbsp oil in the same pan over a medium-high heat, add the beef, a couple of ribs at a time, and brown all over. You want to get a good dark colour as this will add flavour and depth to the finished sauce. Repeat until all the beef is browned. Tip into the casserole dish with the onions.

  • STEP 2

    Swill out the frying pan with half the brown ale and pour over the beef and onions. Add the remaining ale to the casserole and bring to the boil, then add the vinegar and sugar. Season well, cover and cook in the oven for 3-31/2 hours, or until the meat is very tender and just falling off the bone. If you want the sauce a bit thicker, carefully remove the ribs and reduce the sauce a bit, then add the ribs back in to heat through, seasoning if needed. Serve with mash and greens.


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