Stage 5 – Ypres/Arenburg Porte du Hainaut: A carbonnade is a meat-and-onion stew cooked in beer. Our recipe features rabbit, but it can also be made with beef or chicken. It’s a superb Belgian dish that’s full of wonderful flavours. For this recipe, ask your butcher to prepare the rabbit by cutting it into pieces.






Skill level

Average: 3.6 (34 votes)


  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ tbsp butter
  • 1 rabbit, jointed
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 brown onions, finely sliced
  • few sprigs of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced
  • 500 ml brown Belgian ale, approximately
  • 1 tbsp hot mustard
  • ¼ cup diced honey bread (see Note), rye or pain d'épices (gingerbread)
  • ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley


Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Preheat the oven to 150°C. Heat oil and butter in a flameproof casserole dish over medium-high heat. Add rabbit and cook for 3-4 minutes or until browned all over. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the pan.

To the same pan, add the onion, thyme and bay leaf and cook for 2-3 minutes. Return the rabbit to the pan and add the carrot and beer. Bring to a simmer, then cover with a round of baking paper followed by a lid. Reduce heat to low and cook for about 2 hours or until rabbit is tender. Alternatively, bake in oven.

Stir in mustard and honey bread. Cook for a further 10 minutes over medium heat or in the oven, stirring occasionally. Spoon into serving bowls and scatter with parsley. Serve.


• Honey bread is sometimes called Dutch gingerbread.


Photography by Benito Martin. Styling by Sarah O’Brien. Food preparation by Alice Storey.

Props by Hayden Youlley Design.

In-video photography by Peter Warren.