Carbonade and Carbonado

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

Carbonade and Carbonado two terms which are easily confused and which may indeed have been interchangeable, in the English language, for part of the 17th century. Both are derived from the Latin carbo, meaning charcoal (as is the Italian carbonara, which occurs in the phrase alla carbonara, meaning ‘in the style of charcoal-burners’).

Carbonade, also spelled carbonnade, now means, for English-speaking readers, a beef dish made with onions and braised in beer. This corresponds to Carbonnade à la flamande, not simply a Flemish speciality but also one of the national dishes in belgium and well known in the NE corner of France.