Very simple recipe from one of my fave cookbooks by Elisabeth Luard.
Carbonnade a la flamande
2 pounds chuck steak (she says that you could use skirt steak, I have never tried it with skirt) Cube the meat and season well with cracked pepper.
1 pound yellow onions sliced
2 TBS suet
2 Cups dark beer (i like Duvel for this)
In an oven safe dutch oven, render the lard and fry the onions until they are soft and start to take on color. Push them to the side and brown the beef. Add the herbs and sugar. Pour the beer over all. Cover and put into a 325 oven for at least two hours. Smash the onions into the sauce a little and serve.
I usually add a handful of chopped parsley at the end.
I have was given a recipe by a friend in France that called for one thick slice of country bread spread with mustard added to the top of the braise just before putting the dish in the oven. The bread "melts" into the stew and thickens the sauce. I like it both ways.
I do something similar, but toss the beef in flour before browning, do 1/2 beer half water initially, and then add beer if it cooks down too low. I also cook it on the stove, add a teaspoon of red wine vinegar the last 15 minutes and sometimes thrown in carrots and mushrooms. (so maybe it isn't that similar after all).