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Beef Bourguignon is a classic beef stew with deep, rich and very delicious flavor.
Hi everyone, it’s Jack. I just want to say – right up front – that this fantastically delicious Beef Bourguignon recipe takes some time to prepare. (But please don’t let that scare you off from making this amazing recipe – it’s not difficult, but it does take time.)
The deep flavors and amazing tender texture of this restaurant-quality Beef Bourguignon can only be achieved by committing time, and following each step. There are no shortcuts – so if you are looking for a quick and easy dinner to prepare, click here instead.
All of that said, Beef Bourguignon is a truly wonderful, classic French dish that is 100% worth the time and effort. The tender beef with a deep burgundy wine flavor, with caramelized onions and vegetables, is extremely satisfying – and a total pleasure to eat in every bite. Only attempt this dish if you want to be sent to culinary heaven!
What is Beef Bourguignon?
Beef Bourguignon is a beef stew braised in red wine (typically a red Burgundy) and beef stock with bacon, carrots, onions, garlic, and herbs, then served with pearl onions and mushrooms. It’s also referred to as Beef Burgundy or bœuf à la Bourguignonne. (You can practice your French saying the name of this delicious dish.)
Many cooks first learned about Beef Burgundy from Julia Child, who declared this as “certainly one of the most delicious beef dishes concocted by man.” But, this now-classic French dish dates back to 19th century France.
What kind of beef should I use to make Beef Bourguignon?
We recommend using a lean, boneless chuck roast that has been trimmed of excess fat, then cut into large three-inch sized chunks.
Chuck roast is actually a reasonably affordable cut of beef compared to some other parts of the animal. It has marbling throughout the meat, and the long, slow braising process makes it juicy and tender.
What kind of wine should I use to make Beef Bourguignon?
Any red wine is an option, but a red Burgundy is traditionally used in this recipe because it yields a deep, rich flavor.
Regardless of the red wine you choose, select a one that you would be happy to drink. You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on a vintage bottle, of course. But, because the wine is such an integral part of this recipe, you don’t want to go for the cheapest jug of burgundy on the shelf either.
Can I make Beef Bourguignon in the slow cooker or Instant Pot?
I’ll admit that I’m a purist when it comes to this recipe. I just don’t think you’ll get the same flavors or textures or caramelization of ingredients if you make Beef Bourguignon in either a slow cooker or pressure cooker. Your choice though – there are other recipes online that use those appliances to make this recipe.
What do I serve with Beef Bourguignon?
We like to spoon our Beef Bourguignon over mashed potatoes. A slice of warm, crusty, buttered French baguette on the side wouldn’t hurt either.
After one taste of our delicious Beef Bourguignon, I think you’ll agree that this recipe is worth the time and effort, and you’ll understand why this is considered an iconic recipe!
You may also enjoy these other Beef recipes:
5 cups good quality low sodium beef stock
4 pounds lean chuck roast trimmed and cut into large 3” sized chunks*
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ pound thick cut slab bacon cut into ½ inch pieces
2 cups yellow onion, diced (about one large yellow onion)
1 medium carrot peeled and diced fine
4 tablespoons fresh garlic (about 8 cloves) divided (3 tablespoons roughly chopped and one tablespoon minced fine) The one tablespoon of finely minced will be used later in the recipe; cover and set aside
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon brown sugar
5 cups good quality burgundy wine
2–3 sprigs fresh thyme
5–6 stems and leaves fresh parsley
2 bay leaves
1 ½ pounds fresh boiler onions (not pearl onions) **
2 pounds fresh carrots, peeled, trimmed and cut into halves or thirds depending on the size of the carrot.
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 ½ pounds cremini mushrooms (AKA baby Bella), cut in half or quarters depending on size of mushroom
¼ cup cognac
Additional salt and pepper to taste
Mashed potatoes, for serving
Place the beef stock into a medium sauce pan, bring to a boil and reduce by half. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix flour, salt and pepper and toss in beef pieces then toss with your hands until fully coated and there is no flour left in the bowl. Separate the pieces on a plate or platter and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large Dutch oven with an oven proof lid, add olive oil and over medium high heat, add the bacon. Cook until not quite crisp but past the point of raw, maybe five minutes. Once done, use a spider or strainer and remove to a large bowl or plater.
Add just enough beef to the hot bacon fat so that the pieces are not touching. You want to crisp up the sides and if touching or too crowded, the meat will steam instead of searing.
Sear on each side, 2-3 minutes per side and remove to the bowl with the bacon once seared.
Keep cooking batches of beef until all seared.
Leave the pan hot and add onions, finely minced carrot and the three tablespoons of the coarsely chopped garlic and cook and scrape the pan for three minutes.
Add the tomato paste and brown sugar into the center and cook for another two minutes then stir into the onion mixture.
Add the wine and scrape any brown bits left on the bottom.
Add the reduced beef stock, the seared beef and the par-cooked bacon.
Lay the fresh thyme, parsley and bay leaves on the cutting board or counter over a piece of twine then tie tight and add to the pot.
Cover and place in the oven for two hours without removing the lid.
While the meat is cooking, prepare the onions, carrots and mushrooms.
Place a medium pot filled half way with water onto boil. Once boiling, add a little salt then plunge the unpeeled onions into the pot for four minutes. Use a strainer and scoop them out into a bowl filled with ice water.
Once cool enough to handle, remove to your cutting board and nip off root end. Then make a tiny slit on the side and grabbing the other end, squeeze and the onion will pop out. Then with your knife, nip off the opposite end.
Once complete, bring the water back to a boil and place the trimmed onions back in and boil for ten minutes. Remove from the water with a strainer, cool the onions and refrigerate until later in the recipe.
Bring the water back to a boil and add the carrots and cook until just shy of tender. Drain, cool and refrigerate until later in this recipe.
Finally, in a large saute pan over high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and add half the mushrooms. Saute the mushrooms until browned and remove to a bowl.
Add the remaining butter and mushrooms and cook again until browned.
Add the first mushrooms back in along with the one tablespoon of minced garlic and cook one minute.
Remove the pan from the burner and away from any flame and add the cognac. The heat of the pan will cook it off and the mushrooms will absorb the flavor. Set these aside in the refrigerator for later.
After two hours, remove the pot from the oven making sure to remember to use oven mitts to remove the cover.
Check the beef, it should be tender, if not cook a little longer. Also check to make sure there is still enough liquid, if not add a little more beef stock or water.
Once the beef is done, add the cooked carrots and place back into the oven covered until the carrots are fully cooked, 10-20 more minutes.
If serving with mashed potatoes, cook those now and hold until ready to serve.
Remove the beef and carrots from oven and add the onions and mushrooms, stir and heat over a low burner just until the mixture is hot. Taste and re-season if needed with additional salt and pepper.
Remove and discard herbs tied with string.
Serve over mashed potatoes.
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*To trim the roast, cut along the natural separation of the beef roast, pulling the large pieces apart, then trim out the fat in between. Then with four or five slabs of meat on your board, cut into 3” pieces trying to keep the pieces fairly uniform in size.
**I chose boiler onions because they are nice and large like the rest of the ingredients in this dish and also because pearl onions would simply fall apart and get lost in the dish.