Beef Bourguignon was one of my bucket list recipes, and it did not disappoint! Fall-apart tender beef simmered in a rich red wine sauce, this traditional French beef stew is one of the most special dinners we’ve shared.
Last month, Ben and I booked a last-minute trip to Europe, where I lived out my dream to eat beef Bourguignon (or as it is called in French “Boeuf Bourguignon“) in the region where it was created, Burgundy, France.
And I even had a glass (or two) of Burgundy wine to pair with it. How lucky am I?!
- Boeuf Bourguignon is pronounced “booff boar-gone-yawn.”
- It translates to “Burgundy Beef” (“beouf” is French for “beef” and “Bourguignon” is French for “Burgundian”).
- Boeuf Bourguignon consists of beef (usually a tough, inexpensive cut like chuck), red wine, beef stock, carrots, aromatics like garlic and onion, pearl onions, mushrooms, and bacon.
- It tastes robust, comforting, velvety, and complex.
Beef Bourguignon is special because it cooks for hours, it reflects the ingredients of the land where it originates (red wine for which Burgundy is famous for is used in the recipe), and it turns humble ingredients like inexpensive beef and carrots into something truly spectacular.
Cheesy as it sounds, if I could put it simply, I would say beef Bourguignon tastes like love.
Beef Stew vs. Beef Bourguignon
The difference between beef stew and beef Bourguignon is whether or not it contains wine. Classic beef stew recipes (like my Instant Pot Beef Stew and Crockpot Beef Stew) do not include wine. However, Beef Bourguignon is considered a beef stew. In other words, all beef Bourguignons are beef stew, but not all beef stews are beef Bourguignon (you know, the rectangle/square logic).
How to Make Beef Bourguignon
Ever since we returned from Burgundy, I’ve wanted to recreate beef Bourguignon, but with a Well Plated twist.
I also wanted to make it accessible to home cooks by streamlining the ingredients and reducing the cook time.
No offense to the masters, but I found the boeuf Bourguignon Julia Child original version and even Ina Garten’s version left me wishing for more vegetables to balance the meat.
- I doubled up on the carrots and mushrooms, a move all of my taste testers appreciated.
- I removed ingredients that, while tasty, were not essential to creating a successful, traditional dish I would proudly serve to any of the wonderful Burgundy wine makers we met.
- This recipe takes time, but the steps are straightforward. If ever there were an easy beef Bourguignon recipe, this is it!
- Chuck Roast. Chuck roast is the best cut of meat to use for beef Bourguignon. It becomes tantalizingly tender during cooking but still retains its flavor.
- Bacon. Beef Bourguignon without bacon just isn’t the same! It adds an extra layer of savory goodness that is absolutely delicious.
- Mushrooms. A fantastic addition to beef dishes like this one. Plus, mushrooms are packed with fiber and antioxidants.
- Butter. Adds richness to the dish.
- Red Wine. Intensifies the flavor and helps tenderize the beef during cooking. A dry red wine like Pinot Noir works best here.
- Carrots. Tender, tasty carrots add wonderful color and flavor. Rich in fiber and vitamins, carrots are also a nutritious addition.
- Onions. A mix of yellow onions and frozen pearl onions add flavor and texture.
- Tomato Paste. Helps to create a simmered all day flavor in a fraction of the time.
- Beef Broth. Accentuates the beef flavor and adds depth.
- Thyme. For an earthy, herby flavor.
- All-Purpose Flour. Helps thicken the stew.
- Dry and season the beef.
- Cook the bacon, then remove it to a plate.
- Sauté the mushrooms and butter in the pot with the bacon drippings. Remove to a plate.
- Sear the beef until browned on all sides. Transfer beef to the plate with the bacon. Repeat with any remaining beef.
- Stir in about 1/4 of the wine.
- Sauté the carrots and onions.
- Add garlic and tomato paste.
- Return the beef and bacon to the pot. Pour in the remaining wine and broth.
- Lay the thyme bundle on top. Let simmer. Cover and bake at 250 degrees F for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- Return the pot to the stovetop. Mash the butter and flour together, then add the mixture to the pot.
- Add the pearl onoins and remaining mushrooms. Bring to a boil, then let simmer. Remove the thyme. DIG IN!
How to Serve Beef Bourguigon
- With Bread. The most traditional and (in my opinion) delicious option. Toasted, crusty bread is the perfect pairing with beef Bourguignon.
- With Potatoes. Beef Bourguignon with potatoes is also tasty! Try either Crockpot Mashed Potatoes or Roasted Fingerling Potatoes.
- With Noodles. Plain noodles would pair nicely with this dish.
- With Rice. A simple side of plain rice will help soak up the scrumptious juices.
- With Veggies. Any of your favorites! Buttered peas are what Julia Child served with beef Bourguignon, and they would be my choice as well.
Pair this beef Bourguignon with a Red Burgundy, Pinot Noir, or Cabernet Sauvignon.
- To Store. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
- To Reheat. Rewarm beef Bourguignon in a Dutch oven on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave.
- To Freeze. Freeze leftovers in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Meal Prep Tip
Up to 1 day in advance, cut the beef, bacon, carrots, onion, and garlic as directed. Store each separately in the refrigerator.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Dutch Oven. Perfect for making this beef Bourguignon.
- Wooden Spoon. Helps scape up all the delicious browned bits from the pot.
- Extra Large Cutting Board. Plenty of room for cutting all of the ingredients in this recipe.
The next time you need a special meal, I hope you try this boeuf Bourguignon recipe.
It is a rich pot of slow-simmered love, and you can taste that love in every bite!
Frequently Asked Questions
Serve leftover beef Bourguignon on a bed of pasta or rice for a hearty and comforting meal.
While I had the best results with boneless chuck roast for this recipe, I think you could swap another boneless stewing beef if necessary.
The wine is part of what makes this recipe so flavorful and unique. If you omit the wine, it won’t have quite the same richness. If you need to leave it out, however, you could use additional beef broth.
One of my beef stew recipes (which don’t use wine) could also be a nice alternative.
- 2 1/4 pounds boneless chuck roast cut into 1-inch pieces
- 4 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt plus additional to taste
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper plus additional to taste
- 5 slices thick-cut bacon cut into pieces (5 to 6 ounces)
- 32 ounces baby bella mushrooms sliced
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 (750 ml.) bottle dry red wine such as Pinot Noir, divided
- 2 pounds carrots scrubbed and cut diagonally into 3/4-inch slices (I leave the peels on)
- 2 yellow onions thinly sliced
- 3 cloves minced garlic about 1 tablespoon
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 (15-ounce) can reduced sodium beef broth divided, plus additional as needed
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme tied into a bundle
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 10 to 12 ounces frozen pearl onions no need to thaw
- Chopped fresh parsley for serving
- Toasted baguette slices for serving
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Make sure to position the racks so that you can fit a large Dutch oven inside with its lid on.
- With paper towels, pat the beef dry. Season with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper.
- Heat a large Dutch oven over medium. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is browned and beginning to turn crisp and the fat has rendered, about 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the bacon to a large plate.
- Add the mushrooms and 1 tablespoon butter to the pot. Stir to combine. Sauté over medium low until the mushrooms are nicely browned and have given up their liquid, about 8 minutes. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and stir coat. Let cook 30 additional seconds. Transfer to a separate plate or bowl that is separate from the bacon.
- Increase the Dutch oven heat to medium-high. Add a single layer of beef cubes (be careful the cubes do not touch—you’ll need to work in batches) and sear until the beef is nicely browned on all sides, about 3 to 5 minutes (you do not need to cook it all the way through). Remove to the plate with the bacon. Repeat with remaining beef (take your time here and don’t overcrowd the pan. It’s worth it!).
- Carefully pour in about 1/4 of the bottle of wine. With a wooden spoon, stir to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot (the dark stuff on the bottom is flavor!).
- Reduce the heat to medium. Add the carrots, onion slices, and the remaining 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Saute the onions and carrots until the onions are lightly browned, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the garlic and tomato paste and cook for 30 seconds, until very fragrant.
- Return the beef and bacon to the pot, along with any juices that have collected on the plate. Add the remaining wine and broth.
- Add the thyme. Increase the heat to bring the liquid to a simmer. Cover, then carefully transfer the pot to the oven. Bake the boeuf bourguignon for 1 hour and 15 minutes. The meat and vegetables should feel very tender when pierced with a fork.
- Place the pot back on the stove. In a small bowl, mash the butter and flour together with a fork. Stir it into the stew.
- Stir in the pearl onions and reserved mushrooms. Bring the stew to a boil, then lower the heat and let simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the herb bundle. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as desired. Sprinkle with fresh parsley. Serve hot with toasted baguette slices for soaking up the broth.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
- TO REHEAT: Rewarm beef Bourguignon in a Dutch oven on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze leftovers in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
- TO MAKE AHEAD: Up to 1 day in advance, cut the beef, bacon, carrots, onion, and garlic as directed. Store each separately in the refrigerator.
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