Julia Child’s classic Beef Bourguignon is pretty hard to beat with its tender beefy perfection, but it can be a little involved so this is an easier slightly pared down weeknight version.
Also known as Beef Burgundy, or Bouef Bourguignon in French, this is a recipe that’s fancy enough to serve for your dinner party guests, and at the same time perfect for a family dinner!
Easy Beef Bourguignon – Three ways to Make it!
I already have a great Instant Pot Beef Bourguignon recipe so if you want to pressure cook this recipe then my recipe has all the step by step details you’ll need.
You’ll find details below for making it both in a crockpot or slow cooker, and of course the traditional way (which I prefer) of braising it in the oven.
The best beef bourguignon starts with really great ingredients, they needn’t be expensive but you do want to make sure you pick the right cut of meat (I’ve given some details below) and a nice dry red wine.
It really doesn’t need to be an expensive bottle of wine, but please oh please, never ever use cooking wine! It has salt and other additives and frankly, it’s just nasty! So take trip to the liquor store and choose a cheap bottle of dry red wine instead, it’ll work perfectly.
Oven Braising Method
Lets’s start with the beef first and cut it up into chunks, the bigger the chunks the longer it will take to cook. Make sure you season it well on all sides and put to one side while you chop up the bacon.
Cook the bacon in your Dutch Oven over a medium heat until all the fat renders out and the bacon bits are crispy, then remove them with slotted spoon and set aside, keep the bacon fat in the pan!
Now you can go ahead and put the beef chunks into the pot in a single layer and brown them in batches. Once they are all browned add the diced carrots and red onion and cook for about 8 minutes or so.
Then you can add back the beef along with the bacon, pearl onions, garlic, bay leaves, fresh thyme, pepper, red wine, gluten free beef stock, and tomato paste, into your Dutch oven. Give it a good stir and bring it to a simmer and then pop it into a pre-heated oven (lid on) and cook for about 1-2 hours.
Exact cook time will vary depending on the size of the meat chunks, oven temperature, and the vessel you cook it in, so I would check it after 1 hour and every 30 minutes after that until it’s just cooked, don’t overcook it!
Clean the mushrooms and cut them in half and saute them in a little butter or olive oil until they are just cooked, then simply stir them into the cooked beef stew, they will warm through very quickly.
If you want to thicken the Beef Bourguignon sauce simply mix two tablespoons of cornstarch with two tablespoons cold water, then add half of that to the pot, stir over a medium low heat for a minute or two until the sauce thickens, add the rest if you need to thicken it further.
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Slow Cooker Method
It’s really easy to adapt my beef bourguignon for your crockpot or slow cooker! Follow all my steps above for cooking the bacon, and browning the meat and vegetables, then add them all to the crockpot.
Then use the red wine and beef broth to the pan you browned the meat in to deglaze the bottom of the pan, and then pour it into the slow cooker along with pearl onions, garlic, bay leaves, fresh thyme, pepper, red wine, gluten free beef stock, and tomato paste, stir well, and cook on high for 3-4 hours, or low for 5-7 hours. Please note I’ve reduced the liquids needed for slow cooking this stew, you’ll find the details in the recipe card at the end of the post.
The best cut of meat for beef bourguignon
Beef chuck roast is the best meat for making a really tender, deliciously tasty, beef bourguignon.
My preference is to cut up a chuck roast and use that for best results. I try to pick a chuck roast that has nice fat marbling, and if I’m suitably organized I ‘ll find it on sale at the grocery store and freeze it until I need it
I don’t recommend you use the ready cut up grocery store mystery ‘stew meat’ which can vary in quality quite a bit in my experience, and for a special dish like this, you really don’t want to be disappointed!
What Wine should I use for Beef Bourguignon?.
You don’t need to buy an expensive bottle of wine for this recipe, any good dry red wine such as a a Burgundy (of course!), Pinot Noir, or a Merlot would all be great options
But please oh please, never ever use cooking wine! It has salt and other additives and frankly it’s just nasty! So take trip to the liquor store and choose a cheap bottle of dry red wine instead, it’ll work perfectly.
– Sheena xxx
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- 3 lb boneless chuck, cubed , 1.360kg
- 1 tsp salt
- 8 oz bacon, diced , 226g
- 1 large red onion, diced
- 5 large carrots , cut into large chunks
- 12 pearl onions , halved, if they are on the big side
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 cups red wine , 500mls
- 2 cups gluten free beef stock , 750mls
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 lb white mushrooms, halved , 453g
- Parsley , chopped for garnish
Oven Baked Beef Bourguignon
Preheat your oven to 275F
Cut up your chuck roast into 1.5 inch cubes. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Add the diced bacon to your Dutch Oven and cook on the stove over a medium heat for 8- 10 minutes until the bacon is crispy and has rendered out most of the fat. Remove the bacon and reserve the bacon fat in the pan.
Brown the meat in your Dutch oven with the bacon fat until brown on all sides, then remove and set aside when done. Do it in small batches, if you crowd the pan you'll end up with steamed meat rather than browned meat.
Now add the diced red onion and carrots to the Dutch oven, saute for 8-10 minutes.
Add the browned beef, bacon, pearl onions, garlic, bay leaves, fresh thyme, pepper, red wine, gluten free beef stock, and tomato paste, all back into your Dutch oven.
Bring it up to a simmer on the stove top then transfer your Dutch oven with the lid on into the oven and cook for 1.5-2hrs, or until beef is just tender, exact timing will vary depending on your oven and the pot you cook it in.
While the beef is cooking clean the mushrooms with a paper towel and cut them in half, then near the end of the cook time you can saute them in a little butter or olive oil for about five to ten minutes or until they are just cooked.
When the beef is cooked stir in the cooked mushrooms and let them warm through.
If you want to thicken the sauce you can mix 2 tbsp cornstarch with 2 tbsp cold water. Then, add half the cornstarch slurry into the Dutch Oven on the stove top and stir well over a low to medium heat for a few minutes until the sauce thickens, add the rest of the cornstarch if you need to.
Garnish with chopped parsley, and serve with mashed potatoes.
Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon
Follow the steps for browning meat and vegetables, then add everything to the slow cooker with reduced liquid volume as follows: 1.5 cups red wine and 1 cup gluten free beef stock.
Cook on high for 3-4 hrs or until meat is tender, or 5-7 hours on low. Timing will vary depending on your slow cooker.
Cook the mushrooms as described above, and stir in at the end of the cook time to warm though.
To thicken the sauce strain off the juices into a pan. Mix 2 tbsp cornstarch with 2 tbsp cold water. Add half the cornstarch slurry into the pan on the stove top and stir well over a low to medium heat until the liquid thickens, then pour the thickened sauce back over the meat and vegetables.
Beef - my preferred cut of beef to use is a boneless chuck roast, and then cut it up into chunks. This is far superior to the ready cut 'stew meat' you'll find in the grocery store.
Red Wine - you can use any inexpensive dry red wine for this recipe and get great results, but please never ever use 'cooking wine' as it has salt and other additives and will not taste good in this (or any recipe!)
Fridge/Freezer - I think it's best eaten within three days, though you could maybe get away with four. You can freeze it very easily, for best results defrost it overnight in the fridge and reheat on a low heat on the stove.
Nutrition - calculated assuming approximately 8 servings (exact number of servings may vary depending on how much liquid is left) serving size 1 cup, does not include mashed potatoes.