This Beef Bourguignon is a take on a classic French stew.
This stew has a deep rich flavor from red wine. Tender chunks of beef, mushrooms, carrots, potatoes and bacon are cooked together for the perfect meal.
Don’t let the fancy name of this dish scare you! It’s a dish that Julia Child was well known for and while it does need some time, it’s actually not difficult to make.
What is Beef Bourguignon?
Carrots, onions, mushrooms, and garlic round out this one-pot meal. The whole thing bakes in the oven until tender.
Ingredients for Beef Bourguignon
This recipe is a simplified version of Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon with the steps somewhat simplified (and ingredients slightly adapted).
Beef When choosing meat for stew or bourguignon, I prefer chuck beef because it comes out so tender but stewing meat works well too. Choose well-marbled beef and trim any large chunks of fat.
Vegetables – Any root vegetable will work in this recipe. If you can find pearl onions, substitute those, they’re so good in stew!
Potatoes – Baby potatoes hold their shape well and require no peeling however Yukon gold or red potatoes will work too. Russet potatoes (or baking potatoes) are more grainy and don’t hold their shape as well.
I add the potatoes in but you can leave them out and serve this dish over mashed potatoes instead.
Seasonings Herbs like thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf enhance the flavor of this slow-cooked masterpiece. Fresh or dried will work.
Wine for Beef Bourguignon
Wine is used to flavor the broth in this recipe. Choose a dry red, like pinot noir, burgundy, cabernet sauvignon, or merlot, this adds the rich flavor that makes this recipe so famous!
Wine for cooking doesn’t need to be expensive but choose a wine you wouldn’t mind drinking. Do not use cooking wine in this recipe, the flavor isn’t great.
Most often, I will offer a suggestion to replace alcohol in recipes however the wine is the forward flavor in this dish (just like coq au vin).
While you could substitute it with beef stock, in this case, I would suggest making a beef stew with flavors that aren’t so dependent on wine.
While there are versions of non-alcoholic wine, I find they’re often more juice-like, and depending on the brand, they may not work well in this recipe. If the recipes below call for wine, it’s in a smaller quantity and can be substituted with extra broth.
How to Make Beef Bourguignon
- Fry the bacon in a large dutch oven. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon but keep the fat in the pan per the recipe below.
- Dab the beef dry with a paper towel. Sear in small batches in single layers in the bacon grease over medium-high heat. Remove from pan.
- Saute onions and carrots (with a bit of flour).
- Add beef back to the pot and stir in herbs, wine, and remaining ingredients.
- Cover with a lid and bake according to the recipe below.
Add cooked bacon as a garnish after the stew is cooked.
Tips for Perfection
Beef Bourguignon sounds super fancy, but with just a few tricks and tips it can be super easy!
- Choose beef that is well-marbled like chuck roast and trim off visible fat.
- Don’t stir the beef too much when searing. This helps it get a nice crust.
- Add a tablespoon or two of butter or olive oil when cooking the onion and carrot if needed.
- Low and slow is the key to great flavor (and texture) in this recipe. We prefer to oven-bake this stew but you can lightly simmer bourguignon on the stove.
- You can thicken the sauce with a little bit of cornstarch slurry (mix equal parts cornstarch & cold water and add to the hot broth a bit at a time to thicken).
- Add in the bacon at the end but leave a little bit to garnish too!
What to Serve With Beef Bourguignon
- If you don’t add potatoes to the stew, you can serve this over garlic mashed potatoes or homemade egg noodles.
- Beef Bourguignon pairs well with more elegant side dishes like roasted asparagus with tarragon vinaigrette or sauteed brussel sprouts.
- Definitely perfect with a side of homemade French bread or cheese puffs.
Did your family love this Beef Bourguignon? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!
Beef Bourguignon Recipe
- ½ pound bacon chopped
- 3 pounds chuck cubes or stewing beef
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 carrots chopped
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 4 cups beef broth heated
- 2 cups red wine
- 12 ounces mushrooms
- 1 pound baby potatoes optional
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon thyme leaves
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary or ½ teaspoon dry rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- parsley for serving
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon from the pan, leaving the fat in the bottom of the pan.
- Dab the beef dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Brown it in the bacon fat in small batches over medium-high heat. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add onions and carrots to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes or just until the onion begins to soften. Add beef back to the pan, stir in flour, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add broth, wine, mushrooms, potatoes (if using), tomato paste, garlic, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf. Cover and bake 2 ½ to 3 hours.
- Remove bay leaf, stir in bacon, and serve.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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