This authentic beef bourguignon recipe is so easy to make! Let it simmer all afternoon and you’ll be rewarded with a pot of pure comfort!
Gosh it’s cold out! And blustery!
Doesn’t it just feel like the perfect time for a comforting, one-pot meal?
This easy beef bourguignon recipe really fits the bill. It’s cooked low and slow, all the meat and veggies together, in a rich, savory sauce that’s loaded with aromatic herbs and spices, for a hearty stew that will warm you all the way down to your toes.
It’s satisfying as anything and one of the best cool-weather dinner recipes I can think of.
Table of Contents
- What is beef bourguignon?
- Why this is the best beef bourguignon recipe
- What does boeuf bourguignon taste like?
- Special equipment
- How to make this recipe
- How to serve beef bourguignon
- Expert tips
- Frequently asked questions
- A few more of my favorite savory recipes
What is beef bourguignon?
Beef bourguignon (BORE-ghin-yon), aka: boeuf bourgignon (the French spelling) is a hearty beef stew made with red wine.
Typically, it’s made with a tough cut of beef, braised until it’s falling-apart tender. It usually has mushrooms, onion, and carrots as well, and a little hint of tomato.
It was made popular by celebrity chef Julia Child way back in the day, and while this recipe remains faithful to hers, I’ve stripped it down, streamlined the steps, and added some key aromatics that take the flavors to the next level.
Why this is the best beef bourguignon recipe
- Tastes amazing: The richness of the sauce is out of this world. It’s glossy and thick, like a glaze almost, with so much robust, complex flavor.
- Hearty: This is the kind of meal that will really stick to your ribs!
- Easy to make: You’ll only need about 30 minutes of active time.
- One-pot wonder: Everything is done in just one pot (hooray for less dirty dishes!).
What does boeuf bourguignon taste like?
Beef is the star of the show here, and it really brings a rich savory flavor like nothing else.
But we also have wonderfully flavorful and aromatic add-ins that create a complexity that’s truly delicious. Onions and carrots add sweetness, mushrooms earthiness, bacon a hint of smoke, garlic and herbs bring interest and piquancy, and a bit of tomato brings everything into balance with it’s mild acidity.
We are going to use the fat from the bacon to sear the meat. It adds the most incredible smoky taste!
We’ll also save the cooked bacon to sprinkle on top for added crunch and flavor.
A tougher cut of beef works well here, since it’s cooked in liquid for a long time. It will go wonderfully soft and tender.
Mushrooms, carrots, and pearl onions are traditional in this dish. I use button mushrooms (quartered), baby carrots, and frozen pearl onions so the prep is minimal. No peeling necessary!
A little bit of butter gives the most gorgeous sheen to the sauce!
This will enrich the broth and provide the loveliest sweetness and tang.
To thicken the sauce. For gluten-free beef bourguignon, substitute 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, stirred into 1 tablespoon of cold water.
Red wine from the Burgundy region of France is traditional, but you can use any kind of dry red wine that you like.
Or, add an additional 2 cups of stock or water if you don’t like to cook with alcohol.
One full box of beef stock for the gravy.
Julia’s recipe doesn’t have any herbs, which surprised me! I think they always add so much, so I pop in a few sprigs of thyme and a stem of rosemary.
And if you’ve got it, a small sliver of orange peel is incredible! It adds a subtle flavor that enhances everything in the most gorgeous way!
How to make this recipe
This easy one-pot meal comes together in just 5 simple steps.
Step 1: Cook the bacon
Over medium heat in a large, heavy bottomed pot, cook the bacon until crisp.
Then fish it out with your slotted spoon, leaving the flavorful fat behind.
Step 2: Sear the beef
Brown the beef cubes in the bacon fat, along with salt, garlic powder and pepper.
Try not to move them around too much, so they can get a really nice brown crust on them. This crust brings so much flavor to the stew!
Once you have that crust, take the meat out and place it in a bowl, to make room for the vegetables to cook.
Step 3: Saute the vegetables
Add the butter and the mushrooms to the pot, and allow the mushrooms to brown.
Then you can add the pearl onions and carrots. Let them soften up a little and become tender, then stir in the tomato paste.
Step 4: Make a roux
Add the meat and its juices back to the pot, then sprinkle with flour.
The flour is going to help create a thick, glossy gravy that everything will finish cooking in.
Stir it up so everything is well-combined.
Step 5: Cook low and slow
Next, pour in the red wine.
At this stage, I like to also add in the thyme, rosemary, and orange peel, along with the beef stock.
Pop a lid on and allow everything to simmer in the oven for a few hours. The longer you cook it, the softer and more tender the meat will become.
How to serve beef bourguignon
I like to serve this dish over mashed potatoes, because they are my faaaaaaavorite! Any excuse to eat mashed potatoes.
You could also just eat it as is. It makes for a hearty, balanced meal with all the protein and veg.
Reserve the bacon: Just before serving, crumble the reserved bacon and sprinkle it on top. It adds the most delicious punch of smoky, savory flavor and crunch.
Get it crusty: Don’t be afraid to get a deep brown crust on your meat and mushrooms. Your pot will have a layer of dark “fond” on the bottom, which looks a little scary but don’t worry it’s not burnt! It all comes up and into the gravy when the wine and stock go in. And it really creates the most wonderful depth of flavor.
Add aromatics: I like to add woodsy winter herbs like thyme and rosemary. And a little piece of orange peel takes this dish to a whole different level!
Give it time: While you only need about 30 minutes of active time to make this, it does spend a few hours in the oven. So plan ahead! It’s best to start this kind of recipe in early to mid-afternoon.
Keep an eye on it: While the stew bubbles away in the oven, be sure to check on it every so often to make sure there’s enough liquid. It will reduce by quite a lot! If it seems too dry, add water as needed.
Frequently asked questions
For instant pot boeuf bourguignon, sear the meat and veggies on the saute setting, then pressure cook on high for about 45 minutes.
Again, saute the meats and veggies first, then make your roux and transfer everything to the crock pot. Add the wine, stock, and herbs, then simmer until the beef is falling-apart tender.
If you like, leave out the bacon and beef and just use another 8 ounces of mushrooms. Add a pinch of smoked paprika and swap vegetable stock for the beef stock. You can also use a plant-based butter substitute.
This dish keeps very well in the fridge. Place any leftovers in an airtight container and chill for up to a week.
It also freezes well! It should last in the freezer for a few months. Thaw it in the fridge and reheat it in the microwave or in a pot over low heat, until warmed through.
This recipe makes a very generous 4 servings.
The nutritional information provided in the recipe card below reflects a serving size of 1/4th the whole batch. It does not include mashed potatoes.
A few more of my favorite savory recipes
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- 4 slices (88 g) bacon
- 1 1/2 pounds (680.39 g) beef cubes
- 2 teaspoons (12 g) kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (4.5 g) garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon (1 g) ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter
- 8 ounces (226.8 g) mushrooms, quartered
- 16 ounces (453.59 g) carrots
- 14.4 ounces (408.23 g) pearl onions
- 3 tablespoons (48 g) tomato paste
- 1/3 cup (41.67 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 cups (480 g) red wine, preferably burgundy
- 32 ounces (907.19 g) beef stock
- a few sprigs woody herbs such as thyme and rosemary
- 1 inch strip (2 g) orange peel
- Cook the bacon in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat until crisp (approx. 5 minutes).
- Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and allow it to drain on paper towels.
- Add the beef cubes, salt, garlic powder and pepper to the pot and sear over medium-high heat until crusty and browned (approx. 10 to 15 minutes).
- Remove the meat with a slotted spoon and set it aside.
- Add the butter to the pot, then saute the mushrooms until browned (approx. 5 to 10 minutes).
- Add the carrots and pearl onions, and continue to saute until the onions have softened slightly (approx. 5 minutes).
- Transfer the browned beef back to the pot, and stir in the tomato paste.
- Sprinkle the flour on top, then stir until all the meat and vegetables are coated.
- Stir in the wine and stock, add the herbs and orange peel to the pot, and bring the mixture up to a simmer.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place the pot in the hot oven (covered) and allow the stew to cook and reduce by about half (approx. 2 to 4 hours).
- Remove any stems and peel before serving, and crumble the bacon on top.