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Classic Beef Bourguignon

Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 3 hrs
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Classic Beef Bourguignon

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As far as French cuisine goes, this Classic Beef Bourguignon is a must make! Tender beef swimming in a rich wine sauce–perfect for the holidays. There’s nothing quite like a good braise for a cozy dinner. This recipe raises a simple beef stew to an art form! Bold flavors abound in this classic dish that you’ll make again and again.

If you’re ready to channel your inner Julia Child, this Classic Beef Bourguignon recipe is perfect. It does take some time, but most of the recipe is hands-off cooking. It’s a little work at the beginning, but nothing to be intimidated by!

Classic Beef Bourguignon

This Classic Beef Bourguignon recipe is adapted from Julia Child’s acclaimed recipe with some tweaks to make the recipe simpler. Think of this as a truly elevated beef stew that is both simple and impressive! Even though it’s been remade all over the world countless times by families over the decades, it’s an extremely forgiving recipe.

Beef Bourguignon is just one of those recipes that feels fancy. But, if you’ve ever read through the original recipe, there are SO many steps. I’ve streamlined the classic recipe with some tweaks to make it even more delicious and easy to get on the table.

Beef Bourguignon is a beef stew where pieces of chuck are stewed with onions, carrots, garlic, and herbs in a rich red wine sauce. The dish is finished with crispy sautéed mushrooms and pearl onions. SO good! I love serving Classic Beef Bourguignon over mashed potatoes for the ultimate comfort food.

This is also a great dish to have in your back pocket for company during the holidays. While Thanksgiving has lots of tradition surrounding the menu, Christmas is always more flexible! Classic Beef Bourguignon would be a delicious tradition to start for Christmas Eve or Christmas dinner.

Classic Beef Bourguignon

History of Beef Bourguignon

This rich stew originates from the Burgundy region of Eastern France, an area renowned for its architecture, excellent wines, and cattle. Beef Bourguignon was first mentioned in cookbooks in 1903, by chef Auguste Escoffier. It started as a humble peasant stew using up tougher cuts of beef by stewing them longer and eventually evolved into the iconic dish as it’s known today.

Beef Bourguignon started as a peasants’ recipe, possibly dating as far back as the Middle Ages (400-1400 A.D.), as a way to slow-cook tough, unwanted cuts of meat using ingredients they had on hand. Beef bourguignon is traditionally made with Burgundy wine, hence the dish’s name.

This Classic Beef Bourguignon is flavored with carrots, onion, garlic, pearl onion, herbs (like thyme and bay leaf), bacon, red wine, and mushrooms. All the flavors meld together while slow cooking in the oven into an incredibly rich and savory stew.

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

Easy – This is not an involved recipe! A bit of chopping, mixing, simmering, and then the oven does most of the work. It’s a bit of up front work while being mostly hands-off leaving you free to work on other things.

Budget friendly – Beef chuck is an affordable cut of meat that feeds a crowd! This dinner feels impressive while still being low effort and low cost. That being said, spring for a decent Burgundy to cook with.

One Pot – I love an easy dinner that all comes together in one pot! All the searing, sautéing, and braising is one in one dutch oven or braiser that goes straight from stovetop to oven. No muss, no fuss!

The Coziest Dinner – There’s just something about braising when the weather is chilly and looking forward to a warm stew-like dinner. This is honestly my favorite dinner to enjoy this time of year. Just load me up with all the Classic Beef Bourguignon over mashed potatoes and I’m one happy gal.

Classic Beef Bourguignon

How to Make Classic Beef Bourguignon

As with all my soups and braises, I HIGHLY recommend investing in a dutch oven. Mine is a huge work horse in my kitchen and I use it almost every day.

Tools Needed

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Beef. Beef chuck is best here, but brisket also works!
  • Bacon. Bacon adds a delicious smoky and rich flavor to the beef bourguignon.
  • Veggies. Onion and carrot is classic here.
  • Garlic. Garlic makes everything better!
  • Flour. Flour helps thicken the beef bourguignon sauce. Read on for how to make this recipe gluten free.
  • Tomato paste. Tomato paste adds a rich, deep flavor.
  • Red wine. Burgundy wine is classic here, but make sure to use a bold, big flavored red.
  • Beef broth. Homemade is always best, but the second best is the true beef stock you buy in the freezer section.
  • Beef bouillon. A bit of beef bouillon bolsters the flavor of the stew. My favorite brand is “Better than Bouillon”.
  • Herbs. Fresh thyme and fresh bay leaves are the best here. You could use dried bay leaves if necessary.
  • Pearl onions. Pearl onions are added later on so you get nice little pieces of onion that aren’t totally stewed. I used frozen, but you can definitely use fresh too. If using frozen, defrost the onions and drain them before using.
  • Mushrooms. Adding crispy sautéed mushrooms towards the end of the braise adds flavor while the mushrooms retain their meaty texture.

The Process

  1. Render the bacon. Add the chopped bacon to your dutch oven. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until it’s browned and has released some of its fat. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon from the pan and transfer to a small bowl.
  2. Sear the beef. Season the cubes of beef all over with salt and pepper. Increase the heat on the dutch oven to medium-high and sear the beef on all sides until browned. You may need to do this in batches. Remove the beef from the pan.
  3. Saute the veggies. Decrease the heat to medium and add the butter. Add the chopped onions and carrots to the pot and saute for 2-3 minutes, while stirring often. Add the chopped garlic and cook for another minute. Then, add the tomato paste and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often until the paste has darkened in color. Once the tomato paste is ready, sprinkle the flour over the top and stir well to incorporate.
  4. Add the wine, stock, and herbs. Add the wine to the pot and use a silicone spoon to work up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add in the beef broth and bouillon and bring to a simmer. Add the beef and bacon back to the pot, along with the thyme and bay leaves.
  5. Braise time! Cover the pot and transfer to a 350 F oven. Cook for 2 1/2 hours.
  6. Add the mushrooms and pearl onions. Around the 2 1/2 hour mark, melt the butter in a skillet. Once the butter is hot and foamy, add the mushrooms and cook until browned. Add the pearl onions and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove the beef bourguignon from the oven and add the mushrooms and onions. Return to the oven until the beef is very tender. Remove from the oven and leave covered for 30 minutes before serving.

Best Beef Cuts for Classic Beef Bourguignon

Using the perfect cut of beef for Classic Beef Bourguignon is paramount! You want a cut that has enough fat and marbling to make it flavorful and keep it from drying out. Below are my favorites:

Beef Chuck – A humble and flavorful cut, beef chuck is so perfect for braising. A chuck roast is usually known as the cut your parents used for pot roast, a large triangular cut from the chuck of the cow. Its well marbled with fat, which prevents it from drying out during low-and-slow cooking. It’s economical and full of beefy flavor.

Brisket – Brisket is another one of my favorite cuts for braising! It’s also fairly cheap and economical and packed with flavor. The brisket is a long cut from the breast/chest of the cow and is sectioned into two parts: the flat and the point.

The flat has a layer of fat running across the top, but it is just that: a flat square piece of meat. It’s great for braising. The point is more pointed in shape and has a much higher fat content. Both work well, but if you’re using the point, plan to trim some of the excess fat away.

Making Classic Beef Bourguignon Gluten Free

While this recipe for Beef Bourguignon uses butter and flour to make a roux for thickening, you can make this iconic stew gluten-free.

Skip the flour from the recipe. Instead, You can mix 2 teaspoons of corn starch with 1 1/2 tablespoons of water until smooth. Stir that into the beef bourguignon when you add the mushrooms and pearl onions. It likely won’t be as thick, but it’ll still be really good!

Classic Beef Bourguignon

What to Serve with Beef Bourguignon

If you’re throwing a dinner party or just want a nice dinner to enjoy, here are some of my favorite dishes to serve with Classic Beef Bourguignon.

Leafy salad – I love starting a meal with a big leafy salad! My recipe for KALE CAESAR SALAD is one of my favorite salads ever and pairs so well with Classic Beef Bourguignon. You’re going to love the homemade caesar dressing! This Italian Chopped Salad is also a great option.

Mashed potatoes – Who doesn’t love piling tender beef on a bed of mashed potatoes? If you want a classic version, try my CREME FRAICHE MASHED POTATOES. If you want to try something new, my CARAMELIZED ONION AND BACON MASHED POTATOES are a show stopper! Horseradish Mashed Potatoes are also a great option and balance the richness of the Beef Bourguignon.

Dinner Rolls – I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for warm dinner rolls! I love sopping up any extra juices with a warm piece of bread. Try my foolproof FLUFFY DINNER ROLLS!

Dessert – No dinner party or gathering is complete without some dessert, am I right? Some of my favorite low effort/high reward desserts are my ALMOND RICOTTA CAKESKILLET APPLE CRISP, and TEXAS SHEET CAKE.

Storing, Freezing, and Reheating Beef Bourguignon

In the event that you have leftovers, Classic Beef Bourguignon is easy to store and freeze!

To store: Let the beef bourguignon cool to room temperature and store in an airtight container for 4-6 days in the fridge.

Freezing Beef Bourguignon: You can very easily Classic Beef Bourguignon! Let the beef and liquid cool to room temperature and then store in a freezer-safe ziplock bag. Try to press most of the air out of the bag while sealing, this helps prevent freezer burn. Label and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge.

Reheating: Classic Beef Bourguignon is best reheated in a skillet or dutch oven. Add the beef and liquid to a dutch oven or skillet, adding a little extra broth or water as needed. Cover and simmer on low until the beef is tender and warmed through.

Classic Beef Bourguignon

Next time you’re in the mood for a cozy & comforting fall meal, try this Classic Beef Bourguignon. It’s one of our fall favorites, and I know you will love it just as much as we do! If you do give it a try, be sure to let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @JENNYGOYCOCHEA on Instagram. I LOVE hearing about & seeing your SMF creations!

More Cozy Braises to Try Now

Apple Cider Braised Pork
Red Wine Braised Beef
Beer Braised Carnitas
Coconut Milk Braised Chicken

This post contains affiliate links from which I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links allow me to keep providing great recipes for free and I never recommend products that I don’t love and personally own.

Classic Beef Bourguignon Recipe
Main Dishes

Classic Beef Bourguignon

As far as French cuisine goes, this Classic Beef Bourguignon is a must make! Tender beef swimming in a rich wine sauce–perfect for the holidays.
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 3 hrs
Total Time: 3 hrs 30 mins
Makes: 6 servings
scale:

Ingredients

  • 5 strips bacon, cut into 1" pieces
  • 3 1/2 lbs beef chuck, cut into 2" pieces
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups Burgundy wine, or other bold red wine
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon Better than Bouillon beef bouillon
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves, dried or fresh
  • 10 oz frozen pearl onions, defrosted and drained
  • 16 oz cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • kosher salt
  • freshly cracked pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat an oven to 350 F.
  • Render the bacon. Add the chopped bacon to your dutch oven. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until it's browned and has released some of its fat. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon from the pan and transfer to a small bowl.
  • Sear the beef. Season the cubes of beef all over with salt and pepper. Increase the heat on the dutch oven to medium-high and sear the beef on all sides until browned. You may need to do this in batches. Remove the beef from the pan.
  • Saute the veggies. Decrease the heat to medium and add 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the chopped onions and carrots to the pot and saute for 2-3 minutes, while stirring often. Add the chopped garlic and cook for another minute. Then, add the tomato paste and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often until the paste has darkened in color. Once the tomato paste is ready, sprinkle the flour over the top and stir well to incorporate. Cook for 2-3 minutes stirring constantly.
  • Add the wine, stock, and herbs. Add the wine to the pot and use a silicone spoon to work up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add in the beef broth and bouillon and bring to a simmer. Add the beef and bacon back to the pot, along with the thyme and bay leaves. Cover the pot and transfer to the oven. Cook for 2 1/2 hours.
  • Add the mushrooms and pearl onions. Around the 2 1/2 hour mark, melt the remaining butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once the butter is hot and foamy, add the mushrooms and cook until browned. Add the pearl onions and cook for another 5 minutes, until browned. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Remove the beef bourguignon from the oven and add the mushrooms and onions. Return to the oven until the beef is very tender, another 45-60 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave covered for 30 minutes before serving.

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  1. 5 stars
    Thanks so much for sharing your delicious recipe. I love to cook and develop recipes myself and know how much time and love goes into them.
    I followed your recipe to a T, except I found the beef I had didn’t need as long to cook.
    The beef was so tender and the flavor was amazing. The gravy was silky, dark, and deeply flavored.
    It’s been cold the last couple of days and my husband and I both found this dish to be wonderfully warm and comforting.

  2. 5 stars
    This version of beef bourguignon is divine and I’ve made a few. While the ingredients are what you’d expect, the technique is what makes it foolproof and excellent. Perfect amount of sauce and texture! I only departed in a minor way with ingredients, but followed the method to the letter. I added my thyme and bay to the stock to infuse while I prepped everything, and I also added dried marjoram (1 tsp rounded), a sprig of fresh rosemary and a sprig of fresh oregano. Instead of commercial bouillon with additives, I made my own tablespoon by reducing beef stock to a syrup with the same herbs infused in it. Added frozen green peas before serving. DELICIOUS. Would definitely use this recipe moving forward.

  3. 5 stars
    I saw this recipe recently and decided to try it for Christmas Eve dinner with the family. It was fantastic. I made it with the SMF crème fraiche mashed potatoes and lemon, garlic green beans. My wife said it was the best meal I have ever made and le beouf was the star. This will be a holiday meal traditional.

    • Hi Pamela!

      As long as your stove top works, follow the steps all until you put the pot in the oven and just transfer the contents to your crock pot. Cook for 3 hours on hi, or 6 hours or so on low and add the onions and mushrooms towards the end of cooking.

  4. 5 stars
    I absolutely loved this dish. I did make the beef into smaller cubes and it cooked faster that way. The sauce was thick and delicious still. My dad loved this and he is hard to please.

  5. 5 stars
    Repost! My stars didn’t come through and this recipe was amazing!
    So Delicious! My house smelled amazing all afternoon! Family loved it and it wasn’t hard to make!

  6. 5 stars
    So good. A restaurant quality, earthy, flavoursome one-pot wonder. My kitchen smelled amazing for hours. A hearty but refined dish came from minimal effort and what seemed like an eternity in the oven. It’s worth having the patience though, I served it with buttery mash and it was a complete winner.

  7. 5 stars
    This was fabulous! I made it tonight and my husband Lhasa not stopped raving about it!!! Thank you will be making this again!

  8. This recipe is FANTASTIC. I made it today, followed the recipe instructions exactly, wouldn’t change a thing! Perfect meal on a rainy day. Definitely making this again.

  9. 5 stars
    OMG, made the beef bourguignon and was thrilled with the results. It has a deep, rich taste and, even though I cut the recipe in half, the overall consistency was perfect. Played with garlic whipped potatoes & sautéed mixed baby power greens in olive oil and fresh garlic.
    Excellent