Easy Beef Bourguignon
This is a simplified spin on Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon. It’s packed with melt in your mouth tender chunks of beef and vegetables coated in a delicious rich sauce. This is the perfect dish to make when you want to impress, it might taste rich and decadent but is actually incredibly easy to make.
Why You Are Going To Love This Beef Bourguignon
- When it comes to rich and decadent meals that are also comforting, it’s hard to beat this easy beef bourguignon recipe with its tender pieces of beef and rich red wine sauce.
- If you like fall apart tender meat then you will LOVE this easy beef bourguignon
- Unlike other traditional beef bourguignon recipes this one is incredibly easy to make. Sear the beef and cook the veggies and bacon and then sit back and let your oven (or slow cooker or instant pot) do all of the work.
- This is a great dish to make for a dinner party because everything can be prepared earlier in the day (or even the day before) and then quickly reheated before serving. It has such a rich flavor that guests always think it’s so much fancier than it really is.
- It’s kid friendly too! Even my picky toddler devours the tender beef.
- This easy spin on Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon is Dairy Free, Grain Free, Gluten Free and Specific Carbohydrate Diet Legal.
What Is Beef Bourguignon
Classic Beef Bourguignon or boeuf bourguignon is a French beef stew that originated in the Burgundy region of France and is characterized by chunks of tough, usually inexpensive beef slowly cooked in red wine and beef stock until they are fall apart tender. Think of it as beef stew, but richer and more complex in flavour. The dish has its roots in traditional French peasant cuisine and has evolved over the years into a beloved and iconic French dish.
How Is This Beef Bourguignon Different Than Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon Recipe
Beef Bourguignon became famous outside of France when it was featured in Julia Child’s groundbreaking cookbook, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” which was published in the early 1960s. Julia Child played a significant role in introducing French cuisine to a wider American audience, and her version of Beef Bourguignon helped popularize the dish outside of France. I’ve made her iconic dish a few times and as delicious as it is, it’s also quite time consuming to make with an endless list of steps. This recipe is a much simpler version of Julia’s recipe yet results in a very similar insanely delicious dish.
- Julias recipe starts with simmering bacon in water for 10 minutes before frying it in the pot, I skipped this tedious step and simply fried the bacon until crisp.
- Julia Childs Beef Bourguignon recipe uses all purpose flour to coat the beef and thicken the sauce but I have found that this is another step which doesn’t make a big difference in the sauce or texture of the meat.
- In Julia’s recipe she sautes pearl onions for 40 minutes in a pan and separately sautes the mushrooms before adding both to the stew. This is a very time consuming step and I personally found that it made the beef stew quite heavy on onions.
- Once the beef is done cooking she separates the liquid from the stew, reduces the liquid in a pot and then returns the cooked beef and vegetables to the pot. I found that the sauce was already thick and flavourful and didn’t need to be reduced further.
- Bacon: I recommend using thick cut bacon or alternatively you can use pancetta.
- Chuck Roast: Any tougher cuts of beef suited for stewing work in this recipe, including brisket, short rib or stewing beef.
- Carrots: Add a bit of sweetness and some colour to the stew
- Onions: I like using thinly sliced yellow onions for this recipe which Julia Childs recipe also uses. She also adds fresh pearl onions (which are small white onions) in a later step in the recipe. I struggle to find the small onions and so I prefer using yellow onions which you can buy in any grocery store and also found that the double amount of onion seemed a bit excessive.
- Garlic: Only fresh cloves of garlic, please don’t use garlic paste, or garlic powder.
- Thyme: In the recipe I specify dried thyme but you can use fresh thyme too, just increase the amount of 2 teaspoons.
- Beef Stock: Use a good quality beef broth which will really make a difference in the rich flavour of the sauce. If you are worried about salt intake then I recommend using a low sodium beef stock
- Red Wine
- Tomato Paste
- Mushrooms: I recommend using cremini or button mushrooms for this recipe but I’m sure any type of fresh mushroom would be delicious!
What Is The Best Cut Of Beef To Use?
Any type of stewing beef would work in this recipe. I prefer using chuck roast, but brisket comes in a very close second as a great alternative. Other cuts of stewing beef such as shoulder or shin which are tough and sinewy will yield the most tender chunks of beef once cooked.
What Type Of Wine Should I Use?
To make this Beef Bourguignon authentic like Julia Child’s recipe you should use a wine from the Burgundy region of France where the dish originated. Specifically, a red burgundy wine from the Pinot Noir grape variety is often recommended. That being said I have used a variety of different types of red wine and it has always turned out delicious. Other types of red wine that would work well in this recipe include cabernet sauvignon, merlot or pinot noir.
How To Make This Beef Bourguignon
- Start by cooking the chopped bacon in a large dutch oven on the stove top on medium-high heat. Once the bacon is crisp, use a slotted spoon to remove it from the pot and set aside leaving any of the excess bacon fat in the bottom of the pot.
- Using a paper towels blot the beef cubes to remove any excess moisture (this will help to give them a light crust when searing). Season the beef with salt and black pepper and working in batches of two, sear the beef for approximately 3 minutes per side. Set all of the browned beef pieces aside.
- Add in the sliced vegetables (carrots, onion and garlic) and saute for a few minutes before adding in the thyme, tomato paste, beef stock and red wine. Once simmering return the crisp bacon and seared beef to the pot along with the bay leaf.
- Cover the pot and transfer it to the oven to cook for 2 hours and 30 minutes. I recommend checking on the half way through the cooking process to ensure there is enough stock in the pot and its not too dry (you may need to add more if there isn’t enough).
- In the last hour of cooking, in a small skillet on medium high heat, cook the mushrooms in butter until they have softened. Once the beef is fork tender, stir in the mushrooms and serve the beef bourguignon garnished with fresh herbs.
What Should I Serve With This Beef Bourguignon?
I highly recommend serving this easy version of Julia Child’s beef bourguignon with mashed potatoes or cauliflower mash to absorb all of the delicious sauce. Other great side dishes to serve alongside this dish include:
- Garlic & Herb Roasted Fennel
- Roasted Broccoli
- Roasted Carrots
- One Pan Green Beans & Bacon
- Caramelized Leek, Fennel & Onion Gratin
- Bacon Wrapped Green Bean Bundles
Can I Make This Beef Bourguignon In Advance?
You absolutely can! Like most braised recipes I find that the flavors only seem to get better after a night in the fridge and this dish really shines the next day. Once the beef is done cooking, remove the pot from the oven and leave it to cool completely before transferring it to the fridge. An added benefit to making this the night before is that you can scoop off any excess fat that has hardened when refrigerated. To reheat the beef bourguignon simply place the pot onto the stove on medium heat, add a splash of beef stock and leave for approximately 6-10 minutes until it is all warmed through.
Can I Make This Beef Bourguignon In A Slow Cooker?
Absolutely! If you have a slow cooker with a sear function that’s ideal, otherwise I would recommend searing the beef in a pot on the stove before transferring the browned meat to the slow cooker. Searing the meat adds a lot of flavour and a caramelized texture to the outside which greatly benefits the final dish so don’t skip this step! Next add the onion, garlic and carrots to the pot and cook them for a few minutes to develop some flavour. Add the vegetables and beef to the slow cooker along with the wine, tomato paste, herbs and beef stock and leave it to cook for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high until the meat is very tender.
Can I Make This Beef Bourguignon In An Instant Pot?
Turn the instant pot to sear and sear the meat until brown on all sides. Next remove the beef and add in the veggies and cook for a few more minutes before returning the beef to the instant pot and pouring in the wine, tomato paste, herbs and beef stock. Turn the instant pot to high pressure and cook for 60 minutes followed by natural release. Add the sauteed mushrooms in and serve!
What About Leftovers?
Leftover Beef Bourguignon can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days and can be reheated in the microwave or in a pot on the stove on moderate heat.
Can I Freeze This Beef Bourguignon?
You can freeze the beef bourguignon in a ziploc bag or airtight container for up to 5 months. It’s a great dish to have stored in the freezer for a night when you are craving something cozy and rich in flavour.
Here are a few more comforting beef dishes that you might enjoy:
- Beef & “Barley” Soup
- Classic Pot Roast
- Brisket Chili
- Mexican Stewed Beef Bowl
- Garlic Herb Steak Bites with Mushrooms
If you make this recipe let me know in the comment section below, I would love to hear what you think or take a photo and tag me (@everylastbite_) on Instagram, I love seeing your photos!
Easy Beef Bourguignon Recipe
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 7 ounces diced bacon
- 2.5 lbs chuck roast or brisket cut into 2 inch sized cubes
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 cup thinly sliced onions
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 2 cup beef stock
- 2 cups red wine
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp butter or ghee (use olive oil to make this dairy free)
- 8 ounces button mushrooms halved/quartered depending on size
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven or oven proof pot on medium high heat. Cook the bacon for 4 to 5 minutes until golden. Remove from the pot and set aside.
- Blot the cubed beef dry with paper towels and then generously season the beef on all sides with the salt and pepper. Add half of the beef to the pot, ensuring that you don't overcrowd the pot. Cook the beef for approximately 3 minutes per side until a golden brown sear forms. Once browned on all sides, remove the beef and set it aside on a plate and repeat the searing with the second batch of beef.
- Next add the carrots, onion and garlic to the pot and cook for 5 minutes until the onion begins to soften. Next add the thyme, tomato paste, beef stock and red wine and stir. Return the bacon and beef to the pot and add in the bay leaves. Bring to a simmer and then transfer the pot (with the lid on) to the oven to cook for 2 hours and 30 minutes.
- With about 2 hours left of cooking, check the pot to ensure that there is enough liquid, you may need to add approximately 1/2 cup more beef stock if too much liquid has evaporated.
- To a skillet on medium heat melt the butter/ghee and add in the mushrooms, sprinkle with salt and leave them to cook for approximately 5 minutes until they have softened.
- After 2 1/2 hours of cooking the beef should easily fall apart with a fork. Remove the pot from the oven and stir the cooked mushrooms in. Serve the beef bourguignon over mash and garnish with chopped parsley.