I am super excited about this recipe for easy beef bourguignon.
Almost giddy. I’ve been wanting to make beef bourguignon for ever. The ingredients didn’t intimidate me, but the instructions sure did. There were too many pans and too many unnecessary steps, which is so very much like the French. Beef Bourguignon started out as peasant fare originating in the Burgundy region using Charolais bulls.
It was elevated by Escoffier to haute cuisine as he used a whole piece of beef. It was Julia Child who chose to used beef cubes. This reminds me of this Italian Beef in Red Wine I made some years back using the whole piece of meat. Both recipes are amazing.
After Italian food, french food is my favorite and there are so overlaps in the cuisine. Italians seems to know how to cook with less ingredients and the recipes are usually more approachable. Sometimes the French don’t know how to streamline and I’m thinking maybe all these steps were ways for the chef to boss his crew around or simply elevate peasant food as mentioned above.
Since I am Italian, I’m not about to compromise on taste or quality so even though this recipe saves many steps (and I won’t even go into them here), the result of this wine braised beef is amazing and should be your very next dish for company.
So much of the prep can be done in advance and honestly there’s about 30 minutes of active cook time. The dutch oven does all the work, as well as a fine bottle of wine that takes plain old beef cubes to the next level and above.
I took some license with the flour that typically goes into a stew and used tapioca starch, also known as tapioca flour to keep this grain free, gluten free. I’ve recently discovered I really can’t eat gluten. It makes my hands hurt.
Let me take you through the ingredients and I ask you not to scrimp or make substitutions. If you do I cannot guarantee your beef bourguignon will be exquisite.
What is Beef Bourguignon?
The French spelling is bœuf à la Bourguignonne. We can say Beef Burgundy in English. It’s basically beef stew braised in red wine and we refer always to Julia Child who made this dish famous. In fact all the recipes on line are versions of her dish. This recipe has the same ingredients, while using some shortcuts that we believe make no difference to the gist and flavor of the dish.
What are the Ingredients for Beef Bourguignon?
Bacon – Use a thick cut bacon and cut into lardons prior to cooking. You can use a smoky bacon if you like.
White Onion, Carrots – Both bring flavor and did their part during the three hour cooking. Closer to the end I removed the old carrot chunks and added in pearl onions and carrot discs. They can’t cook for three hours without disintegrating.
Trader Joe’s sells frozen pearl onions.
Garlic cloves – Use fresh garlic, please.
Tomato Paste – I rarely use tomato paste and bought some in a jar that tasted fresher than the canned.
Red Wine – Use the whole bottle. It’s not too much. I used a very good pinot noir. The wine will have a forward taste, so a tasty wine is important. You can pick up something decent under $15. Ask your wine store to recommend something. Never ever ever use a so called “cooking wine.”
Beef Stock – I used an organic beef broth.
Herbs – I usually have fresh herbs growing and I used a bouquet garni of thyme, parsley and bay leaf.
Mushrooms – The mushrooms are quartered and sautèed in butter or olive oil before they are added into the stew, also more towards the end of cooking. Don’t be shy. I wish I would have used twice as many as I initially did. I used one small package. Next time I will use two.
Three pounds Beef – I used stew meat from Whole Foods, asking them to make sure there were some nice fatty pieces.
What do I serve with Beef Bourguignon?
I like this dish with mashed potatoes, which don’t take over the dish. I actually used my mashed cauliflower in this dish to keep it lower carb. I once had it masterfully served over polenta very similar to how I served veal ossobuco over grits here.
What wine should I use for Beef Bourguignon?
We like to use a high quality Pinot Noir. You want to know you’ve cooked with wine in this dish. The wine flavor really shines when this is reheated.
What Kind of Pot do I Cook Beef Bourguignon in?
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I personally love my Le Creuset Dutch 5 1/2 quart Dutch Oven. I got this on Amazon and it sits on top of my stove always at the ready. This goes into the oven at about 300 degrees with lid on, ensuring the bottom will not over-cook. You can assemble the ingredients and use a slow cooker. I am not a fan of the instant pot for many reasons, and would not choose to use it for this recipe. You could probably figure out how to do it, but I prefer a long, slow cook.
Keep this recipe for easy beef bourguignon for your Sunday or make it during an evening you are home and eat the next day! While I have made some shortcuts to this recipe, it shouldn’t be rushed.
Is Beef Bourguignon Low Carb or Paleo?
Yes, as I replaced the flour with tapioca starch, which as a minimal carb impact spread out over 8 servings.
More Beef Recipes from Spinach Tiger
- ½ pound bacon cut into lardons (1 inch cubes)
- 3 pounds Stew Meat (2 inch pieces)
- 1 large white onion, small diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced or thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons flour (I used tapioca flour)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 bottle dry red wine (like a pinot noir)
- 2 cups beef stock (see notes)
- 1 carrot cut into 2 inch pieces added in beginning
- 2 carrots cut into discs (added later towards end)
- 1 package pearl onions (frozen)
- Herbs (parsley, thyme, 2 bayleaf) which are removed later
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 package white or brown mushrooms, quartered (more if you love mushrooms)
- Brown bacon to crisp. Remove from pan, drain on paper towels.
- Dry meat with paper towels
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Flour the meat and brown in the bacon grease. Remove to a bowl.
- Using same pan or dutch oven, soften onion and add carrots.
- Add garlic and sauté briefly.
- Put beef cubes and bacon back into a dutch oven or crock pot.
- Add wine and tomato paste, pearl onions.
- Add enough beef stock to cover the meat.
- Cook in dutch oven for three hours.
- You can do this on top of stove, but I prefer to place dutch oven in a 325 degree oven.
- OR, you can put in a crock pot on high for 3 to 4 hours.
- One hour before serving, add the carrot discs. (remove the carrot that is in there).
- Remove the carrots pieces in the stew along with the bay leaf and other herbs.
- Thirty minutes before serving sauté mushrooms in olive oil.
- You can cook the carrots separately and add at the end if you desire.
- Add in cooked mushrooms.
- Cook until carrots are done.
- Top with fresh chopped parsley.
- Serve over mashed potatoes or creamy polenta.