Boeuf Bourguignon (French Beef Stew)
This Boeuf Bourguignon is straightforward and tastes like none other. We’ve simplified the instructions, while retaining the same classic flavors of Julia Child’s famous Boeuf Bourguignon.
In This Article
- Boeuf Bourguignon (French Beef Stew)
- Watch us make Boeuf Bourguignon
- What is Boeuf Bourguignon?
- Key Ingredients for the Best Boeuf Bourguignon
- Pro Tips for Boeuf Bourguignon
- What to Serve with Boeuf Bourguignon
- More to Cook and Eat
- Boeuf Bourguignon Commonly Asked Questions
- French Beef Stew (Boeuf Bourguignon) Recipe
- Did you make this?
Boeuf Bourguignon (French Beef Stew)
Whether we’re having dinner guests or craving something special for the family, this French Beef Stew is consistently a no-fail crowd pleaser. It’s one of my favorite Gather Menu items. Friends and family are consistently wowed over this slurp worthy boeuf bourguignon.
Watch us make Boeuf Bourguignon
What is Boeuf Bourguignon?
Boeuf Bourguignon is essentially a really great beef stew, taken up a notch with a few simple tricks. It’s a French beef stew braised in a deep red wine and beef stock. It’s different from American beef stew in that it uses lardon (or cut-up bacon) and pearl onions. It is sometimes referred to as Beef Burgundy, as deep red Burgundy wines are used in the stew.
Key Ingredients for the Best Boeuf Bourguignon
- Thick applewood smoked bacon – besides the beef itself, the bacon is key for succulent, rich flavors.
- Chuck beef – boneless chuck beef roast is highly recommended, as it breaks down to tender perfection during the low/slow braising.
- Cognac – this French brandy commonly used in French recipes provides depth of flavor. The alcohol content cooks off during the long braise time, leaving the aromatic essence in the stew.
- Pinot Noir – use a good quality Pinot Noir that you’d enjoy drinking on its own, as you’ll need 2 cups of it. The quality of your wine greatly affects the outcome of your stew.
- Frozen pearl onions – these can often be found at major grocery stores. I buy mine from Trader Joe’s, but have seen them in other stores as well. If you cannot locate these, you can substitute with sweet onions.
Pro Tips for Boeuf Bourguignon
- The bit that takes some pre-planning is the browning of individual cubes of beef.
- You’ll want to wear an apron or some old clothes that you’re ok with dirtying; then, get ready for the complex flavors to happen.
- Browned chunks of beef are cooked down in red wine and savory broth, adorned with mushrooms and pearl onions.
- Flavorful herbs are slow cooked in the broth. The result is the most tender, savory, richly flavorful beef stew ever experienced.
Make Boeuf Bourguignon in Advance
Make this stew the night before and simply reheat when ready to serve. Relax on the day of your dinner party and enjoy your people. Note that the flavors in the stew infuse even further with time, so we actually recommend making it in advance.
What to Serve with Boeuf Bourguignon
Serve up your boeuf Bourguignon with any of the below ideas:
- Rustic, crusty bread – this one is a crowd-pleaser that even beginners can make
- Egg noodles slathered with some butter, salt, and pepper.
- Nutty brown rice – use your Instant pot for perfectly cooked brown rice.
- Pomegranate Salad with Pear and Blue Cheese – if it’s not pomegranate season, replace it with blueberries or your choice of dried fruit.
- Julia Child’s Pear Clafoutis – make it a Julia Child themed dinner party, with this delightful pear tart for dessert.
- Break out a bottle of a plush, fruit-forward Pinot Noir for a phenomenal wine pairing.
More to Cook and Eat
- Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Coconut Stew – super healthy and unbelievably delicious.
- One-Pot Beef Stew With Potatoes – easy to make and comforting.
- Slow Cooker Beef Vegetable Barley Stew – enjoy the goodness of barley in this hearty stew.
- Easy Slow Cooker Smoked Brisket – no need for a smoker; use your slow cooker and still gain a smoky flavor.
- 30-Minute Mexican Chicken and Quinoa Stew – this easy, healthy stew is perfect for busy weeknights.
Commonly Asked Questions
We highly recommend using a nice quality Pinot Noir or a good quality Red Bordeaux. Think dry and robust French reds wines.
Absolutely. In fact, we recommend making this French beef stew the night before you wish to serve it. The flavors meld together and become even richer the next day.
Boneless chuck beef roast is ideal, as it breaks down really well with long and slow braising, causing it to become extra tender.
You can now find frozen pearl onions at many major grocery stores, but if you cannot locate it, you can replace it with chopped sweet onions instead.
French Beef Stew (Boeuf Bourguignon)
- Olive oil
- 12 oz thick applewood smoked bacon, diced
- 3 lbs chuck beef, trimmed and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into chunks or coins
- 2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
- 10 cloves chopped garlic
- ½ cup Cognac
- 2 cups good quality Pinot Noir, or other full-bodied Burgundy wine
- 3 cups low sodium beef broth
- 2 TB tomato paste
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 4 TB butter, room temperature
- 3 TB flour
- 1 lb frozen pearl onions, whole
- 1 lb fresh button or cremini mushrooms, thickly sliced
- 3 bay leaves
- kosher salt and black pepper
- chopped fresh parsley for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350F with rack on lower middle position. Heat 2 TB oil in large Dutch oven (or heavy, oven-safe pot with tight fitting lid.) Add bacon and cook over medium until evenly and lightly browned throughout. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon to a large plate. Remaining oil and grease should stay in the pot.
- Using paper towels, thoroughly dry uncooked beef and sprinkle the cubes evenly with a thin layer of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Reheat the oil/bacon grease in the Dutch oven and sear the beef cubes in a single layer, working in batches, until each cube is brown on all sides. Do not over crowd the pan, making sure to leave some space between each piece of beef. Add more oil as needed to finish browning. Set beef aside in plate with the bacon.
- If needed, heat 2 TB oil in pot. Add carrots, onions, garlic, 1 TB kosher salt, 2 tsp black pepper and sauté for 5 minutes until onions are lightly browned. Deglaze bottom of pot, adding 1 TB oil as needed. Add Cognac and cook another 10 minutes on medium.
- Add beef and bacon back into Dutch oven with their juices. Add the wine and enough beef broth to almost cover all the meat. Add tomato paste, thyme, and bay leaves. Bring to simmer, stirring occasionally. Once liquid is reaches a simmer, cover the pot with tight fitting lid and place in oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until meat is very tender when pierced with fork.
- Meanwhile, mix together 2 TB butter with 3 TB flour in small bowl and set aside. Sauté mushrooms with 2 TB butter in skillet just until mushrooms start to become soft.
- Remove stew from oven. Add the butter/flour mixture, frozen pearl onions, and mushrooms to the stew. Bring to a boil on stovetop and immediately reduce to simmer. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Skim off any fat off the top. Remove bay leaves. Season with additional kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve with crusty bread, rice, or egg noodles.
- If not serving immediately, let the stew cool completely at room temperature and store in fridge. Just before serving, bring stew to a simmer. Cover and simmer 15 min, basting with its own sauce a few times while simmering.
- If you cannot locate frozen whole pearl onions, you can replace with chopped sweet onions instead.
- Wine Pairing: A good quality red, similar to the one you used in the recipe. A jammy Pinot Noir recommended.
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