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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.

French Beef Stew Boeuf Bourguignon
Boeuf Bourguignon has incredibly deep, rich flavor

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.

Boeuf Bourguignon French beef stew 2
French beef stew can be made in advance, as the flavors become deeper the next day.

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.

French beef stew or Boeuf Bourguignon in a bowl

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.
Boeuf bourguignon in a bowl with spoon
Slow braising creates the most tender French beef stew.

More to Cook and Eat

Boeuf Bourguignon
Commonly Asked Questions

What wine should I use for Boeuf Bourguignon?

We highly recommend using a nice quality Pinot Noir or a good quality Red Bordeaux. Think dry and robust French reds wines.

Can I make Boeuf Bourguignon in advance?

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.

What cut of beef is best for Boeuf Bourguignon?

Boneless chuck beef roast is ideal, as it breaks down really well with long and slow braising, causing it to become extra tender.

What is a good substitute for frozen pearl onions?

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.

boeuf bourguignon, french beef stew

French Beef Stew (Boeuf Bourguignon)

4.91 from 75 ratings
This is hands-down a favorite dish to serve for friends and family. If you plan ahead, you can have this entire dish made the night before to let flavors meld, which makes your dinner party that much easier.
Prep Time: 45 mins
Cook Time: 2 hrs
Servings: 8 servings


  • 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.
    Boeuf Bacon Cooking
  • 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.
    Boeuf Beef Browning
  • 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.
    Boeuf Vegetables Cooking
  • 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.
    Boeuf Ingredients Simmering
  • 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.
    Boeuf Mushrooms Cooking
  • 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.
    Boeuf Simmering


  • 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.
If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating ♡


Serving: 1g | Calories: 471kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 132mg | Sodium: 487mg | Potassium: 915mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 3208IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 5mg
Course: Main
Cuisine: American, French
Method: Stovetop

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Recipe Rating


    • Gotta EAT
    • 5 stars

    After it’s been baking for 2 hours, you still have to simmer it for 30 mins. on stovetop? The Beurre Manier only takes a couple mins. to cook through. Try adding the frozen pearl onions at some point during baking – they won’t disintegrate and you save time overall.

    • Elizabeth
    • 5 stars

    This beef stew was really unlike any other beef stew recipe I have ever made. Very flavorful! This will be my new go-to beef stew recipe.

    • Cathleen
    • 5 stars

    This is my new comfort meal!! It has been snowing for the past like.. month straight here in Wisconsin, so I needed this! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe 🙂

      • Amy Dong

      You’re welcome!

    • Ann
    • 5 stars

    This beef stew sounds wonderful! Such a classic and yummy recipe! Excited to give this one a try!

    • Jenny
    • 5 stars

    That’s a great stew recipe. It’s a showstopper and all the flavors are on point. I love a good stew for these cold days we are having. Thanks so much for this great dish.

    • Luke Ratford
    • 5 stars

    This a fantastic French stew recipe, full of amazing flavours giving you the perfect winter warmer 🙂
    The family loved it and will be making it again next week 😉

    • Kara Byrne
    • 5 stars

    This was a wonderful french stew! It was so full of deep rich flavor and worth all the prep and time to make. Serving it for a dinner party tomorrow and I will be ladling it over polenta! Will definitely be making this again, especially during the colder months! And for an added bonus, it makes the house smell so good!!

      • Amy Dong

      So happy you guys loved it, Kara!

    • Ritch
    • 5 stars

    I use the leftovers to make beef pot pies. All you need is the crust. Frankly, that’s the main reason I make this dish. The actual beef stew is awesome, but making full crust, classic beef pies the next day is the best part! 🙂

    • Amy
    • 5 stars

    This was delicious! Thank you

      • Amy Dong

      So glad you liked it!

    • Linda
    • 5 stars

    Great rich stew. Wow.

    • Linda
    • 5 stars

    I made this stew today. It was delicious! Best stew I’ve ever made. Thanks

    • Jen Santoro

    The picture looks like it has baby potatoes but there aren’t any in the recipe are there potatoes in this recipie?

      • Amy Dong

      Good question! It’s actually the pearl onions that look like potatoes 🙂

    • Moop Brown
    • 5 stars

    This stew recipe looks incredibly filling and flavorful and like the perfect dish for a cold day. Thanks!

    • Adriana
    • 5 stars

    Such a classic and so comforting. Cannot have enough beef bourguignon. The meat melts in your mouth as it is so tender.

    • Aya
    • 5 stars

    This french beef stew is delicious and flavorful! I will definitely be making it again!

    • Andrea Howe
    • 5 stars

    I have always wanted to try to make French beef stew and my daughter who is learning French and traveling to France this summer encouraged me to try it. It was a lot simpler than I thought and so so delicious! I will def be making a gain!

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