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French Beef Stew (Boeuf Bourguignon)

This French beef stew is straightforward and tastes like none other. We’ve simplified the instructions, while retaining the same classic flavors of famous Boeuf Bourguignon.

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

Beef Stew, french Style

This succulent dish has become one of my favorite entrees, particularly through fall and winter seasons. .  

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.

After all, ultimately it’s just a really good beef stew.  Taken up a notch with a few simple tricks.

Boeuf Bourguignon French beef stew 2
French beef stew can be made in advance

Make Your Beef Stew Ahead of Time

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.

Hint:  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

Serve it the Way You Like, Anytime

Serve up your boeuf Bourguignon with a rustic, crusty bread or egg noodles or carb of choice.  You really can’t go wrong here.  Break out a bottle of a  plush, fruit-forward Pinot Noir for a phenomenal pairing.

Make this for your next dinner party, date night, Valentines Day, or Sunday dinner. Your loved ones will be singing your praises.  

More to cook and eat:

Boeuf Bourguignon French beef stew 3

Watch us make it:


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boeuf bourguignon, french beef stew

French Beef Stew (Boeuf Bourguignon)

5 from 9 reviews

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 min
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes

Yield: 10 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • Light olive oil or peanut 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
  • 1/2 cup Cognac
  • 2 cups good Pinot Noir (or other good quality dry red)
  • 2 1/23 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 2 TB tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 4 TB room temp butter
  • 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

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.  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.
  2. 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.
  3. If needed, add 2 TB to pot and heat oil.  Add carrots, onions, garlic, 1 TB kosher salt, 2 tsp black pepper and saute 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.
  4. 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 1.5 to 2 hours, or until meat is very tender when pierced with fork.
  5. Meanwhile, mix together 2 TB butter with 3 TB flour in small bowl and set aside.  Saute mushrooms with 2 TB butter in skillet just until mushrooms start to become soft.
  6. 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 or egg noodles.

Notes

If not serving immediately, let the stew cool to room temp 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.

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 ♡

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 807
  • Sugar: 14.7 g
  • Sodium: 525.2 mg
  • Fat: 26.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 97.4 g
  • Fiber: 9.1 g
  • Protein: 49.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 114.8 mg
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: French, American

Keywords: French Beef Stew, Boeuf Bourguignon

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Recipe rating

45 comments

    • susan | the wimpy vegetarian

    I haven’t made beef bourguignon since culinary school, but it was a big favorite of mine. Thanks for this reminder and great recipe for it. It’s perfect on cold winter nights!!

    • Cathleen

    I am actually drooling over this!! Bookmarked to make this weekend, I am so excited! Thanks so much for the recipe! 🙂

      • chewoutloud

      Hope you love it, Cathleen!

    • Jenny

    This is my favorite stew. I love your simplified version; it came out excellent. I will be following your recipe from now on.

    • Allyssa

    Thank you so much for sharing this amazing recipe! Will surely have this again! It’s really easy to make and it tasted so delicious! Highly recommended!

    • veenaazmanov

    Bursting with flavors and surely my comfort food. Love the Bacon combination as well.

    • Geraldine Lee

    Food Heaven! Wow so tasty

    • kim

    love the recipe!

    Making it for a larger group (10) so I’m doubling the ingredients.
    Problem is; my oven is not big enough for the pot to fit in, can I also let it simmer on the stove, or is an oven necessary?

      • chewoutloud

      You can also let it simmer on stove, but you’ll need to monitor and adjust cook time so the beef is tender when done. Enjoy!

    • jim Baker

    The best beef stew Ive ever had.I added a little cabbage and it was great thank you.

    • Sarah P.

    First off, I read your about page and you guys are a beautiful and darling family. My husband and I have two boys and I am busy, so you must be really, really busy!! Second off, this is a great beef burgundy recipe that is much easier than the one in the Julia Child’s French cookbook. But, her cookbooks are great if one has the time. Thank you for simplifying this for the crock pot. Once upon a time, I lived in the far, far away land of France. When I was single I had time to cook French food and I am pretty sure it’s why my husband married me. I charmed him with food. Anyhow, I don’t have such time any longer and have been looking for good short cuts for the great French dishes I used to cook. Your recipe looks like the best!

    Have a great day!

    Sarah

      • chewoutloud

      Thanks so much for the kind comment, Sarah! I am with you completely…a houseful of Littles (no matter the age!) completely changes things. I’m so glad you came over today. Have a wonderful holiday season

    • jale breidenstein

    350 temp correct?

      • chewoutloud

      Yes, Jale, 350F. Hope you love this dish as much as we do 🙂 Enjoy and Merry Christmas!

    • Linda Graham

    This was the best beef stew I have ever made!! I served it over mashed potatoes. Delicious.

      • chewoutloud

      Yay, Linda! So awesome to hear it 🙂 Glad you guys loved it, and thanks for letting us know!

    • S.Stahl

    Wanting to impress your family, your neighbors… co-workers? This is the recipe for you. I suggest making it the day before your event, it makes life so much easier when you have other things you need to accomplish. It is worth every moment and dollar you work and spend on it.

    I have now made this dish 4 times and I am making it again for Valentine’s Day for my husband and our other couple friends.

    Sticking to the Pinot is a must, I tested out a Cab on my second try and was disappointed. A tasty Pinot Noir is the way to go.

    Thanks for an awesome recipe I’ll use for years to come!!!

      • chewoutloud

      Awesome! So so happy to hear how much you guys love this. Making it the night before is my fave way to do it, too. No stress on the day of and the stew actually gets better as it sits 🙂 Happy Valentines weekend!

    • Audrey

    OH MI GOSH. We made this last night, and it is AMAZING. I understand what people are saying about the depth of flavors. It’s rich, delicious, and addicting. The beef was tender and every bite was flavorful. Even a bite full of carrots was savory and delicious!

    It did feel like a lot of steps, but my mentality was, “Well, let’s just try it, and see if the work is worth it.” IT IS. I’m totally one for quick cooking, but this is definitely worth the effort. Like someone else said, it’s not difficult to do and you don’t even really need to be a good cook, it’s just a lot of steps. Though, if two people were doing the prep work together it would be a breeze. Either way, it’s totally worth it!

    This will probably be our new go-to dish for whenever we have guests over because it’s delicious and is sure to impress.

    And for those asking about wine, we just used a $7.99 bottle of Pinot Noir from Trader Joe’s.

    Thank you for the recipe!

      • chewoutloud

      You’re so welcome and we are so happy you loved it! 🙂 thanks for taking time to come and let us know! Yay 🙂

    • Sarah

    THIS STEW IS TO DIE FOR. Seriously. I am a connoisseur of beef stews (it’s my favourite dish), and this was the best meal I had ever had. I ate the leftovers for lunch and dinner every day for about 4 days. I’m not even kidding. I don’t cook very often, and as complicated as this recipe seems, it was actually super easy. I don’t have a Dutch oven, so I browned the bacon and beef in the stew pot. The only tricky thing was being super careful to monitor the heat in the first few steps, because it’s really easy to burn the bits in the bottom of the pan. Also, I accidentally used the entire can of tomato paste, but the stew turned out great anyway! So I think I might do that on purpose whenever I make the stew again.

    I like a lot of broth with my stew, so I used an entire bottle of Pinot Noir, a whole carton of beef stock, and some bouillon cubes. I also tied up a bundle of fresh herbs (parsley, rosemary and thyme) and added them while the stew was simmering. The result was an incredibly rich, hearty stew with so much flavour. A few months later I ordered boeuf bourguinonne at a fancy French restaurant at Bethesda, and I could say with confidence that my stew was just as good. 🙂 Thanks so much for this awesome recipe!

      • chewoutloud

      Awesome comments, Sarah, thank you! We so appreciate the time and effort you took to come and let us know how much you enjoyed this recipe 🙂 We love it, too, as do all our friends! 🙂 I totally agree—it’s not nearly as hard as it first appears. And the results are worth every minute 😉 Thanks for coming over, we’re glad you found us!

    • Terra S

    Substitute for cognac? I don’t want to have to buy some just for this. Thank you!

      • chewoutloud

      Hi, Terra! I’m not sure which recipe you’re interested in, as for some reason, this comment shows up on my French Beef Stew. If you’re talking about chocolate cake (my best guess!)… any orange liquor will work, since it’s supposed to have orange essence. If you want to avoid liquor, you could give orange juice a chance. Hope it turns out awesome 🙂

        • chewoutloud

        Oh, sorry, Terra! My mind is SOOO on the Chocolate Cognac Cake I just posted a few days ago 😉 For the stew, you could use another type of brandy. Whisky, if you have it on hand, could be subbed too. Here’s a great link to help out with subs:http://homecooking.about.com/library/archive/blalcohol6.htm

    • J

    Quick question every time I use wine in Stews the sauce always comes out purple. What am I doing wrong?

      • chewoutloud

      J, that happens to me sometimes if I use a darker red, and a good amount of it. If you use a lighter red, it will be less dark. For this particular recipe, I’ve made it several times, and it does not turn purple 🙂 Enjoy!

    • juliana loh (@bilbaobab)

    this looks and sounds delish!! and thanks for the pinot noir pairing tip!

    • frugalfeeding

    Sounds delicious – I make a cracking beef bourguignon myself – it’s one of my favourite dishes.

      • Zhulia

      Would you be willing to share your recipe?

        • chewoutloud

        Zhulia, thanks for stopping by today! If you need something more than what’s printed here, shoot me an email 🙂

    • whisksandchopsticks

    Well done! The sauce looks so rich. Is there a different to use expensive or not red wine to cook?

      • chewoutloud

      Hi, whisksandchopsticks! Awesome question. Rather than go by the price tag on the bottle, pick a good quality red wine that you love the taste of. Use that same wine in your sauce, and it absolutely makes a difference! 🙂

      If the wine isn’t delicious in your glass, it won’t give much to your sauce either. It’s more about the depth and complexity of the wine, rather than the price tag. Pick something you’d love to drink 🙂

    • Megan

    Mmmm this would be perfect for a snowy day!

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