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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 in a square bowl with a slice of baguette on the rim of the bowl.
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.

Boeuf Bourguignon in a round bowl on a grey napkin.

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.

Did you make this?

Please give us a rating and comment below. We love hearing from you!

boeuf bourguignon, french beef stew

French Beef Stew (Boeuf Bourguignon)

4.92 from 81 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 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Servings: 8
Author: Amy Dong


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

Nutrition (per serving)

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
Diet: Low Fat
Method: Stovetop

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Recipe Rating


    • Audrey
    • 5 stars

    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
    • 5 stars

    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:

    • 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!

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