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Classic French Beef Bourguignon

I’ve been making Beef Bourguignon for dozens of years. It’s one of the first French classics I mastered, and it’s still a favorite. This rich, thick, chunky stew is best served with something to soak up all that gravy. And the leftovers are even better the next day! 

Beef stew in a white bowl with carrots and thyme.

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I love Beef Bourignon, and once you’ve got the meat browned, it does all its cooking in the oven, so you can pretty much set it and forget it.

I buy stew beef when it goes on sale and then make a double batch of this easy beef stew. Half goes on the table for dinner, and the rest into the freezer for meals later on.

Many chefs take shortcuts and don’t brown the beef first, but I always do. This builds incredible flavor in the sauce, and the sauce is so good, you’ll want every last drop!

Two bowls of beef stew with carrots and potatoes.

What You’ll Love About Beef Bourguignon


  • It’s made with an affordable cut of beef and tastes much fancier than it is!
  • You can prep everything ahead of time and then just pop it in the oven a few hours before eating.
  • It can be dressed up or down, and it tastes better the next day!
  • Beef Bourguignon freezes like a dream!
Beef stew in a white bowl with carrots and thyme.

Ingredients

  • Stew Beef – Cut into 1-inch chunks. Buy the stew beef on sale and this becomes a quite affordable French recipe.
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Oil – Use a neutral flavored oil like vegetable, grapeseed or avocado oil.
  • Bacon – Chopped.
  • Pearl Onions – Fresh or frozen. If fresh, see below on how to peel them.
  • Mushrooms – Cleaned and quartered.
  • Yellow Onion – Chopped.
  • Carrot – Cut into ½-inch slices.
  • Celery – Cut into ½-inch slices.
  • Red Wine
  • Beef Stock – Use low or no-sodium beef broth or stock.
  • Garlic – Fresh garlic.
  • Bay Leaf
  • Thyme
  • Parsley
  • All-purpose flour
Ingredients for beef bourguignon on a marble countertop.

How to Peel Pearl Onions

Peeling pearl onions is a breeze with this simple method. First, boil some water and trim the root ends off the onions. Once the water is boiling, submerge the onions for about a minute. This loosens their skins. Next, drain the onions and rinse them under cold water to stop the cooking process and cool them down. Now, the skins should slip off effortlessly. Just squeeze each onion gently at the stem end, and it should pop right out, leaving you with perfectly peeled pearl onions ready for your recipe.

White onions in a bowl on a marble table.
Pearl onions soaking in hot water.

How to Make Beef Bourguignon

  1. Preheat your oven to 300F.
  2. Season the meat liberally with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook the bacon until lightly crisp in a large skillet or in the bottom of a Dutch oven. Remove the bacon and set aside.
  4. Add the pearl onions and sauté for a few mins, then add the mushrooms and cook until browned and juices are starting to come out. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  5. Add 1 tbsp oil to the skillet and brown the seasoned meat. Work in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan. Set the browned beef aside in a bowl to catch all the juice.
  6. Add the chopped onions, carrots, and celery to the pan and another tablespoon of oil if needed and sauté until the onions are softened.
  7. Deglaze the pan with red wine and reduce for 3-4 minutes, scraping up any bits from the bottom.
  8. Add the beef stock or broth, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, and parsley. Then, stir in the meat.
  9. Transfer the mixture to an oven-safe casserole or Dutch oven and bake covered for about 2 hours or until the meat is very tender.
  10. Remove herbs, and add reserved bacon, pearl onions, and mushrooms and thicken the sauce with a slurry of 2-3 tablespoons of flour to 1/2 cup beef broth.
  11. Bake another 20-30 minutes until pearl onions are soft and the stew is bubbling.
  12. Serve and enjoy with a sprinkle of fresh parsley on top.

Step By Step Process

Chef Jenn’s Tips

  • Cut the stew beef down into bite-size chunks, or about 1-inch cubes, so they cook evenly and easily.
  • Don’t rush the browning of the meat; it builds the flavor. Let it get good and caramelized and cook in batches so it browns, not steams.
  • Ensure each piece of meat is well browned for a depth of flavor.

Recommended

Make It A Meal

Beef bourguignon is a star on its own, but it pairs wonderfully with creamy mashed potatoes, a crisp green salad or asparagus, and a loaf of crusty bread to soak up the delicious sauce. For a wine pairing, a glass of the same red wine used in cooking ties the meal together beautifully.

Storage

Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and it tastes better as the flavors combine. For longer storage, freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat gently on the stove or in the oven.

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Beef stew in a white bowl with carrots and thyme.
Print Pin
4.96 from 49 votes

Beef Bourguignon

Rich, meaty, loaded with veggies, and with a gravy that puts all other gravies to shame, this classic French Beef Bourguignon recipe is a keeper! Serve it over mashed potatoes, with egg noodles, or just dig into a heaping bowl of it all on its own!
Course Main Course
Cuisine French
Keyword beef bourguignon, beef stew
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 325kcal
Author Chef Jenn

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds beef stewing meat cut into 1-inch cubes
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 4 slices bacon chopped
  • 1 pound pearl onions peeled
  • 8 ounces mushroom cleaned and quartered
  • 1 cup onion chopped
  • 3 carrots chopped
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 1 cup beef broth use low or no sodium added; divided
  • 6 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-3 sprigs thyme
  • 6 sprigs parsley
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 300F.
  • Season the meat liberally with salt and pepper.
  • Cook the bacon until lightly crisp in a large skillet or in the bottom of a Dutch oven. Remove the bacon and set aside.
  • Add the pearl onions and sauté for a few mins, then add the mushrooms and cook until browned and juices are starting to come out. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Add 1 tbsp oil to the skillet and brown the seasoned meat. Work in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan. Set the browned beef aside in a bowl to catch all the juice.
  • Add the chopped onions, carrots, and celery to the pan and another tablespoon of oil if needed and sauté until the onions are softened.
  • Deglaze the pan with red wine and reduce for 3-4 minutes, scraping up any bits from the bottom.
  • Add 1/2 cup beef stock or broth, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, and parsley. Then, stir in the meat.
  • Transfer the mixture to an oven-safe casserole or Dutch oven and bake covered for about 2 hours or until the meat is very tender.
  • Remove herbs, and add reserved bacon, pearl onions, and mushrooms and thicken the sauce with a slurry of 2-3 tablespoons of flour to the reserved 1/2 cup beef broth.
  • Bake another 20-30 minutes until pearl onions are soft and the stew is bubbling.
  • Serve and enjoy with a sprinkle of fresh parsley on top.

Notes

Chef Jenn’s Tips

  • Cut the stew beef down into bite-size chunks, or about 1-inch cubes, so they cook evenly and easily.
  • Don’t rush the browning of the meat; it builds the flavor.
  • Ensure each piece of meat is well browned for a depth of flavor.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 325kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 207mg | Potassium: 798mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 3945IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 3mg

A Note on Nutritional Information

Nutritional information for this recipe is provided as a courtesy and is calculated based on available online ingredient information. It is only an approximate value. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site cannot be guaranteed.

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