Beef Bourguignon is one of the few recipes everyone needs to know how to cook! Tender beef braised in red wine with onions and carrots and flavoured with bouquet garni, this French beef stew is the epitome of comfort food made easy!
I used to work with a lot of French youth, which gave me a lot of opportunities to get their informed opinions about recipes to share. They were always adamant that Beef Bourguignon is a recipe that needed to find space on this site!
One taste will tell you why they are so passionate about this classic dish. The combination of tender beef and vegetables with herbs in a rich wine sauce is inspired!
Developing my own version of a beef bourguignon recipe was quite easy as it is basically a beef version of my very popular classic coq au vin. It has since become a huge favourite, easy to cook but unbelievably delicious!
There are many recipes out there and I am sharing my take on this French classic, something that works for me. I would encourage you to follow this recipe but also to make necessary adjustments to suit your family’s tastes.
For example, many beef bourguignon recipes include pearl onions. The truth is that eating a whole onion, no matter how small, would never fly with my kids so I omitted them.
Mushrooms are also a permanent fixture in most beef bourguignon recipes but also got cut! Although I am a mushroom lover, they are not! My point is add or remove anything you like or don’t like.
Cooking time would also depend on your oven temperature, how large your beef pieces are (I like mine large!), and how tender you’d like your meat to be. My advice to you is to taste and make adjustments.
What wine to use
The wine that this flavourful stew is cooked in is traditionally Burgundy, which might not be readily available where you live.
Red and full-bodied wine like Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon is a good choice for this dish. It should be a decent drinking wine but don’t break the bank on it!
Recipe Tips and Notes
- Searing the beef will contribute to a richer flavour. It should be nice and brown on all sides.
- The cooking time will need to be shortened or extended depending on how tender your meat is since oven temperatures vary. Check the meat as it cooks until you are happy with how tender is is.
- I omitted mushrooms and pearl onions from this recipe but both are included in classic beef bourguignon.
What to serve with beef bourguignon
More classic French recipes
- Coq au vin
- Chicken Provencal
- French Chicken Casserole a la Normande
- Chicken in Wine and Mustard Sauce
How to Make Beef Bourguignon
- 2 lbs / 900g stewing beef or rump roasting joint cut into 2 inch cubes
- 500 ml / 2 cups red wine
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 50 g bacon lardons/ 2-3 strips bacon chopped
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2-3 tbsp flour
- 1 cup baby carrots/2 large carrots cut into 2 inch pieces
- Up to 1 cup/ 250 ml beef stock optional
- 1 prepared bouquet garni or 3 parsley stalks 3 thyme sprigs, 2 bay leaves tied together
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Parsley chopped
- The night before combine beef and wine in an air tight container or a ziplock bag and marinade overnight.
- When ready to cook take the beef out and lightly dab the pieces with paper towel to absorb the liquid, salt and pepper them, then set aside for a moment, reserve the wine the meat was marinated in.
- Preheat the oven to 300F/160C
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy cast iron pot and cook the bacon lardons until they render fat, remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl.
- In the same pot brown beef over medium-high heat, do so in batches to avoid overcrowding and steaming. The beef should be nicely browned on each side but not cooked all the way through, approximately 2-3 minutes on each side depending on how high the heat is. Remove the browned beef to the same bowl as bacon.
- Now add chopped onion to the pan and cook over low heat for 5-7 minutes until tender and translucent, then add minced garlic and cook for 1 minute stirring constantly to prevent garlic from burning or it will turn bitter.
- Return the beef and bacon bits back to the pan, add carrots, flour and stir, cook for a minute to ensure all flour got saturated in the fat in the pan, then add reserved wine and enough beef stock to cover the beef, add your bouquet garni and bring to a boil, then cover with a lid and put in the preheated oven for 2 hours.
- After two hours check on the liquid in the pot, it should remain at the same level. Put the beef back in the oven with the lid off to allow the liquid to reduce and thicken, cook for 1 to 1.5 hours for tender, melt-in-your-mouth beef. Taste and add more salt if needed.
- Serve sprinkled with additional chopped parsley over mashed potatoes or noodles.