This easy Beef Bourguignon recipe is a melt-in-your-mouth, classic French stew made with tender chunks of beef chuck, bacon, and vegetables braised in red wine to make a simple, any time dinner that’s impressive enough to serve for special occasions, too.
Beef Bourguignon Is Easier to Make than You Think
Thanks to Julia Child and Ina Garten, this classic French stew is familiar to many home cooks, yet, I still don’t hear much about many people actually cooking it. And no matter how many times I make it myself, I’ll probably never be able to spell bourguignon without Googling it.
Beef Bourguignon is really just a fancy name for an easy-to-make, humble dinner that tastes anything but.
The flavor is deep, rich, and beyond luxurious. Which is ironic since under the lid of this cast iron, one-pot, dutch oven meal that starts on the stove top and finishes off in the oven, is just a good old-fashioned stew recipe that even the most novice of home cooks will revel in the glory of.
Even better, Beef Bourguignon’s flavors deepen over time, making it the perfect recipe to make a day ahead, or even two, then rewarm to serve. That step in itself makes this recipe an awesome option for holiday dinners (I’m serving it for Christmas Eve), or as your secret weapon to simply get through winter with your comfort food cravings cured.
It really is THAT special. Plan on putting this recipe on repeat.
It comes from the Staub Cookbook: Modern Recipes for Classic Cast Iron. Staub enameled cast-iron dutch ovens are part of my kitchen essentials list, so when I received this cookbook, it quickly became copiously tagged with loads of amazing recipes I want to make. It’s filled with over 100 classic recipes made with cast-iron cookers that can be made any time of year.
My first foray into the cookbook was this beef bourguignon. And I can confirm, it’s a crowd pleaser no matter how big your party.
The Best Meat for Beef Bourguignon
Beef chuck is one of the best meats for beef bourguignon—or really for any stew. It’s ribboned with fat, and fat equals flavor plus tenderness. It browns well and holds up to the longer cooking time to become incredibly tender.
The stew starts with crisping bacon from a cold cast-iron dutch oven for a salted depth of flavor. This method ensures the bacon doesn’t become chalky and brittle or lend a burned taste instead of it’s pure, bacon flavor. The beef chuck is seared in the bacon renderings, and is just the beginning of layers of amazing flavor.
Aromatics In This French Stew
Beef is far from the only flavor builder in this stew. In fact, the vegetables nearly steal the show:
- Mushrooms (and loads of them!)
- Fresh thyme
Dice the celery, onion, and carrots to the same size so they cook evenly. Because the mushrooms are softer, they will cook faster so can be cut larger—that’s the way I like them.
Because the meat is removed from the pot before the vegetables are cooked until soft, they hold their shape and don’t turn into mush. Then it’s their turn to leave the pan so the deglazing can begin.
Which Red Wine to Use in Beef Bourguignon
Bourguignon refers to Burgundy, France, so naturally there is red wine, and it’s what distinguishes this stew from any other. But it isn’t the wine that deglazes the Staub cast iron coquette. Cognac is what does this job, for adding a sweetness to the sauce. Brandy can be used instead, but know that all Cognacs are brandies, but not all brandies are Cognacs.
The alcohol evaporates as it cooks and while you could skip the cognac, don’t substitute for the red wine or you’ll truly miss what makes this stew special.
Off to the Oven We Go
The stew starts on the stove to brown and deglaze, and is finished in the oven for a braise to cook down and allow the flavors to meld together for a sauce like no other.
While you can make the recipe in the crockpot slow cooker or the Instant Pot pressure cooker, I’ve found the 1 1/2 to 2 hour braise in the cast iron pot delivers a depth and richness that’s hard to recreate with other cooking methods.
So for this one, I’m sticking with the braise.
What to Serve With Beef Bourguignon
This stew can easily be served all on its own, it’s a true meal all in one. But I like to serve it along side a few other veggie sides, like:
- Creamy Mashed Potatoes Recipe — How To Make The Best!
- Mashed Cauliflower With Parmesan And Chives
- Buttermilk Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes
- Avocado Grapefruit and Fennel Salad
- Easy Green Beans With Browned Butter Almondine
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Bookmark this recipe and leave a comment below, or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats
Use a good quality red wine you would actually want to drink. It doesn't have to be expensive to be goo. I've used a pinot noir and Malbec before, with both adding the rich flavor this dish is known for. If you don't have cognac, you can leave it out if you'd like.
- 2 1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 8 ounces bacon diced
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 6 carrots diced
- 4 celery stalks diced
- 1 pound cremini or button mushroom sliced
- 4 cloves garlic pressed or minced
- 1/2 cup cognac
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 cups dry red wine such as Pinot Noir
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- Chopped fresh Italian parsley for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Add the beef to a large mixing bowl and season it with the salt and pepper then toss with the flour. Set aside.
In a large cast-iron cocotte dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium-low heat until the edges of the bacon are crispy. Remove the bacon to a large bowl, leaving the rendered fat in the pan. Increase the heat to medium high. Add the beef to the fat in the pan an brown it on all sides. Remove the beef rom the pan to the bowl with the bacon.
Add the onions, carrots, celery, and mushrooms to the pan. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, or until aromatic. Remove the vegetables from the pan to the bowl with the beef.
Deglaze the pan with the cognac and cook until reduced by half, scraping the bottom of the pan to release any browned bits. Stir in the tomato paste then add the wine, stock, thyme, brown sugar, and a pig pinch of salt an pepper. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat. Return the bacon, beef, and vegetable stop the pot, cover, and place in the oven.
This dish's flavors deepen over time. Cook it in it's entirety one or two days before serving, refrigerate and rewarm to serve. Or, cook through the stovetop steps a day or two ahead then finish in the oven the day you'd like to serve.
More Favorite Stew-ish Dinners to Make Now
- Butternut Squash Beef Stew (Instant Pot, Pressure Cooker Or Slow Cooker)
- Chicken, Crab And Andouille Sausage Gumbo Recipe
- Lemon Chicken Stew
- Irish Pork Stew With Stout And Caraway Seeds
- 30 Days Of Soups, Stews, And Chilis Made To Keep Winter Warm
- 25 Healthy And Comforting Slow Cooker Soups & Stews
Tools You’ll Need to Make This Recipe
- Staub Cookbook: Modern Recipes for Classic Cast Iron — I’ve given a copy of the book with a Staub dutch oven as a wedding gift
- Staub 7 Qt. Cast Enamel Dutch Oven — available in every color
- Zwilling Pro 8-inch Chef’s Knife (I can’t cook without it!)
- My favorite garlic press—and it’s the cheapest I’ve ever found.
Are you a braiser? What are your tips for braising in the oven or your favorite thing to cook? Tell us more in the comments below.
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