Beef Bourguignon

updated Jan 18, 2024

Ultra-tender chunks of beef, seared vegetables, and a rich, velvety red wine sauce make this French stew ultra-cozy.

Serves4 to 6

Prep20 minutes to 25 minutes

Cook2 hours 30 minutes to 3 hours

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The scent of beef bourguignon simmering in your oven is nothing short of intoxicating. It’s enough to make you fall in love with this French stew long before you even take a bite. 

I first made beef bourguignon over a decade ago when I was in culinary school, and back then I made it many times over, as a means of nailing the techniques of searing then stewing the meat, and making a deeply flavorful, well-seasoned sauce. This recipe is inspired by the classic one that I learned in school, but with a few tweaks to make it as straightforward as possible for home cooks. The final result is a flavorful stew of ultra-tender chunks of beef and seared vegetables in a rich, velvety red wine sauce.

Credit: Photo: Vicky Wasik ; Food Stylist: Kelli Foster

What Is Beef Bourguignon?

Beef bourguignon, or beef Burgundy, is a classic French beef stew made with onions (regular and pearl onions), carrots, mushrooms, and herbs, and simmered in a sauce of red wine and beef broth. It’s just as much about the impossibly tender chunks of beef as it is the deeply flavored sauce.

What Cut of Meat Is Best for Beef Bourguignon?

Boneless beef chuck roast is the best cut of beef to use for beef bourguignon. It’s a tough, inexpensive cut that benefits from a lengthy cooking time. Start with the full roast rather than pre-cut cubes of chuck roast or stew meat, which are often cut irregularly and are smaller than is ideal for this recipe. Here, the beef is seared on the stovetop and then simmered for several hours in the oven until it’s incredibly tender and falls apart at the touch of a fork. 

Credit: Photo: Vicky Wasik ; Food Stylist: Kelli Foster

What’s the Difference Between Beef Bourguignon and Beef Stew?

From the ingredient list to the cooking process, there are a lot of similarities between these two cozy stewed beef dishes. The main difference is that beef bourguignon uses a full bottle of red wine for the sauce, whereas beef stew calls for little to no wine. Additionally, beef bourguignon also typically includes bacon, pearl onions, and mushrooms.

Ingredients in Beef Bourguignon

  • Thick-cut bacon. To maximize flavor, the fat gets rendered, then the beef gets seared in the bacon fat.
  • Boneless beef chuck roast. This cut is flavorful, and after a lengthy cook time becomes positively tender. If the roast has any large pieces of fat on the outside, it’s helpful to trim off before searing the beef. 
  • All-purpose flour. A couple of spoonfuls work to thicken the stew just enough so the sauce is lush and velvety. 
  • Dry red wine. Pinot noir, cabernet, or merlot are all good choices here — you’ll use the whole bottle for this recipe. You don’t need to use anything pricey, but I advise against grabbing the cheapest bottle of wine on the shelf. Instead, choose a wine that you’d also enjoy drinking.
  • Low-sodium beef broth. Along with wine, the broth makes up the rich, savory sauce.
  • Pearl onions. Take your pick between fresh or frozen, as both work well here. When using fresh, I recommend grabbing a package of trimmed pearl onions to minimize prep work.
  • Cremini mushrooms. No need to trim the stems. Just quarter the mushrooms, then sear in melted butter until deep brown all over.
Credit: Photo: Vicky Wasik ; Food Stylist: Kelli Foster

Beef Bourguignon Recipe

Ultra-tender chunks of beef, seared vegetables, and a rich, velvety red wine sauce make this French stew ultra-cozy.

Prep time 20 minutes to 25 minutes

Cook time 2 hours 30 minutes to 3 hours

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info


  • 1

    large yellow onion

  • 1

    medium carrot

  • 3

    cloves garlic

  • 8 ounces

    thick-cut bacon (5 to 6 slices)

  • 1

    (3-pound) boneless beef chuck roast

  • 3 teaspoons

    kosher salt, divided, plus more as needed

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper, divided, plus more as needed

  • 1 tablespoon

    tomato paste

  • 3 tablespoons

    all-purpose flour

  • 1

    (750-milliliter) bottle dry red wine

  • 1 cup

    low-sodium beef broth

  • 5

    sprigs fresh thyme

  • 2

    dried bay leaves

  • 8 ounces

    pearl onion (about 25), not thawed if frozen

  • 8 ounces

    cremini mushrooms

  • 3 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • Chopped fresh parsley leaves, for garnish (optional)

Serving options (optional):


  1. Arrange a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat the oven to 350℉.

  2. Dice 1 large yellow onion (about 2 cups). Peel and cut 1 medium carrot crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds (about 1/3 cup). Mince 3 garlic cloves.

  3. Cut 8 ounces thick-cut bacon crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. Place in a Dutch oven or other large heavy-bottomed oven-safe pot with a tight-fitting lid. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the fat is rendered and the bacon is browned and crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Meanwhile, trim any excess fat from 1 (3-pound) boneless beef chuck roast, then cut into rough 2-inch cubes. Pat dry with paper towels and season all over with 2 teaspoons of the kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the black pepper.

  4. When the bacon is ready, use a slotted spoon to transfer to a large bowl or plate.

  5. Add half of the beef to the pot in a single layer and cook until browned on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Use tongs to transfer to the bowl or plate with the bacon. Repeat with browning the remaining beef and transferring to the plate. The beef will not be cooked through.

  6. Add the onion and carrot to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add 1 tablespoon tomato paste and stir to coat the vegetables. Cook until darkened in color, 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour. Stir to coat and cook for 1 minute to cook the floury taste out.

  7. Add 1 (750-ml) bottle dry red wine and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Add 1 cup low-sodium beef broth, 5 fresh thyme sprigs, 2 dried bay leaves, and 1/2 teaspoon of the kosher salt. Return the beef, bacon, and any accumulated juices to the pot and stir to combine. Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a simmer.

  8. Cover the pot and transfer to the oven. Cook until the beef is very tender, about 2 hours. About 30 minutes before the beef is ready, trim and peel 8 ounces pearl onions if needed, and quarter 8 ounces cremini mushrooms.

  9. Melt 3 tablespoons unsalted butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, mushrooms, remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and lightly browned all over, 12 to 15 minutes.

  10. Add the cooked onions and mushrooms to the pot and stir to combine. Remove and discard the bay leaves and thyme stems. Taste and season with more kosher salt and black pepper as needed. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley leaves if desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.