Beef Bourguignon

By • February 1, 2010 58 Comments

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Author Notes: During the winter season I make Beef Bourguignon at least once a month. It's rich, soul-satisfying and a definite crowd pleaser. There are a few key details to remember when making the stew: Be sure to brown the meat well in the beginning, use a good quality red wine that you would happily drink, and, if possible, make it a day in advance to let the flavors develop. Over time, I have also found that adding some tomato paste and a little brown sugar to the stock adds depth and sweetness which nicely rounds out the finished flavor.TasteFood

Food52 Review: WHO: TasteFood is a well-traveled food blogger from the Bay Area.
WHAT: A beef bourguignon that tastes alive.
HOW: The beginning seems like any bourguignon recipe: brown the beef, deglaze, braise. But then you cook the carrots, onions, and mushrooms separately, and then simmer it all together for its final hurrah.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Unlike a soft, mushy, murky stew, the components of this bourguignon stay intact just enough -- so that you know what you're eating, but it still feels cohesive. We'll be making this in big batches all winter long.
The Editors

Serves 6-8

  • 3 pounds beef chuck, cut in 2-inch chunks
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup cognac
  • 4 large carrots
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut in chunks
  • 4 large garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 750 ml. bottle full-bodied red wine
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 10 ounces pearl onions, peeled
  • 1/2 pound white mushrooms, halved (quartered if large)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Pat meat dry. Season all over with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in large Dutch-oven or oven-proof pan with lid over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add beef to pan in one layer. Brown on all sides. Transfer beef to a bowl.
  3. Add cognac to pan and deglaze pan over medium-high heat, scraping up bits. Allow to reduce by half. Pour cognac over beef.
  4. Coarsely chop 2 carrots. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in same pan. Add chopped carrots, onion and garlic. Sauté 3 minutes over medium heat. Add beef with cognac, wine, stock, tomato paste and thyme. (Beef should be covered by the wine and stock. If not, add more wine or stock to cover.)
  5. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook 2 minutes. Cover and place in oven. Bake until meat is very tender, 2 1/2 -3 hours.
  6. About 30 minutes before beef is done, cut remaining carrots in 1/2" slices. Steam or blanch carrots until crisp tender; drain.
  7. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Sauté pearl onions and mushrooms until light golden brown.
  8. Remove beef from oven. Strain liquid from stew into a saucepan. Separate beef from the cooked vegetables and discard vegetables. Boil liquid until reduced by half and thickened to a sauce consistency, skimming fat from surface. Add sugar. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  9. Add beef, carrots, pearl onions and mushrooms to stock. Simmer 15 minutes to heat through. Serve in warm bowls.
  10. Beef Bourguignon may be prepared up to two days in advance. Cover and refrigerate. Before reheating, discard any solidified fat from surface. Reheat over medium-low heat on stovetop or in a 325 F. oven.

More Great Recipes: Beef & Veal|Entrees|Stews|Tomatoes|Olive Oil

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Comments (58) Questions (3)


4 months ago sevenfaces

I've always thought beef bourguignon was probably very complicated and fancy, but when I read this recipe it seemed surprisingly doable - and it was! I did steps 1-5 one night, then the next night did steps 7-10 (I put all the carrots in at the beginning, so I skipped step 6). I didn't discard the vegetables; the onions had melted into the sauce, and the carrots retained their shape very well and were so intensely flavoured. However, I know pearl onions are traditional, but I didn't think they added much to the dish. Overall very tasty :)


7 months ago Megan Town

The perfect winter meal--I made it a day ahead of time so the flavors could develop more and couldn't have been more pleased. Can't wait to make this again (and again!).


over 1 year ago Laurenzim

This was so delicious!!! Thank you!!!!


over 1 year ago Jenniferruth

We loved this! I liked other commenters' idea of blending the veggies and adding them to the sauce, so I did. I had mashed potatoes with it. It was awesome!


over 1 year ago pjcamp

Double plus ungood. Way yonder too much thyme.


over 1 year ago Skeenah

Had this over New Years and it was wonderful!!! We made Spätzle which was fantastic with this dish!!!


over 1 year ago tulip549

Agree with a few others regarding a few things- I added a bay leaf to the mixture before I popped it in the oven. I definitely kept the original vegetables (really seemed a shame to discard them and instead blended them for a final sauce), and I added a touch of white vinegar to the sauce mixture at the end to bring out the pop in the flavors (otherwise invariably anything that has been in the oven for a few hours will come out tasting delicious but slightly dull). Definitely skim the fat at the end (why kill your coronary arteries, I ask you?), also I skipped the sugar as I liked the flavors as they were. Also I found that everything tasted just amazing the day afterwards as well. Thanks so much!


over 1 year ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I find rather intriguing the editors' comment that this starts out like any bourguignon recipe, but somehow differs in that the onions and mushrooms are cooked separately. Traditional beef bourguignon has always been made that way. (See, e.g., "Mastering the Art of French Cooking.") I agree however that the addition of carrots is different, as the classic Beef Burgundy simply would not have them at all. In fact, there are many who would argue that adding the carrots makes this a beef stew with red wine, and not "Beef Bourguignon," for that reason. ;o)


over 1 year ago Muse

This is just what the doctor ordered on a cold winter's day! Saving your recipe for sure...thank you for sharing it. Peace, Light and Love.


over 2 years ago John-K46

I followed the recipe as written except that I cut quantities in half. The result was an excellent meal. I would like to complement TasteFood for a a recipe well written with proportions well thought out and no doubt tested.


over 2 years ago Erika Kotite

Erika is the founder of Toque magazine and is guiding us through classic cocktails from A to Z in the Booze52 series.

Hi TasteFood, I made this last night with just a few tweaks (didn't need to reduce the sauce it was already quite thick and lovely). My family turned into a pack of wolves; as I was ladling it into bowls they didn't want me to give any to my daughter's friends who were here studying for finals. The thin veneer of civilization vanished upon smelling this truly extraordinary dish. Thank you!!


over 2 years ago kbradley

I made this on Saturday. The house smelled amazing and the dish tasted even more amazing! Loved it!!


over 2 years ago kate h

I made this yesterday afternoon to serve for dinner tonight. I am in awe how the flavors improved and developed overnight. I can not wait to serve. I will be putting it over pappardelle and top with some fresh chopped parsley. Delicious!


over 2 years ago maam

I made this yesterday for dinner while finishing the drywall in the now kitchen/dining room...the aromas for the 3 hours while it was cooking were nothing less than heavenly. It caused me daydream about the meals I will be serving in my new dining area.
I have to agree with valerieg...those braised veggies are just too good to waste, both my daughter and I had the same blend them into the sauce. I am presently eating them reheated for lunch with a big cold glass of milk...while my final skim coat of drywall compound dries...yummy. The bourguignon was delicious! We made it with brandy instead of cognac and we served it with whole wheat biscuits, to absorb that fabulous sauce and finished with homemade whole wheat chocolate chip cookies...being the oven was already to go! An all round wonderful winter comfort food meal. Thank you TasteFood


over 2 years ago valerieg

I made it today for dinner tomorrow, and I tok the veggies from the braise, ground them up in the cuisinart, and added them to the sauce. It meant I reduced the sauce less (and more sauce is huge in this family), and its incredibly good. I'm counting on cooling time plus overnight refridge to seep flavor into the other veggies.


over 2 years ago looloo

Thank you. I cooked it yesterday for tonight dinner (my husband ate half of it already though !) Perfect dinner in snowy Paris ! But why not add all the vegetables from the beginning ? Tha carrots and onions that cooked the all time are so much better than the carrots, onions and mushrooms I put at the end ! Have a good week end.


over 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

A lovely wildcard pick; warm congratulations!


over 2 years ago annealene

great suggestion on the thyme and rosemary...and thanks to all those out there who made suggestions about how to go alcohol/brandy-free. I found another idea for alcohol-free Bourguignon which was to use Verjus or de-alcoholized wine. Has anyone attempted either or know of a brand recommendation for the latter?


over 2 years ago dymnyno

Lynda, thanks for a great recipe! Perfect for the very cold weather we are experiencing!


over 2 years ago Bkpesch

Love adding fresh thyme and rosemary as well. I don't mess with the pearl onions, just use a yellow onion with the rest of the veggies.


over 2 years ago Brooke Belobrajdic

A glorious step up from mom's pot roast! Close your eyes and pretend your in a Tuscan farmhouse.


over 2 years ago HRH

Beef bourguignon is one of my absolute favorite go-to meals! It is somehow homey and impressive at the same time. Thanks for the recipe, I'll give it a try.


over 2 years ago TasteFood

Thank you for the wildcard win, Food52! And thank you everyone for your comments. I hope this recipe keeps you warm and happy!


over 2 years ago fayehess

it won't have the same depth but still darn good; you could use all stock for the wine and cognac.


over 2 years ago annealene

thank you for your suggestions! I love this dish and can't wait to try it


over 2 years ago Bkpesch

I make this type of braised dish quite often in the winter - works wonderfully with my oven because I can set my stove on delay bake and it will cook while we are at church on Sunday mornings. Great smells welcome us as we come home. I love using short ribs as well. Bones give it a great flavor. I sometimes add fresh sliced ginger for a little different punch of flavor.


over 2 years ago annealene

any ideas on how to make a wine/cognac-free Bourguignon? I have an alcohol sensitive family


over 2 years ago annealene

thank you that's a good idea!


over 2 years ago Coffeecat

If it's alcohol to which you are sensitive, that shouldn't be an issue as all the alcohol cooks off this dish very quick. If it is other components in the red wine then a wine and Cognac free version may be called for, but the wine does have ingredients (other than alcohol) that help tenderize the meat and give added depth of flavor so it's worth keeping if you can.


over 2 years ago Pegeen

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

I am late to the party, but just wanted to mention it is not safe to assume that all alcohol cooks off a dish. I believe that technically, it does not. And there are medications that interact very badly with just trace alcohol. So if someone says they may not have alcohol, best not to serve any dish that contains it.


over 2 years ago TerriLouWhoCooks

I made this dish today without Wine--but with Balsamic Vinegar. You can put half the amount in the dish--and it was intense but amazing. So rich. I also like to add a tsp of horseradish or grainy mustard. No need to use any sugar with the Balsamic.


almost 2 years ago theresa94010

This is a terrific idea, using balsamic vinegar and no (or less) sugar. This is what I will do today.


over 2 years ago Lizthechef

Congratulations to one fantastic cook whose talent has impressed me for 3 years!


over 2 years ago emmyloop

My little sister calls this "God's Beef Stew!" Invest in that bottle of cognac and you will deglaze anything and everything with it. My favorite chef, my heart and soul of the food world, strips fat pieces of lemon zest into his 'trinity', little tangy surprise diversions...there truly is nothing like this French classic.


over 2 years ago ElizabethQ

Oh my goodness! This is such a rich and wonderful recipe. My family will love it. Thanks for sharing this Beef Bourguignon!


over 2 years ago aaron33409

I love this recipe. It is very simple and taste amazing. I have substituted beef short ribs as well.


over 2 years ago fayehess

Hey RL here is an easy version; the onion that cooks on the side, while the meat is browning should be finely chopped (u don't have to chop anything else.)


over 2 years ago Walknrun

Thanks for this recipe for Boeuf Bourguignon! It will be the perfect meal to serve to my family when they come from East Coast to West to have my Grand-daughter baptized!


over 2 years ago RLStewart

I love to cook, but this is a lot work for a housewife without a sous chef's assistance. I'm sure it's delicious, but will have to wait until I feel like standing in the kitchen for way too long.


over 2 years ago HRH

If you do the chopping prep ahead of time, it really isn't that time intesive. The only thing that really takes some time is browning the meat, but I promise you this dish is worth it!


over 2 years ago fayehess

I love BB and make it a lot for work and home. a tip to keep in mind whether u do it on top of the stove or in the oven: be sure that the liquid is at a very gentle simmer or the beef will be tough.


over 2 years ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Boeuf B is my favorite winter food. I've been making it since the 7th grade. Needless to say the recipe has evolved over the years. I use a bit of aged Sherry vinegar as I'm stirring in the onions and mushrooms these days.


over 2 years ago Bevi

I like that tip, ChefJune! Thanks.


over 3 years ago sodehpop

Made this for a gaggle on Christmas and it was delicious! I found adding about 2T of a nicely aged balsamic while simmering those last 15 minutes really popped all the flavors quite nicely. Thank you for sharing this tasty recipe, it's going into my files to be made again soon!


over 3 years ago TasteFood

I've never added balsamic vinegar, but it sounds like a great idea! I"m so glad you liked the recipe.


over 4 years ago tomo'

TasteFood - I made this for my in laws this Christmas and it WOWED them. My mother in law is French-Canadian and has been craving Beef Bourguignon for months. Thank you for posting - it was wnderful!


over 4 years ago TasteFood

I am so glad you liked it!


almost 5 years ago JoanieMarie

I am going to try this stew on Sat.
Will let you know how it turned out.
Thank you for sharing.


over 5 years ago Maria Teresa Jorge

Brilliant and great photography! Thanks for sharing the recipe.


over 5 years ago TasteFood

Thank you, Maria Teresa!


over 5 years ago gabrielaskitchen



over 5 years ago TasteFood

me too. I love this dish.


over 5 years ago healthierkitchen

Your photo really comes alive! Looks and sounds delicious.


over 5 years ago TasteFood

Thank you!


over 5 years ago lastnightsdinner



over 5 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Gorgeous shot. Looks so delicious. Some nice crusty bread to sop up the sauce....mmmmm. Great, now I'm fantasizing about your stew! Saving this recipe. Thanks!!


over 5 years ago TasteFood

You're welcome mrslarkin. I hope you get to make it!