Beef Bourguignon

February 1, 2010

Test Kitchen-Approved

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: The beginning of this beef bourguignon seems like any recipe for the classic French dish: 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. 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. Note, you don't need a dutch oven for this recipe. If you need this dish to come together faster or prefer a more "set and forget" approach, you can easily make this recipe in a pressure cooker, slow cooker, or multi-function cooker. (Just adjust cooking time according to the guidelines that came with your device.)

This recipe is featured in the story, 14 Cozy, Tomatoey Braises to Warm Your Stove Now Through March, sponsored by Muir Glen.
The Editors

Serves: 6-8
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 3 hrs 30 min


  • 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-ounce) can Muir Glen tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 10 ounces pearl onions, peeled
  • 1/2 pound white mushrooms, halved (quartered if large)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
In This Recipe


  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, oven-proof pan or slow cooker 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:
Stew|French|Beef|Carrot|Cognac|Thyme|One-Pot Wonders|Slow Cook|Serves a Crowd|Make Ahead|Christmas|Winter

Reviews (70) Questions (3)

70 Reviews

Sabine G. December 21, 2018
This came out phenomenal! I, like many others, left the vegetables in and just let them become part of the sauce. Serving with some buckwheat bread but I could see a side of potatoes being phenomenal with this! Comes together pretty easily. Will definitely make this again! Thanks so much for the recipe!
Jamie September 16, 2018
This was divine. I did strain which I think made it lighter (there was a lot of fat at the bottom of the pan), but kept the veggies. Used shallots instead of pearl onions b/c they were out of pearl onions at the grocery store, and doubled the mushrooms like so many others. Had to make sure I had time to let it cook, but it was not hard.
galsmu March 4, 2016
Love this! Followed several recommendations in the comments - kept the veggies and blended to thicken the sauce, didn't add sugar or pearl onions and didn't miss either. Doubled the mushrooms. Great flavor.
Rebecca February 13, 2016
Could I use Grand Marnier as the cognac?
Author Comment
TasteFood February 13, 2016
No, I wouldn't recommend that. You can also deglaze with more red wine.
pjcamp February 13, 2016
Only if you want it to taste like sugar and oranges.
Rebecca February 14, 2016
Haha. Cool, thank you both! I am going to just use red wine and skip the cognac.
Melirose October 31, 2015
delicious and amazingly complex flavors! Be careful with the cognac, I had quite a flare up! Love this and can't wait to make again. I too did not throw out the vegetables or strain; I didn't add pearl onions but I did add the mushrooms, which are just about the best part!
sevenfaces April 24, 2015
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 :)
Megan T. January 22, 2015
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!).
Laurenzim February 24, 2014
This was so delicious!!! Thank you!!!!
Jenniferruth January 30, 2014
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!
pjcamp January 29, 2014
Double plus ungood. Way yonder too much thyme.
Skeenah January 3, 2014
Had this over New Years and it was wonderful!!! We made Spätzle which was fantastic with this dish!!!
tulip549 December 24, 2013
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!
AntoniaJames December 17, 2013
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)
AniaSweets October 7, 2015
Thought the same about the similarity between Julia Child's recipe and then realized just how much of a foodie I have become. Am trying this tonight...with carrots!
bas26 May 12, 2018
I too thought this was similar to Julia Child's beef bourguignon which I have made for years. I use pearl onions, mushrooms and carrots added at the end. I think I'll try this recipe next.time.
Muse December 12, 2013
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.
John-K46 February 25, 2013
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.<br />
Erika K. January 23, 2013
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!!
kbradley January 21, 2013
I made this on Saturday. The house smelled amazing and the dish tasted even more amazing! Loved it!!
kate H. January 20, 2013
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!
maam January 20, 2013
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. <br />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
valerieg January 19, 2013
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.