Slow cooker beef bourguignon features tender, melt in your mouth beef simmered in a beefy red wine sauce with bacon, carrots, and pearl onions. Serve it over mashed potatoes or as a stew for the perfect winter meal!
Now that it’s slow cooker season, we have been stocking up on delicious freezer meals, and beef bourguignon is no stranger. Deep red wine and beef flavors go so well together for this French classic, and bacon makes this stew the ultimate comfort food. As Julia Child once said, “certainly one of the most delicious beef stews concocted by man.”
What Is Beef Bourguignon?
A well known, traditional French classic, beef bourguignon or beef burgundy refers to beef simmered in a sauce made from red wine and beef broth, with additions like thyme, garlic, carrots, and pearl onions.
Beef bourguignon is generally garnished with other ingredients such as pearl onions, bacon, and sometimes sauteed mushrooms (a great addition).
In cooking nowadays, bourguignon refers to anything made with onions and mushrooms as a garnish, or cooked with red wine.
What Beef To Buy For Beef Bourguignon
Thanks to the cooking method, you don’t need to buy an expensive cut of beef. Cheaper, fattier cuts usually do well in the slow cooker, as the low constant heat really helps to break down the tougher cut.
I usually buy chuck roast or beef blade for the slow cooker, but the beef bourguignon will be amazing if you even just go for stewing beef.
The Best Wine For Beef Bourguignon
I always go for a full bodied red wine for cooking, such as a malbec or a cab sav. Ask for something dry and on the heavier side in the $10-15 range.
Avoid using cooking wine, it has quite a bit of salt and the quality is never the same. Just like red wine braised short ribs, I usually grab malbec.
How To Make Beef Bourguignon In The Slow Cooker
To make the best ever Crock Pot beef bourguignon:
- Cook the bacon, reserving the fat (we will use this to sear the meat).
- Add the beef, and sear until it’s deeply browned on all sides.
- Add the carrots and onions to the pan, and stir to deglaze the pan from searing.
- Add all ingredients to the slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 4-5 hours or LOW for 8-10 hours.
- Thicken the sauce with a slurry of cornstarch and water to avoid lumps. Remove the bay leaf and thyme before serving.
Tips For The Perfect Beef Bourguignon
- Sear: when you sear the meat, make sure it is browned perfectly and has some nice caramelization. The dish will be so much more flavorful!
- Deglaze: all of the bits stuck to the pan from searing? Make sure to get those up with a little liquid and a spatula. The liquid that the onions emit should do the job, but adding a splash of beef broth never hurts.
- Low and slow: whenever possible, use the slow cooker on the low setting. The longer cooking time will help to break down the fats and protein in the meat, resulting in tender, fall apart beef bourguignon.
- Skim: if you notice a layer of fat on the bourguignon, skim it off using a piece of bread dragged across the top of the stew. It will soak in the fat and leave the other liquids. This bread is DELICIOUS fried.
My Favorite Things To Serve With Beef Bourguignon
Some of the best sides for beef bourguignon include:
- mashed potatoes
- boiled potatoes
- egg noodles or linguine
- dinner rolls
- garlic bread
- a big glass of red wine
Can You Freeze Beef Bourguignon?
Oh, you bet. Beef bourguignon is the perfect freezer meal.
I always make a big batch, and freeze it in individual portions for the winter. Just make sure the stew is completely cooled before transferring it.
Freeze the beef bourguignon in sandwich bags or freezer bags, labelled, for up to 6 months.
To defrost, add the beef bourguignon to a saucepan over medium-low heat until completely heated through.
More Comforting Main Dishes
- Tuscan Chicken Pasta
- Lemon Chicken Piccata
- Creamy Chicken Pesto Pasta
- The Best Shrimp Scampi
- French Dip Sandwiches
- Pan Seared Pork Chops
Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon
- 6 slices bacon chopped
- 3 pounds chuck roast cut into 1" cubes
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 carrots cut into 1" chunks
- 1 white onion diced
- 1/2 cup pearl onions drained
- 2 cups beef broth low sodium
- 2 cups dry red wine
- 3 sprigs thyme fresh
- 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon water
- Heat a pan over medium heat. Add bacon, and cook until crisp. Remove bacon to a paper towel lined plate, reserving fat in the pan.
- Increase heat to high. Add beef to the pan, and cook for 2 minutes on each side or until seared and caramelized. Add beef to the slow cooker.
- Return heat to medium. Add garlic, diced onion, and carrots. Saute for 5 minutes or until translucent, while deglazing the bottom of the pan with a spatula.
- Add bacon, onions, carrots, pearl onions, beef broth, red wine, thyme, salt, pepper, and bay leaf to the slow cooker. Cover, and cook for 4-5 hours on low, or 8-10 hours on high.
- 30 minutes before serving, create a slurry by mixing cornstarch and water. Stir into sauce to thicken it. Remove bay leaf and thyme.