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Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon

Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon features tender chunks of meat in a thick broth with mushrooms, carrots, and potatoes. A delicious classic French beef stew with so much beefy flavor! This simple recipe tastes luxurious but involves simple ingredients found at all grocery stores.

Slow cooker full of boeuf bourguignon.

Meat lovers, if you enjoy cooking in the crock pot and you’re into beef stew, you must try this delicious beef bourguignon recipe!

A rich red wine sauce assertively embraces tender beef and hearty veggies for a melt-in-your mouth comforting meal.

While the title sounds fancy, beef bourguignon is actually very easy to make!

At first glance, the ingredient list may seem long, but you likely already have some of the ingredients on hand. All you need is some fresh ingredients and a slow cooker and you’re slated for a memorable meal.

​Many people use a Dutch oven to prepare this dish, but I find slow cooking is the ideal method because it requires zero monitoring and results in incredibly tender meat every time. 

What is Beef Bourguignon?

Beef Bourguignon is a classic French beef stew. Tender chunks of beef and vegetables are engulfed in a thick broth made of red wine (or burgundy wine) and beef stock.

The broth is typically thickened by a roux (butter and flour mixture) for a luxurious texture.

This delicious stew is also known as Beef Burgundy, bœuf à la Bourguignonne or bœuf bourguignon in France. 

Julia Child popularized beef burgundy in her cookbook, The Art of French Cooking

Traditionally, onions, carrots, herbs, mushrooms, and bacon are included. Some people add potatoes to the stew to make it even more filling and inviting, which is my approach in this recipe. Some folks also add beef bouillon cubes to make the stew taste even beefier.

While this is certainly an option, I make it without beef bouillon and I still think the stew has plenty of flavor.

The way I see it, there is no possible way you can go wrong with a comforting beef stew recipe like this! It brings all those cozy comforting vibes and is filling while making you feel energized.

Blue plate with French beef stew and brown rice.

Why make beef bourguignon in the crock pot? The simple answer is the long cook time allows more complex flavors to develop, and you’re guaranteed tender beef.

Let’s discuss the simple ingredients for Beef Bourguignon.

Beef Bourguignon Ingredients:

Beef: Pick up a 2 to 3 pound beef roast. If you want to get fancy, you can use beef short ribs instead of a roast.

Bacon: Slices of thick cut bacon get crisped up in a skillet and added to the stew. The bacon drippings can be added in for more flavor or left out for less fat.

Onions and Garlic: Yellow onion and minced up fresh garlic cloves provide robust, well-rounded flavor that complements the beef. You can use pearl onions (or small onions) like the original recipe if you’d like. Otherwise, yellow onion or white onion works great.

Carrots, Potatoes, Mushrooms: The hearty vegetables that make this stew so comforting. I like using baby potatoes but regular yukon gold potatoes, russet potatoes and red potatoes all work.

Beef Stock and Red Wine: The liquid portion of the stew is comprised of 3 cups of beef broth and one to 2 cups of red wine. Use burgundy if you have it. Otherwise, pick any dry red wine like cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, or merlot in boeuf bourguignon. 

Tomato Paste: A little tomato paste brings a nearly appreciable tang that helps round out the flavor profile and also lends a little thickness.

Italian Seasoning, Bay Leaf, Sea Salt, and Black Pepper: The simple seasonings that go into the stew to elevate the flavors and bring an earthiness. Use individual dried herbs like dried oregano, dried rosemary, or dried parsley if you don’t have Italian seasoning or Herbs de Provence on hand.

Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour or Regular All-Purpose Flour: Traditional beef bourguignon is thickened with a roux; however, I just mix some GF all-purpose flour in with the broth and wine to add thickness.

If you like very thick stew or thicker gravy, consider using 3 to 4 tablespoons of flour instead of 2. 

What Type of Beef To Use For Beef Bourguignon:

What is the best beef for beef bourguignon? A nice beef chuck roast is often the best option because it has the right amount of muscle to fat content. While any beef roast will work, I find chuck steak produces a flavorful, tender result at a good price point.

If you pick up a beef roast with netting around it, you can remove the netting before chopping the roast into large chunks. You can also use beef stew meat, which eliminates the chopping step and saves time. 

Beef brisket is also a great option as it has a decent layer of fat, which results in rich flavor. 

Now that we’ve covered the simple ingredients, let’s make beef bourguignon in the crock pot.

How to Make Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon:

Transfer the chopped onion, garlic, carrots and potatoes to the slow cooker.

Onions, mushrooms, potatoes, carrots, and garlic in a slow cooker to make French stew.

In a bowl, measuring cup, or blender, combine the beef broth, red wine, gluten-free all-purpose flour, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, black pepper, and sea salt and stir well until all of the ingredients are combined. Pour this mixture into the slow cooker and add the bay leaf. Use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to give everything a big stir.

Pouring broth and wine mixture into the crock pot.

Remove the beef from its packaging and place it on a cutting board. Pat the beef dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture. Chop beef roast into 2-inch cubes. Sprinkle the beef cubes with sea salt. 

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and cook the bacon until crispy. Transfer the bacon to a cutting board. Once it is cool enough to handle, chop the bacon and add it to the slow cooker.

Bacon cooking in a large Dutch oven to crispy goodness.

Keep the skillet with the bacon fat on the stove top over medium-high heat (or increase the heat to high if needed) and carefully place the beef chunks on the hot surface in a single layer. Depending on the size of your skillet, this may require 2-3 batches.

Large chunks of beef searing in a cast iron skillet

Sear the beef for 3-4 minutes on two sides, or until golden-brown. Transfer the seared beef to the slow cooker.

Seared beef chunks on top of vegetables in a slow cooker, ready to make beef stew.

Secure the lid on the crock pot. Slow cook on High heat for 4 to 5 hours or Low heat for 6 to 8 hours. For thicker stew, add a cornstarch slurry with 1 tablespoon cornstarch and two tablespoons cold water in the last hour of cooking. 

Beef stew in a crock pot, finished and ready to serve.

Serve beef bourguignon as is in a big bowl, or serve it with side dishes such as brown rice, pasta noodles, green peas, etc. Egg noodles or mashed potatoes are customary for serving.

Store Beef Bourguignon in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

If you prefer using your pressure cooker over your slow cooker, you can make my Instant Pot Beef Bourguignon

Blue plate with French beef stew, brown rice, and a glass of red wine.

Recipes like this are the ultimate crowd pleaser for serving guests and are great for weeknight meals alike.

Simple enough to enjoy as a meal prep recipe for weeknight dinners, yet fancy enough for entertaining.

This slow-cooker beef bourguignon is even more flavorful the next day and the 2-3 days following preparation. For this reason, don’t shy away from making it in advance!

Just be sure to include some bread and butter and a side salad for a complete meal. Mashed potatoes is also a great side dish option.

If you love slow cooker recipes, also try out these reader favorites: 

More Crock Pot Recipes:

Enjoy this easy beef stew with crusty bread and a glass of wine!

Slow cooker full of boeuf bourguignon.
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4.34 from 33 votes

Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon

The most comforting and delicious beef stew recipe! This French Beef Bourguignon has a fancy ring to it but it's actually deceptively easy to make. Enjoy it with pasta noodles, mashed potatoes, rice, or crusty bread and butter.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time4 hours
Course: Beef Main Dishes, Main Dishes
Cuisine: American, French
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 500kcal
Author: Julia

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 6 strips thick-cut bacon
  • 2.5 to 3 pounds beef chuck cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 large carrots peeled, cut into 2-inch slices
  • 1 pound baby potatoes halved
  • 8 ounces mushrooms chopped
  • 3 cups low-sodium beef stock
  • 1 cup red wine such as burgundy, cabernet sauvignon, or malbec
  • 2 Tbsp gluten-free flour
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf optional
  • 1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tsp sea salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Instructions

  • Transfer the chopped onion, garlic, carrots, mushrooms, and potatoes to the slow cooker.
  • In a bowl, measuring cup, or blender, combine the beef broth, red wine, gluten-free all-purpose flour, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, black pepper, and sea salt. Pour this mixture into the slow cooker and add the bay leaf. Use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to give everything a big stir.
  • Remove the beef from its packaging and place it on a cutting board. Pat the beef dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture. Chop beef roast into 2-inch cubes. Sprinkle the beef cubes with sea salt.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat and cook the bacon until crispy. Transfer the bacon to a cutting board. Once it is cool enough to handle, chop the bacon and add it to the slow cooker.
  • Keep the skillet with the bacon fat on the stove top over medium-high heat (or increase the heat to high if needed) and carefully place the beef chunks on the hot surface in a single layer. Depending on the size of your skillet, this may require 2-3 batches.
  • Sear the beef for 3-4 minutes on two sides, or until golden-brown. Transfer the seared beef to the slow cooker.
  • Secure the lid on the crock pot. Slow cook on High heat for 4 to 5 hours or Low heat for 6 to 8 hours. For thicker stew, add a cornstarch slurry with 1 tablespoon cornstarch and two tablespoons cold water in the last hour of cooking.
  • Serve beef bourguignon as is in a big bowl, or serve it with side dishes such as brown rice, pasta noodles, green peas, etc. Egg noodles or mashed potatoes are customary for serving.

Notes

If you don’t eat bacon, omit it from the recipe and use 2 tablespoons of avocado oil or olive oil to sear the beef.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving (of 6) | Calories: 500kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 53g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 116mg | Sodium: 449mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g

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Recipe Rating




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Denise

Thursday 7th of December 2023

Made it today - DELICIOUS! Goes into the “Make Again” file!

Julia

Friday 8th of December 2023

Yaaay! I'm thrilled to hear it, Denise! Thanks for letting me know! xo

Jennifer

Tuesday 5th of December 2023

When do you add the mushrooms

Kim

Sunday 24th of December 2023

@Julia, I sauteed the mushrooms, onions,and garlic. Then in the same pan I seared the beef cubes. I thought it may have added more depth to the flavor.

Julia

Tuesday 5th of December 2023

Hi Jennifer! Thanks for catching that. You add the mushrooms in Step 1 with the other vegetables. :) Hope you enjoy! xo

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