Slow cooker Beef Bourguignon is so wonderfully flavorful. It’s a multi-step recipe, but the rich, comforting stew is well worth it.
Classic French cooking is not about speed or simplicity. Nor is it about low-fat or low-cal, and this slow cooker Beef Bourguignon is no exception.
French comfort food
It’s a dish that requires quite a few steps and provides a hefty amount of calories. But assuming this is a once in a while affair rather than a daily occurrence, I find the reward, an earthy, multi-layered stew that exemplifies the concept of comfort food, well worth it.
Indeed, Beef Bourguignon is the epitome of comfort food. It’s like beef stew on steroids. I do love making this easy slow cooker pot roast – it’s delicious and truly easy. But once a year or so I get a hankering for the king of all stews. Then I make this recipe.
The ingredients you’ll need
Here’s an overview of the ingredients you’ll need to make this flavorful stew. The exact amounts are listed in the recipe card below:
- Meats: Diced bacon and cubed beef chuck roast.
- Liquids: Red wine and beef stock.
- Vegetables: Sliced onion, carrots, minced garlic, tomato paste, sliced mushrooms, and parsley.
- Seasonings: Kosher salt and black pepper, and a bay leaf.
- Fats: Olive oil (in addition to the fat rendered by the bacon).
- Cornstarch: To thicken the gravy.
How do you make Beef Bourguignon in a slow cooker?
Simply follow the instructions below in the recipe card, slowly and methodically. In my experience, it’s best to make this recipe on a winter weekend afternoon, when you can spend the time at home.
Even though the recipe has a lot of steps, it’s not a difficult recipe. You simply follow the instructions, one by one. And then magically, it all comes together and transforms into a beautiful, thick, rich beef stew.
Steps for making slow cooker Beef Bourguignon
The detailed instructions are listed in the recipe card below. Here are the basic steps:
- Brown the meats. Brown the bacon and add to the slow cooker. Then brown the beef in some of the rendered bacon fat, and add to the slow cooker.
- Deglaze the pan. Deglaze it with some wine and then pour its contents into the slow cooker.
- Cook the vegetables. Now cook the onions, carrots, garlic, and tomato sauce in more bacon fat. Add this mixture to the slow cooker. Again, deglaze the pan with some more wine and pour the contents into the slow cooker.
- Cook the stew. Now add the beef stock, the remaining wine, bay leaf, salt and pepper to the slow cooker. Gently mix everything together. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 hours.
- Saute the mushrooms. Ten minutes before cooking time is up, cook the mushrooms in some olive oil. Or use bacon fat if you have some left.
- Thicken the gravy. Mix cornstarch with cold water. Gently mix this mixture into the slow cooker. Mix in the cooked mushrooms too. Then cover and cook on HIGH for 30 minutes, until the gravy thickens.
- Serve. Garnish the stew with parsley and serve.
Which red wine to use?
As the name implies, this dish originated in Burgundy, France. So burgundy wine (pinot noir) is the classic choice. But any dry red wine that you enjoy drinking will work.
How many calories are in slow cooker Beef Bourguignon?
As you can see in the nutrition label below, I figured it at about 500 calories per serving, dividing the stew into eight servings.
But this number assumes all the gravy is eaten when in reality it’s usually not. So the figures here include all the bacon fat used in cooking, plus the wine.
What do you serve it with?
I usually serve this rich stew on a bed of mashed cauliflower. It’s perfect for absorbing that yummy gravy that you worked so hard to make. Of course, if you don’t mind the carbs, mashed potatoes are perfect.
What about leftovers?
Like all stews, leftovers of this slow cooker Beef Bourguignon keep very well in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days.
They actually taste better the next day, after the flavors have had some extra time to meld. I reheat the leftovers gently, in the microwave, covered, on 50% power.
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Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon
- 4 oz thick-cut bacon, diced
- 2 lb. beef chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 cups Pinot Noir wine
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 2 large carrots, sliced
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt, divided (not fine salt)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1 lb. sliced mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley for garnish
- Heat a very large, 14-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to the slow cooker.
- Drain the rendered bacon fat into a bowl (you'll use it to cook the beef and the vegetables), then measure 1 tablespoon, adding it back to the skillet.
- Season the beef with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Keep the skillet over medium-high heat, and add the beef in two or three batches. Cook each batch until browned on all sides, about 2 minutes per side, adding 1 more tablespoon bacon fat between batches (use olive oil if you run out of bacon fat). Transfer the browned meat to your slow cooker.
- Deglaze the pan: add 1/4 cup of the wine to the skillet, scraping the bottom of the pan. Then transfer the contents of the skillet to the slow cooker. I like to use a rubber spatula to make sure every little bit of yumminess goes into the slow cooker.
- Season the onions and carrots with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Add another tablespoon of bacon fat (or olive oil) to the skillet. Add the onions and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and browned, about 6 minutes.
- Add the garlic and tomato paste, and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Transfer the vegetable mixture to the slow cooker, stirring it into the beef and bacon. Add 1/4 more cup wine to the skillet and deglaze it again, then again pour the skillet’s contents into the slow cooker.
- Turn the heat off. While the skillet is still warm, use damp paper towels to wipe it clean. You’ll use it again later.
- Add the remaining kosher salt, reserving 1/4 teaspoon for later, the bay leaf, beef stock and the remaining wine to the slow cooker. Liquid should cover about 3/4 of the meat and vegetables. If it doesn’t, add a little more stock.
- Cover the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 7 hours, until the dish is delightfully fragrant and the beef is very tender.
- Ten minutes before beef is done, heat the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil (or use more bacon fat if you still have some left), the mushrooms, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Cook the mushrooms, stirring often, until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from the skillet and place in a colander to drain any extra liquid.
- Mix the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water. Add this mixture to the slow cooker, stirring it in gently. Stir in the cooked mushrooms too.
- Set the slow cooker on HIGH, cover, and cook for 30 minutes, until the gravy thickens. Garnish with parsley and serve.