Beef Bourguignon

When I was young, I had never heard the words “Beef Bourguignon.” Instead, we had pot roast. Often, pot roast was reserved for Sundays, prepared lovingly by Mom. Her pot roast was classically Midwest: roughly chopped onions, carrots, sometimes potatoes, and a chuck or rump roast. Beef stock was added and maybe once in a while, cooking wine.

When preparing it for Sunday’s noon meal, Mom would place it in the oven before church and by the time we arrived home, it was ready! In all reality, this Midwestern-style pot roast is the descendent of the traditional Burgandy region French Beef Bourguignon.

Top down view of red pot filled with pieces of beef with carrots all on wood surface with white plates

I now love to make a hybrid Beef Bourguignon, one that takes some of the ease from pot roast and adds many of the flavor-enhancing techniques of the traditional dish. Instead of keeping the roast whole, like my mom’s pot roast, this dish cuts the meat into large pieces, just like the classic. Each piece is browned individually, not to lock in moisture, but to add flavor. As the pieces slowly cook in the liquid, they become meltingly tender.

While the traditional recipe begins by crisping some bacon or lardon, I forgo this step. It’s a way to speed the whole recipe up and I find that I don’t even miss it. Trust me, you won’t either!

Mom loves carrots in her pot roast. In fact, it’s her favorite part! A traditional Beef Bourguignon recipe uses carrots, but I opt to use even more than what’s customary. Why? Just like Mom, I want more of that vegetal flavor. It’s as though you have a side dish right alongside your main dish.

Top down view of red pot filled with pieces of beef and carrots all on wood surface with white napkin

Instead of white button mushrooms, which is what would be found in a traditional recipe, I use cremini (also called brown mushrooms). And let’s have an honest conversation here: there is no flavor difference between the two. Personally, I believe that cremini last much longer in the refrigerator and add additional sturdiness to the dish.

Instead of adding both sliced onions and pearl onions, I add only pearl onions, mostly because I like them. They’re always sweeter and become just as meltingly soft after cooking for hours.

For the liquid, I use Côtes du Rhône red wine. This is one of those times that any red wine you like to drink should work. If you’re like me and don’t drink red wine, the plethora of red wines in stores can be overwhelming. What’s nice about a Côtes du Rhône is that most labels will be of good quality, and to be honest, there aren’t usually many to choose from. This always simplifies the selection.

My version is probably closer to Julia Child’s than my mom’s, but it still evokes those nostalgic feels while bringing on the flavor. If you haven’t ventured into the world of Beef Bourguignon yet, this is your recipe! Trust me!

White plate filled with yellow colored polenta topped with pieces of beef and carrots along with parsley

Watch how to make this Beef Bourguignon recipe:

Top down view of red kettle holding pieces of beef and carrots all on wood surface with white plates sitting around
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4.1 from 10 votes

Beef Bourguignon

While this dish is usually a process, this recipe for Beef Bourguignon makes it simple. It's pretty much a one-pot meal that stews for hours, creating immense flavor!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time4 hours 25 minutes
Total Time4 hours 35 minutes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: French
Keyword: beef, dinner
Difficulty: Intermediate
Method: Cooking
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Kaleb

Ingredients

For the beef bourguignon

  • 1 ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 3 lb chuck or rump beef roast
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 leeks, cleaned, trimmed, and sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 ½ tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 cups roughly chopped carrots
  • 1 lb Cremini mushrooms
  • 1 cup pearl onions, frozen and slightly thawed
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 2 cups Côte du Rhône wine
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves

For the Parmesan polenta

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cups polenta
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter

Instructions

For the beef bourguignon

  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • In a 6- or 8-quart Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. While heating, cut the beef into roughly 1 ½-inch pieces, removing any excess fat. Salt and pepper the pieces of beef making sure to coat all sides. When the oil is heated, add about ⅓ of the beef, making sure the pieces do not touch each other. Allow to brown well on all sides, turning only once it is browned, about 2 minutes per side. If the Dutch oven becomes too dark on the bottom between browning, add a few tablespoons of water to break up browned bits. Add more oil before continuing. Continue to brown meat and set aside on a plate.
  • Once removed, add in the chopped leeks and garlic. Stir to briefly sauté, then add tomato paste. Stir and cook the tomato paste until the bottom of the Dutch oven is coated, 2-4 minutes. Add the carrots, mushrooms, and onions, along with the browned beef.
  • Sprinkle the entire mixture with the flour and add the beef stock, wine, thyme, and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer and place in the oven without the lid.
  • Cook until the liquid has reduced by half and the beef is fall-apart tender, 3-4 hours. Right before serving, make the polenta.

For the Parmesan polenta

  • In a 6-quart stockpot, bring water to a boil. Add salt. While whisking, slowly add the polenta, making sure not to add too fast to prevent lumps from forming.
  • Add the heavy cream and continue stirring until the polenta has soaked up the water and cream and the bubbles become slow and thick, 6-10 minutes. Add Parmesan cheese and butter. Stir to incorporate and keep warm until ready to serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 servingCalories: 484 kcal (24%)Carbohydrates: 15.3 g (5%)Protein: 40.4 g (81%)Fat: 24.1 g (37%)Saturated Fat: 10.8 g (68%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.3 gMonounsaturated Fat: 8.8 gTrans Fat: 0.1 gCholesterol: 136.5 mg (46%)Sodium: 1413.9 mg (61%)Potassium: 987.6 mg (28%)Fiber: 2.3 g (10%)Sugar: 4.5 g (5%)Vitamin A: 523.5 IU (10%)Vitamin C: 6.5 mg (8%)Calcium: 186.1 mg (19%)Iron: 4.9 mg (27%)

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  • This looks delicious! Perfect for a cold winter’s day! I’ve made Belgian Carbonnade for years. It’s really Bourguignon only made with beer. For those who can’t find a decent red to use substitute a big bottle of beer. It’s always available.

  • 5 stars
    It was a HIT !!! My Son and I made three batches, two in Dutch Ovens and one in the extra large Crock Pot (may finish off in under the broiler). We had a wonderful dinner for 4 with the Creamy Polenta and thought it would also be good with Rustic Mashed Potatoes. We were both exhausted afterwards. It was lovely cooking with my 17 yr old son and for a first time making this recipe, nothing to be changed.
    Thanks for the Fabulous Recipe, it is a Keeper!

  • Hey Kaleb,
    It’s in the oven and smells ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!! A day of XC Skiing and coming home to this and a nice large glass of Cabernet ! Comfort Comfort Comfort!!! Thank you, Kimberly

  • 5 stars
    This is an amazing recipe, as are so many of your recipes, Kaleb. We really enjoy your use of fresh and wholesome foods. And you are so authentic and approachable! We have been enjoying your videos and making several of your recipes. I also made the black bean and squash Chili this week. Made your Turkey with the dry brine for Thanksgiving. So many more of your recipes, too!!! Thank you for the inspiration!

  • This came out looking just like your photos. My husband knows that if I print it, we’ll be eating it again when we can finally have company for dinner ! It’s a gorgeous winter meal.

  • 5 stars
    I made this tonight and I am a HUGE fan! I added a can of San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes only because I had read another recipe by Julia Child. I used egg noodles but cannot wait to try your parmesan polenta the next time !