Beef Bourguignon

overhead shot of a white bowl filled with beef bourguignon, on a black and white flowered cloth napkin with four forks

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Hunks of beef are braised in red wine with bacon, shallots and mushrooms, yielding extremely tender meat in a wonderfully rich sauce. This exceptional French stew is best prepared a day ahead, and makes the perfect dinner party recipe.

Inspired by several recipes but mostly by Julia Child's Beef Bourguignon Recipe from Mastering The Art of French Cooking and Melissa Clark's Beef Bourguignon Recipe for the New York Times.


  • 3 1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck, trimmed of excess fat, cut into 2-inch cubes and patted dry (beef must be dry to brown)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt plus more, to taste 
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more, to taste
  • 6 ounces of thick cut bacon or regular bacon, thickly diced, or bacon lardons if you can find them
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, 1/4-inch sliced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 750-milliliter bottle of good quality dry red wine such as Pinot Noir. (For more details on how to choose the best wine, see notes below and in the post)
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 2 large sprigs of fresh thyme (or substitute 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or herbs de Provence)
  • 8 ounces of shallots, peeled (12-15 small shallots, or 7-8 large shallots sliced in half lengthwise, through the root)
  • 8 ounces white button or cremini mushrooms, sliced or quartered (about 4 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (or extra virgin olive oil for dairy-free)
  • A pinch of sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, to garnish


Preheat the oven to 325ºF.

  1. Make sure the beef cubes are patted dry. Toss them in a bowl with 1 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and set them aside while you cook the bacon.
  2. In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot with a lid, cook bacon over medium-low heat, stirring  occasionally, until browned and crisp (approx. 10 min). With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Do not clean the pot as you will use the rendered bacon fat to brown the beef.
  3. Heat the bacon fat over medium-high heat until it's hot enough to sizzle a piece of meat. Add half the beef cubes to the pot, or as many as will fit in a single layer with space between the pieces. Cook until browned on all sides (8-10 minutes). Transfer to the plate with the bacon, and repeat with remaining beef, reducing the heat, if necessary, to prevent burning.
  4. Add the chopped onion, sliced carrot and a couple pinches of salt and cook, to tenderize, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add garlic and tomato paste, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute, then add the wine, bay leaf and thyme, scraping up brown bits at bottom of pot with a wooden spoon. Add the beef and bacon back to the pot and stir through, cover and cook in the oven for 2-1/2 hours, until the beef is extremely tender, stirring halfway through. (Note: you'll be adding mushrooms and shallots for the last half hour of cooking. see step 6).
  6. While the stew braises, set a large skillet on stovetop and add shallots, mushrooms, 1/4 cup water, 1 tablespoon butter (olive oil for dairy-free) and a pinch each of salt, pepper and sugar. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes. Uncover, raise the heat to medium-high, and cook until the vegetables are golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir the caramelized veggies into the stew after 2 hours of braising and continue to braise for 30 minutes or until the meat is extremely tender. Season with additional salt, if needed.
  7. Serve Beef Bourguignon hot, with chopped parsley to garnish.


Which wine is best for Beef Bourguignon? The wine is the braising liquid and will determine the flavor of the stew so choose a wine that you would enjoy drinking. The key is to use a dry red wine. A Burgundy or a Pinot Noir are great choices but any good quality dry red wine will work.

Keywords: boeuf bourguignon, Beef burgundy, Beef bourguignon