Classic Beef Bourguignon (Instant Pot / Slow Cooker)

Although the complex flavors imply otherwise, this easy Beef Bourguignon recipe is something that even the most novice chef can master. Also called beef burgundy or boeuf bourguignon, this classic french beef stew features pieces of tender meat and an array of hearty vegetables simmered in a luscious, rich sauce.

Beef bourguignon over buttered noodles.

Beef Bourguignon is the perfect Cozy Meal. here's why:

  • Complex flavor, easy prep: A rich red wine sauce and fresh herbs make this staple of french cuisine taste like it was prepared by a classically trained chef.
  • Variety of texture: From the fork tender chunks of beef to the plentiful hearty vegetables and the smooth-as-silk sauce, your taste buds will not be bored.
  • Casual AND Chic: Beef Bourguignon is just as perfect for a casual family meal as it is for a formal dinner party. Dress it up with a spinach salad, homemade popovers, and a lemony dessert. Hey, if it was good enough for Julia Child......
Beef bourguignon in a bowl next to salad.

ingredients and special equipment

Ingredients for recipe.

Beef Bourguignon Ingredients

  • All purpose flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • Butter: Substitute olive oil if you'd like a dairy-free recipe.
  • Boneless beef chuck: The best cuts of meat for Beef Bourguignon are those with a good amount of marbling and connective tissue, as these contribute to the rich, flavorful sauce that develops during the long cooking process. I've found boneless beef chuck to be the best meat for this recipe, but here are some recommended alternative cuts: bottom round (rump roast), short ribs, brisket, or beef shank.
  • Bacon: I like to use a good Applewood smoked bacon for all of my cooking and baking. Nueske's is my favorite brand (yes, I get my bacon delivered....but it's worth it!)
  • Red burgundy wine: Yes, a whole bottle! See FAQ section for good varietal substitutions.
  • Beef broth: You can substitute chicken broth, although beef broth yields a richer flavor.
  • Garlic, carrots, and celery
  • Cremini mushrooms: Cremini mushrooms have an earthy, meatier flavor, but button mushrooms may be substituted.
  • Shallots: Small peeled pearl onions or quartered small yellow onions may be substituted.
  • Fresh rosemary and thyme: Substitute 1 teaspoon dried, each.
  • Dried oregano: Substitute 1 sprig fresh oregano.
  • Italian (flat leaf) parsley: Curly parsley may be substituted, but flat leaf parsley has a flavor and texture that is better for cooking.
  • Tomato paste
  • Cornstarch: Optional, for thickening.
Closing instant pot lid for cooking.

Special Equipment

  • Instant Pot (shown above): If you don't have an Instant Pot, you can use a slow cooker, crock pot, pressure cooker, or a large dutch oven to make Beef Bourguignon. Cooking times will vary, depending on which you choose. See FAQ section and recipe card for specifics on each.
  • Slotted spoon: This is helpful for removing the bacon from the pot, separating it from the bacon fat.
  • Sturdy wooden spoon: I've found this helpful for scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the pan and for sautéing the beef cubes.
  • Wine opener: To open that all-important red wine!

Step by step photos and Instructions

  1. In a large zip-top bag, combine flour, salt and pepper. Add the cubed beef and shake to coat.
  2. Press the "Sauté" function on your Instant Pot or slow cooker.
  3. Add the bacon and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until just starting to crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and then place on paper towels.

4. Add the butter and then the beef cubes. Cook and stir , browning the beef on all sides, 5-6 minutes.

5. Turn off the Sauté function and then return the bacon to the pot with the browned beef. 

6. Add the wine and the beef broth, stirring to scrape  the bottom of the pot for any brown bits.

7. Add the garlic, carrots, celery, mushrooms, shallots, thyme, rosemary, oregano, parsley, and tomato paste

8. Lock the lid of the Instant Pot and turn the steam release handle to the sealed position. If you are using a slow cooker, place the lid on top.

9. For the Instant Pot, cook on the Manual setting for 23 minutes. Then, carefully open the steam release handle to release the pressure. If using a slow cooker, cook on "Low" for 7-8 hours or "High" for 4-5 hours, until beef and vegetables are very tender.

10. At this point, you can either serve the stew or you can thicken the sauce (I like a thicker sauce.) Mix about 3 tablespoon (45 ml) of the sauce with 2-3 tablespoon cornstarch until smooth. Add this mixture back to the pot, stir, and simmer 5-10 minutes on the Sauté function until thickened. 

11. Serve hot over noodles, polenta or mashed potatoes with some crusty bread to mop up the rich sauce!

Beef bourguignon.

FAQ and Troubleshooting your Beef Bourguignon

How far in advance can I make Beef Bourguignon?

As with most good beef stews, this French classic often tastes even better the next day as the flavors have had more time to meld. You can make Beef Bourguignon in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days in an airtight container. You can also freeze Beef Bourguignon. Once the dish has cooled to room temperature, transfer it to an airtight container. Properly frozen, Beef Bourguignon can last in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.

I don't have an Instant Pot or a Slow Cooker? Can I still make this Beef Bourguignon?

Yes! If you don't have an Instant Pot or a slow cooker, here are alternatives:
1. Pressure cooker: While not as convenient as an Instant Pot Beef Bourguignon, you can still use a traditional stovetop pressure cooker for quicker cooking times.
2. Dutch oven or oven-safe pot: Since Instant Pots and slow cookers didn't exist, it's highly likely that the original recipe for Beef Bourguignon was made in a Dutch oven or in a regular pot. These are great methods for slow-cooking, braising, and making soups and stews. Once all of the vegetables and herbs are added, cover the pot or Dutch oven and bake it at 350F in the lower part of your oven for 2-3 hours, until the meat is very tender.

What kinds of wine are best for making Beef Bourguignon?

A generous serving of red wine in a Beef Bourguignon recipe helps to create a rich flavor in the sauce. The recipe calls for a red wine from the burgundy region of France, primarily made from Pinot Noir grapes. You can substitute a Pinot Noir from another region or other light-bodied red wines like Grenache, Gamay, or a light-bodied Merlot. Cabernet Sauvignon is typically more robust, but it can work if you choose a softer and less tannic variety. Ultimately, when you are choosing a cooking wine, make sure that it is one that you will also enjoy drinking.

Close up of beef bourguignon.

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Serving of beef bourguignon in a bowl.

Classic Beef Bourguignon (Instant Pot / Slow Cooker)

Julie Hession
This hearty and cozy classic Beef Bourguignon features an array of veggies and tender beef simmered in a rich and flavorful sauce. Serve it over buttered noodles, soft polenta or mashed potatoes....with warm bread for mopping up every last bit.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 382 kcal
5 from 2 votes
Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Equipment

  • 1 Instant pot or slow cooker

Ingredients
 
 

  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • pounds boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 1½ inch cubes
  • 2 thick strips Applewood smoked bacon, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 750 mL bottle of red Burgundy wine
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 6 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) sections
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, stemmed and halved
  • 6 large shallots, peeled and quartered
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ bunch fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2-3 tablespoon cornstarch (optional)

Instructions
 

  • In a large zip-top bag, combine flour, salt and pepper. Add the cubed beef and shake to coat.
  • Press the "Sauté" function on your Instant Pot or slow cooker.
  • Add the bacon and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until just starting to crisp. Remove the bacon.
  • Add the butter and then the beef cubes. Cook and stir until the beef is browned on all sides, 5-6 minutes.
  • Turn off the Sauté function and return the bacon to the pot.
  • Stir in the wine and the beef stock, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom.
  • Add the garlic, carrots, celery, mushrooms, shallots, thyme, rosemary, oregano, parsley, and tomato paste.
  • Lock the lid of the Instant Pot and turn the steam release handle to the sealed position. If you are using a slow cooker, place the lid on top.
  • For the Instant Pot, cook on the Manual setting for 23 minutes. Then, carefully open the steam release handle to release the pressure. If using a slow cooker, cook on "Low" for 7-8 hours or "High" for 4-5 hours, until beef and vegetables are very tender.
  • At this point, you can either serve the stew or you can thicken the sauce (I like a thicker sauce.) Mix about 3 tablespoon (45 ml) of the sauce with 2-3 tablespoon cornstarch until smooth. Add this mixture back to the pot, stir, and simmer 5-10 minutes on the Sauté function until thickened.
  • Serve hot over noodles, polenta or mashed potatoes!

Notes

  • You can make Beef Bourguignon in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days in an airtight container. You can also freeze Beef Bourguignon. Once the dish has cooled to room temperature, transfer it to an airtight container. Properly frozen, Beef Bourguignon can last in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 382kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 436mg | Potassium: 1101mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 8169IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 78mg | Iron: 4mg
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One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    I love how the recipe adjusts all the measurements for whatever number of people you are making the item for. This is a real treat!! You can make a huge recipe of this and save it for many dinners in the future by freezing it. It is delicious!!!!

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