Beef Bourguignon Stew, Equally Delicious in the Crock Pot or the Stove Top

 

Beef Bourguignon is so satisfying on a cold winter night.

Do you have a dish that you can make with your eyes closed? That your hands know by rote? For me, that dish is Beef Bourguignon. It was one of the first dishes my mother taught me how to make. I started by peeling the carrots, and eventually graduated to browning the meat. It’s a classic beef stew that I make when I’m having friends over for dinner or just for my family on uninspired mid-week nights. Beef Bourguignon is easy, cheap, and incredibly delicious.

You don’t need a long list of ingredients to whip up this French stew. If you have a $7 to $10 bottle of Bourgogne or Pinot Noir (never use the cooking wine they sell at the supermarket – if you wouldn’t want to drink it, you shouldn’t cook with it), and a couple of pounds of beef chuck, you’re pretty much all set and halfway to filling your kitchen with the delicious aroma of this quintessential beef stew.

On lazy Sunday afternoons, I make the stew in the same big blue cast iron I’ve been using since college. But on weekdays, I turn to my slow cooker to work its magic while I’m running around car pooling. Either way the end result is the same: a satisfying dinner of melt in your mouth beef stew.

Beef Bourguignon Stew, Equally Delicious in the Crock Pot or the Stove Top

Beef Bourguignon Stew, Equally Delicious in the Crock Pot or the Stove Top

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2 inch medallions
  • 1 bottle of full-bodied yet fruity red wine such as Bourgogne or Pinot Noir
  • 1 bunch of carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
  • 1 white onion, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups of white mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup of cognac
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Regardless of whether you'll be using a crock pot or cooking this on the stovetop, the recipe begins the same way. A day before you want to eat this dish, heat a cast-iron saucepan or large stockpot over medium heat.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and melt. Add a layer of beef pieces and brown for 2-3 minutes on each side. Set aside on a plate and repeat the process with the rest of the meat. The browning is a key part of the recipe as it imparts a caramelized taste and creates yummy brown bits on the bottom of the pan that begin the sauce.
  3. When you're done browning all the meat, put all the meat pieces back in the pot and sprinkle with the flour. Stir vigorously to have the flour mix with the pan juices. Take the meat back out and set aside.
  4. Add the remaining butter to the pan and toss in the minced onion. Saute over medium heat until translucent.
  5. Add the carrots, the mushrooms, the bay leaf, and the browned meat and the tomato paste. Toss it all together with a wooden spoon.
  6. Now pour in the wine and the cognac, scraping up the bottom of the pan with the wooden spoon to add all the onion and beef browning to the wine. Bring it all to a vigorous boil for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.
  7. You are now ready for the slow cooking (pour mijoter) in either your crock pot or on the stove top. If using a crock pot, transfer the contents of your stockpot to the crock pot. If you'll be cooking your stew in the same container, then just bring the heat down to low, to a light simmer, and cook for 3 hours, until the meat is tender. Same timeframe in the crockpot, on high setting.
  8. Three hours of slow cooking later, the meat should fall apart easily with poked with a fork.
  9. Let it sit overnight to let the flavors come together.
  10. Reheat before serving over medium heat. Salt and pepper to your liking.
  11. Serve with rice or egg noodles.
  12. A note on the mushrooms. In the recipe above, to keep things simple, I threw them in with the carrots. However, traditionalists will tell you to blanch the mushrooms and throw them in during the last 10 minutes of cooking so they retain their shape and texture. It depends on how you like your mushrooms and how easy you want to make your life.
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10 Responses to Beef Bourguignon Stew, Equally Delicious in the Crock Pot or the Stove Top

  1. >hi vanessa! is it possible to make and enjoy this without a full bottle of wine (can we drink it on the side!?) so my kids can try it? OR is it better for grownups only? (I've just bought a super-duper slow cooker and am looking for great recipes!!

  2. >Lucy, after 3 hours of cooking, there is no alcohol whatsoever left in this dish. It won't taste boozy either. Just savory and beefy. You can give it to your children without a second of worry. My kids love this dish. But you do need to cook it with the wine to give it the flavor of beef bourguignon.

    You could make a beef stew with a different braising liquid altogether like chicken stock, beef stock, or tomato sauce but then it wouldn't be beef bourguignon, still good, but a different dish.

    Vanessa

  3. >Vanessa – I am so glad you posted this! I wondered about making it in a crockpot…but I am not much of a crockpotter. I do have one, and any recipe requiring three hours warrants CROCKPOTS. I would never have attempted BB if not for you – now it's on my short list!
    Thanks…and hope you are doing well!
    BTW – The Caymans? It is freaking snowy here and you just HAD to tease? Shame! :)

  4. [...] Regardless of whether you’ll be using a crock pot or cooking this on the stove top, the recipe begins the same way. Heat a cast-iron saucepan or large stockpot over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and melt. Add a layer of beef pieces and brown for 2-3 minutes on each side. Set aside on a plate and repeat the process with the rest of the meat. The browning is a key part of the recipe as it imparts a caramelized taste and creates yummy brown bits on the bottom of the pan that begin the sauce. When you’re done browning all the meat, put all the meat pieces back in the pot and sprinkle with the flour. Stir vigorously to have the flour mix with the pan juices. Take the meat back out and set aside. Add the remaining butter to the pan and toss in the minced onion. Sauté over medium heat until translucent. Add the carrots, the mushrooms and the browned meat and the tomato paste. Toss it all together with a wooden spoon. Now pour in the wine and the cognac, scraping up the bottom of the pan with the wooden spoon to add all the onion and beef browning to the wine. Bring it all to a vigorous boil for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. You are now ready for the slow cooking in either your crock pot or on the stove top. If using a crock pot, transfer the contents of your stockpot to the crock pot. If you’ll be cooking your stew in the same container, then just bring the heat down to low, to a light simmer, and cook for 3 hours, until the meat is tender. Same timeframe in the crockpot on high setting. Three hours of slow cooking later, the meat should fall apart easily with poked with a fork. Serve with rice or egg noodles. A note on the mushrooms. In the recipe above, to keep things simple, I threw them in with the carrots. Source: http://chefdruck.com/2011/01/beef-bourguignon-stew-equally-delicious-in-the-crock-pot-or-the-stove-t… [...]

  5. Does your blog have a contact page? I’m having a tough time locating it but, I’d like to shoot you an email.
    I’ve got some suggestions for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great blog and I look forward to seeing it grow over time.

  6. HI
    This recipe sounds wonderful and I’m anxious to try it. Can’t find the button to print. I’m not on Facebook or any of the social media. Help, please
    Thanks in advance for the help.
    Mary

    • Mary,
      I just updated the recipe to add the print button. This is an old favorite from before I moved my blog to wordpress. I keep meaning to clean up all of these older posts… but life keeps on getting in teh way! Thanks for the reminder. Try it now – it should print without a problem. Thanks!

  7. This was a terrific recipe. All of the wine reduced perfectly. I used Southern Comfort instead of brandy and my family raved.

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