My Favorite Comfort Food Recipes: Beef Bourguignon
When do you crave comfort foods? I can’t stop thinking about them on days like today—as the snow falls down, blanketing my gray backyard in fresh, sparkly white. For me, comfort food means anything that keeps me warm and sane through a bone-chilling Midwest winter. One of those foods, without a doubt, is beef bourguignon.
Hello, beef bourguignon—you are pure comfort!
The first time I tried beef bourguignon was in high school. My French teacher was so impatient—he would bang his fist on the podium every time our pronunciation wasn’t up to par—but I forgave him because he did teach me a lot of French. The highlight of the class was always going out to a fancy French restaurant at the end of the year.
I remember the first time I went on that trip, the first time I ever looked at a French menu. It was so overwhelming! I turned to my teacher and whispered, “Monsieur, what do I order?!”
Without hesitation, he replied, “Beef bourguignon.” I admit it was a little nerve-wracking because I never really liked my mother’s stews (sorry, Mom). But this one was amazing. Those juicy chunks of beef braised in so much red wine; tender potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, and onions… the perfect amount of seasoning… it was totally nourishing and unforgettable.
Thank you, Julia Child. Your beef bourguignon recipe was on the right track!
When Julia Child wrote her recipe for this upscale French stew, she went all in, using a whole bottle of red wine. I took that inspiration from her when I put mine together—but feel free to sneak a sip or two while you cook! Of course, if you’re a recipe-bound chef, it wouldn’t hurt to open another bottle on the side.
How to make Beef Bourguignon—Tips and Tricks:
The slow cooker makes beef bourguignon a breeze!
My beef bourguignon is a must-make when winter rolls around, and it’s made in the slow cooker so you can stay cozy while it stews. The slow cooker method ensures that the meat comes out fork-tender and that the rich, flavorful sauce has tons of time to simmer.
What are the best meats to use for beef bourguignon?
I like to use beef chuck or stew meat for this recipe. Because the cooking time is so long, chewier cuts of meat work wonderfully—they hold up well and come out super tender.
What wines are best for making beef bourguignon?
Now, for the wine. You could go for a Burgundy and stay true to the stew’s namesake, but it’s also delicious with Pinot Noir, Chianti, or Gamay. It doesn’t have to be a super expensive bottle, but make sure it’s drinkable! My rule is if you wouldn’t drink it, you shouldn’t cook with it—there could be leftovers, and you wouldn’t want that to go to waste!
Last steps for your beef bourguignon: level up your veggies!
Throw in all the veggies except the mushrooms at the start of cooking. They’re so much better when they have some firmness and texture to them. The best way to achieve this is to cook them separately and add them to the stew right before serving. Flavorful brown crimini mushrooms are my favorite, but button mushrooms are great for this recipe, too.