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?!”

comfort food

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!

red wine

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.

Yield: Serves 6
Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon Recipe

Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon Recipe

Now, I know I mentioned Julia child in my beef bourguignon recipe origin story, cooking with wine, and a name that’s hard to pronounce (beef bor-guh-nyaan, by the way). But no need to be intimidated. Anyone can make this tender, melt-in-your-mouth simmered beef stew in rich wine gravy. Trust me, no experience needed. And voila! You’re on your way—you’ve got this!


  • 5 slices bacon, chopped
  • 3 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 tablespoons plus ¼ cup flour
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 (750 milliliter) bottle dry red wine like Pinot Noir or Chianti
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 6 carrots, peeled and cut into slices
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
  • 1 pound small new potatoes
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 6 ounces fresh mushrooms (I use crimini), sliced
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ cup finely chopped Italian parsley


  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the cut bacon. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a slow cooker. Keep the bacon fat in the skillet.
  2. Using paper towels, gently pat the meat dry. Place ½ cup of flour in a bowl or a zip-lock bag. Season the meat with salt and pepper then transfer it into the flour mixture and toss gently to coat the meat.
  3. Heat the same pan used for the bacon on medium heat. When hot, add the meat and brown on all sides. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to the slow cooker. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat.
  4. Add the red wine to the pan, using a heat-resistant spatula or wooden spoon to work any bits of beef from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the tomato paste and the dried thyme. When the tomato paste is incorporated, pour the mixture over the beef in the slow cooker.
  5. Add the carrots, onions, potatoes, and bay leaves. Place the lid on your slow cooker and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
  6. When you’re ready to serve, sauté the mushrooms. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté until they are almost cooked through. Add to the beef bourguignon just before serving.
  7. The sauce should coat the back of a spoon. If it is too thin, remove ¼ cup of the sauce and stir in 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Add the mixture back into the beef bourguignon and put the top back on the slow cooker. Turn the heat back up to high for several minutes, stirring now and then, until the sauce thickens. Remove the bay leaves, then add the parsley. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.
Did you make this recipe?
Tag @blameitonbiscotti on instagram and hashtag it # beefbourguignon
January 02, 2022 — Mary DiSomma