Slow cooker beef bourguignon (or bœuf bourguignon in French) is an elegant beef stew filled with rich, deep flavor and tender chunks of beef! The key to this comforting, savory stew is to simmer it low and slow, so making it in the slow-cooker seems obvious!
Fall apart tender slow cooker beef bourguignon is what foodie dreams are made of!
Slow cooker beef bourguignon is the perfect comfort food for a cozy winter day. I especially love to use my crockpot this time of year to fill the house with mouth-wateringly delicious smells all day long. By the time dinner comes around, everyone is thrilled to sit down together.
This recipe is everything you could want in a rich stew: chuck steak, red wine, and mushrooms. Then, on top of that, there’s even half a pound of bacon thrown in for good measure!
The beef broth and tomato paste make a sweet tomato sauce that covers the carrots and onions and infuses them with richness. A sprinkle of thyme lends an earthy flavor we all know and love, and it’s a full meal with minimal cleanup!
Even though the cook time is long, the prep time isn’t. If you’re looking for an impressive dish that has unbelievable depth of flavor, beef bourguignon is a perfect choice.
❤️ Why You'll Love This Recipe!
It’s easy! For restaurant-level quality, it is surprisingly easy to pull together!
Uses slow cooking! Crock pots are amazing and underutilized, you can just set it and forget it!
It's indulgent! When you’re looking for a warm dish of amazingly rich and tasty beefy goodness on a cold night, look no further!
Full of vegetables and hearty cuts of meat, this dish is indulgent to the max. And the pinot noir gives it a defining flavor.
- 2 ½ pounds Chuck Steak - Find something well-marbled, and cut it into cubes.
- 1 bottle Pinot Noir - Pinot noir or Gamay are the norm, but any red burgundy wine will be great.
- 3 Bay Leaves - Make sure you take these out before serving, or they could hurt someone’s mouth.
- 1 tablespoon Fresh Thyme - If swapping dried herbs for fresh, use about ⅓ of the amount called for.
- ½ teaspoon each, Salt & Pepper - These two spices enhance the flavor of the other ingredients, especially the beef.
- ½ pound Bacon - Cut this into ½-inch chunks for little bursts of flavor!
- ¾ cup White Onion - This comes out to about ½ of a roughly chopped onion.
- 3 tablespoons All-Purpose Flour - Flour is an excellent thickener.
- 2 tablespoons Tomato Paste - Tomato and red wine create a twist also found in a traditional Bolognese.
- 2 tablespoons Butter - Butter is vital to the taste of this classic sauce.
- 3 cups Beef Broth - While trendy flavored broths are great, simple is better here.
- 1 pound Pearl Onions - These little bite-sized onions are great for soups and stews!
- 1 pound Button Mushrooms - Also called white mushrooms, these should be cut in half or quartered.
- 3 large Carrots - This comes out to 4 medium carrots or 5 to 6 small. Slice diagonally into approximately 1-inch pieces.
- 1 tablespoon Parsley (optional) - Chop some fresh for a beautiful garnish.
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for ingredients, amounts & instructions!*
🔪 Step-By-Step Instructions
Make sure to read through the instructions in advance in order to prepare enough time for marinating and slow cooking. You’ll need a crock pot or slow cooker, a frying pan, and a mixing bowl.
Marinate & Sear
- Marinate the meat. First, put 2 ½ pounds chuck steak in a large mixing bowl and season with ¼ each of salt and pepper and 1 tablespoon fresh thyme. Drop in 3 bay leaves. Next, pour a bottle of pinot noir (or a red wine of your choice) over the meat. The meat should be under the liquid line. Cover and put in the fridge overnight. *For those who prefer less wine, pour in the desired amount of wine, and pour in enough additional beef broth to cover the meat.
- Take out the beef. The next day, remove the meat and reserve the wine marinade for later.
- Crisp the bacon. Then, fry ½ pound of bacon in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Bacon will be crispy after around 8 minutes. Keep the bacon grease for the next step, and add the bacon to the slow cooker.
- Sear the beef. Using the same frying pan containing the bacon grease, sear the marinated chunks of beef. To do this, work with a small portion of the meat at a time, browning all sides of each cube. It should take about 3 to 4 minutes for each batch. Then, transfer them to the slow cooker. *There should be enough grease to brown the beef and the onions in the next step. If there’s not, add olive oil as needed.
Make the Stew
- Saute. Add ¾ cup white onion to the bacon grease, adding olive oil as needed. Saute until translucent before transferring to the slow cooker with the beef and bacon.
- Make the sauce. Next, add 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour to the pan, mixing it with the remaining bacon grease and olive oil. Then, add 2 tablespoons tomato paste. Stir in the paste a bit before slowly adding the reserved red wine used to marinate the beef to create a sauce. Add 3 cups beef broth, then use a whisk to thoroughly combine everything. Bring it to a boil.
- Add remaining ingredients. When the sauce is fully boiling, pour it over the meat and onions in the slow cooker. Add 1 pound pearl onions, 1 pound button mushrooms, 3 sliced carrots, and 2 tablespoons butter to the chamber and stir gently. Secure the lid.
- Cook and serve. Finally, choose a setting based on the time you have available. If on low, it will need to cook for 8 to 10 hours. On high, it will need 6 hours. Beef will be very tender when done. Serve immediately over mashed potatoes, pasta, or toasted bread. Garnish with 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley, if desired.
Slow cooker beef bourguignon is great by itself and contains everything you need in a well-rounded meal. If you want to serve it with a little extra something, try a garlic bread or green vegetable like asparagus.
💭 Angela's Tips & Recipe Notes
- Skip the overnight marinade to save time. This recipe requires a long time commitment. If you want to speed things up, swap out the overnight marinade for 1 cup of red wine to make the sauce.
- Tips on searing: Let the meat sit at room temperature for 20 minutes or so before cooking. Make sure your pan is hot, and minimize meat movement. Searing takes a while to master, and using this technique with small pieces vs. with a steak will rarely get you that perfect crust we’re always looking for. Regardless, if you follow these tips, you’ll be well on your way.
- To reduce the wine flavor, let the dish rest. The taste of the wine can be strong immediately after cooking. Let it rest for a minimum of 15 minutes before tasting or serving to let the flavors settle.
- Adjust the sauce for desired thickness. The sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon when it’s done simmering. You can cook it a few extra minutes if you’d like to evaporate more of the liquid. To thin out a sauce that’s too thick, add broth a little at a time until it reaches your ideal consistency.
🥡 Storing & Reheating
Beef bourguignon is even better the day after it’s made. The flavors meld well in the fridge overnight.
Store leftovers in an airtight container and eat within 3-4 days.
Beef bourguignon can be kept frozen in an airtight container or freezer bag. If freezing, leftovers are best within 2 to 3 months.
Reheating Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon
This is a great dish to reheat on the stove. Thaw any frozen leftovers in the fridge overnight, then heat over a medium flame just enough to warm it up.
It’s a good option for times when you need to make something ahead of time.
🍲 More Tasty Slow Cooker Recipes!
- Slow Cooker Salisbury Steak
- Slow Cooker Chicken Alfredo
- Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
- Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings
- Slow Cooker Crack Chicken
The main difference is that we don’t typically use wine in American beef stew. Beef bourguignon originated in France, a country with a cuisine that often uses their amazing wines in dishes.
Another thing that separates stew from the other is the process. Stew is often made in an open pot vs. bourguignon, where meat is braised, usually in a slow cooker.
Beef bourguignon is typically served with mashed potatoes, a loaf of French bread, or green beans. While I love all of those options, this really is a filling dish on its own, so I never feel like I have to make something extra unless it’s a special occasion or people seem really hungry.
Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon
- 2 ½ lbs chuck steak (well-marbled, cut into cubes)
- 1 bottle Pinot Noir (Pinot Noir or Gamay are typically used, but any red burgundy wine will suffice)
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon thyme (fresh, chopped)
- ¼ teaspoon each, salt & pepper
- ½ lb bacon (cut into ½" chunks)
- ¾ cup white onion (Roughly ½ a white onion, chopped)
- 3 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 3 cups beef broth
- 1 lb pearl onions
- 1 lb button mushrooms (white mushrooms cut in halves or quartered)
- 3 carrots (3 large carrots, 4 medium, or 5-6 small - sliced diagonally into approx 1" pieces)
- 1 tablespoon parsley (chopped, fresh - optional for garnish)
- First, place the cubed chuck steak in a large mixing bowl. Season the meat with salt &pepper, the fresh chopped thyme, and toss in the three bay leaves. Then, cover the meat with an entire bottle of the red wine of your choice. Place in the fridge to marinate overnight. *If you would like to use less wine, make up the difference with additional beef broth. Pour in the desired amount of wine. Then, add beef broth until the meat is fully covered.2 ½ lbs chuck steak, 3 bay leaves, 1 tablespoon thyme, ¼ teaspoon each, salt & pepper, 1 bottle Pinot Noir
- Once it has marinated overnight, remove the beef from the red wine. Reserve the red wine for later use.
- Cook the pieces of bacon in a medium to large frying pan over medium-high heat until crispy (about 8 minutes). Do not discard the bacon grease. Place the crisped bacon in the slow cooker.½ lb bacon
- After removing the bacon from the frying pan, use it to sear the marinated chunks of beef. Work in batches until all the cubes of chuck steak are browned on all sides (about 3-4 minutes) and place them in the slow cooker. *You should have enough bacon grease to brown the meat, then fry the chopped onion. If not, some olive oil can be added as needed.
- Use the remaining bacon grease to saute the chopped onion until translucent, then transfer it into the slow cooker with the beef and bacon.¾ cup white onion
- Next, use the all-purpose flour to soak up any remaining bacon grease in the frying pan. Stir, then add the tomato paste. While mixing, add the reserved red wine from the marinated beef into the frying pan to create a sauce. Whisk well to combine, pour in the beef broth, and bring to a boil.3 tablespoon all-purpose flour, 3 cups beef broth, 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- After the sauce is fully boiling, pour it into the slow cooker over the bacon, beef, and onion. Add the pearl onions, carrots, mushrooms, and butter to the slow cooker. Stir gently, then secure the lid.2 tablespoon butter, 1 lb pearl onions, 1 lb button mushrooms, 3 carrots
- Cook on low for 8-10 hours, or high for 6 hours, until beef is very tender. Serve immediately over mashed potatoes, pasta, or toasted bread. Garnish with parsley if desired.1 tablespoon parsley
- To speed things along, skip the overnight marinade and use 1 cup red wine to make the sauce (swapping out for the reserved marinade).
- Beef Bourguignon tastes best the next day after the flavors are able to meld in the fridge overnight. Reheat it on the stove over medium heat, just enough to warm it up. It is a great make-ahead dish.
- The wine flavor may be strong immediately after cooking, allow it to rest for at least 15 minutes before taste testing so the flavors can settle.
- When the sauce is done simmering it should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. If it is too thick, use a bit of broth to thin it out.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!