Beef Bourguignon, or beef burgundy, is a French stew of red wine-braised beef, carrots, onion, and herbs that’s finished with sauteed mushrooms and pearl onions. This iconic stew is synonymous with comfort food and is especially good on cool evenings.
For the stew
- 1/2 pound thick cut bacon cut into 1" pieces
- 3 pounds beef chuck trimmed of fat and cut into 2" cubes
- 1 large white onion chopped
- 2 large carrots cut into 2" chunks
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup flour
- 8 sprigs thyme tied together
- 3 cups burgundy or other dry red wine
- 2 large bay leaves
- 3 cups low sodium beef broth or stock see notes below
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 tablespoons butter divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 16 pearl onions
- 1 pound cremini mushrooms quartered
- 3 tablespoons flat leaf parsley minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350f and set the rack in the middle level, allowing enough room to accommodate a large Dutch oven with a lid.
- Heat a large Dutch oven to medium heat and add the bacon. Cook the bacon until most of the fat has rendered (7-10 minutes) then remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
- Pat the beef cubes very dry then season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss the beef cubes with flour then shake off all of the excess, making sure to save the flour for later. Sear the beef until well browned on all sides, working in batches if necessary. Place all of the beef onto another plate and set aside.
- Remove excess bacon and beef fat from the pot, leaving approximately a quarter cup in the pot. Add the onions and cook for 3-5 minutes or until the begin to soften then add the carrots and continue to cook until they get a bit of color (about 5-7 minutes more).
- Add the garlic to the pot and cook until fragrant (about 1-2 minutes) then add the tomato paste and cook for another 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning. If it starts to burn just add a couple of ounces of water into the pot to lower the temperature.
- Add all of the remaining flour to the pot and use a nylon whisk or wooden spoon to incorporate. Cook until none of the flour is white (about 2 minutes).
- Slowly add the wine and beef base to the pot while whisking to avoid any lumps. Using a flat wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the pot to remove all of the brown bits. Add the beef, bacon, thyme, and bay leaves to the pot and turn off the heat.
- Cover the pot and place it in the oven to cook for 2 1/2-3 hours or until the beef is very tender. Note: Check on the beef at the 90-minute mark and if the sauce is too thick and sticking to the bottom of the pot, add a 1/2 cup of water and mix well, before returning the pot back to the oven.
- Once the beef is tender remove the pot from the oven and taste test. Season with salt and pepper if required. At this time, discard the bay leaves and thyme.
- Skim any visible fat from the top or use a few paper towels laid on top of the sauce to capture some of the fat.
- If the sauce is too thin, drain the contents into another pot, separating the liquid from the other ingredients. Place the pot onto a burner and turn the heat to medium-high. Simply cook until the sauce coats the back of a wooden spoon then combine the ingredients back together. Make sure to keep the pot covered while moving on to the final step below.
- Heat a large pan to a touch higher than medium heat. Add the olive oil along with the pearl onions. Cook the onions until tender (about 4-5 minutes) then remove with a slotted spoon into a plate that is covered with foil.
- Add the mushrooms to the same pan and cook until they release their water and start to brown (about 5-8 minutes). Once they begin to brown add the butter and cook until they are glistening (about 2-3 minutes). Return the pearl onions back to the pan and toss/mix to coat. Turn off the heat and season with salt and pepper and the thyme leaves.
- Mix the parsley into the pot. You can mix all the mushrooms and pearl onions to the pot before serving or divide them onto plates so that each person gets a few pearl onions and mushrooms. Serve with mashed potatoes or crusty bread. See notes below about serving the next day which is preferred.