It’s interesting that some of the most famous and delicious dishes had humble beginnings. Beef Bourguignon, the famous French stew, originated in the Burgundy Region of France as a peasant dish where cheap cuts of beef were braised in wine to tenderize it. Most recipes require a few hours of cooking in the oven or on the stovetop, but Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon can be cooked all day in a slow cooker unattended. It is a favorite in our family, and is especially good served with crusty bread and either mashed potatoes, pasta, or rice as an accompaniment.
Although I’ve tried several recipes for this dish over the years, my favorite has always been Julia Child’s as published in Mastering the Art of French Cooking. When Julia introduces her recipe in her book The French Chef Cookbook, she writes, “When beef stew is in the oven, all’s right with the world, and beef Bourguignon is the best beef stew known to man.” I agree with her, and although I have streamlined the following recipe to take advantage of modern convenience foods (thick-sliced bacon rather than lardons, frozen pearl onions, baby carrots, etc.), changed a few ingredient amounts over the years to suit my family’s tastes and my timeline, and adapted it for the slow cooker, the finished product is very similar in taste and appearance to the original.
4 ounces thick sliced lean bacon, chopped
3 pounds chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces
1/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon granular beef bouillon
1/2 pound baby carrots
14 3/8 ounces white pearl onions
1 pound fresh mushrooms, quartered
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
3 cups dry red wine, such as burgundy
- Cook the bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp; remove the bacon to paper towels to drain.
- Place the meat chunks in a zip-type bag with the flour; shake to coat.
- Add some of the chunks to the bacon fat and brown over medium-high heat; transfer to a 4-6 quart slow cooker and repeat with the remaining beef chunks, making sure they are not crowded so that they brown well.
- Once all of the browned chunks are in the slow cooker, sprinkle the granular beef bouillon over.
- Add the bacon, then the carrots, onions, and mushrooms in layers.
- Mix the tomato paste, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, and parsley; spread over the mushrooms.
- Pour the wine over all; do not stir.
- Cover and cook on low 6-10 hours or until the vegetables are tender; stir.
- If not serving immediately, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate; reheat over low heat.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 229 Calories from Fat 77
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 33% Protein 51% Carb. 16%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 9 g
Saturated Fat 3 g Cholesterol 83 mg
Sodium 439 mg
Total Carbohydrate 9 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 29 g
Vitamin A 109% Vitamin C 13% Calcium 0% Iron 24%