Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon features incredibly tender beef braised in a flavorful red burgundy wine sauce with onions, carrots, garlic, and herbs. Serve this warm, hearty, comforting dish over mashed potatoes topped with sauteed mushrooms and shallots and crispy bacon.
Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon
Warm, hearty slow cooker beef bourguignon is as comforting as it is delicious. It features tender, melt-in-your-mouth bites of beef braised in a flavorful, savory red burgundy wine sauce.
It is slow simmered to absolute perfection with carrots, onions, and garlic, then served over fluffy mashed potatoes and topped with sauteed mushrooms, shallots, and crispy bacon for even more depth of flavor.
While the sauce for this stew does require a little prep work, the resulting deep flavor is well worth the extra effort.
What is Beef Bourguignon?
Beef Bourguignon is a French beef stew with beef braised in a red burgundy wine, along with carrots, onions, and other herbs.
What is the Difference Between Beef Stew and Beef Bourguignon?
As stated above, beef bourguignon is actually a kind of beef stew. In order to be considered beef bourguignon, red burgundy wine is used. That's what really sets it apart from your average beef stew. Also beef bourguignon doesn't have any potatoes in it, but is usually served over mashed potatoes, which is different than your typical American beef stew.
What Wine is Best for Beef Bourguignon?
The classic wine used in this recipe is a red burgundy wine. Bourguignon is French for "burgundy," and the burgundy wine in the sauce is where it gets its name. I do not recommend a substitute as the flavor will be off.
What is the Best Cut of Beef for Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon?
Since slow cooker beef bourguignon is essentially a fancy name for a beef stew, beef stewing meat will work fine. A chuck roast, cut into bite-size pieces will also work well.
Can You Freeze Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon?
Yes, you can freeze it either before or after cooking it in the crockpot.
If freezing before slow cooking, simply assemble all of the ingredients, including making the sauce. Allow to cool and transfer all ingredients except bacon, mushrooms, and shallots to a freezer bag or container and freeze for up to 3 to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before following the cooking directions for the slow cooker.
If freezing after slow cooking, allow to cool to room temperature. Transfer to a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving, and reheat in a large stockpot on the stove.
How to Serve Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon
I serve my slow cooker beef bourguignon over mashed potatoes, topped with the crispy bacon, mushrooms, and shallots. You can also serve it with a piece of warm crusty bread and either a warm vegetable, like green beans, or a fresh green salad.
Why Don't You Sear the Meat First?
You can absolutely sear the meat first if you want. In my experience, especially for home cooking, the searing adds very little flavor to the overall dish compared to the extra effort involved. So in my opinion, the searing is not worth the time it takes when I'm trying to get dinner in the crock pot. If you have a little extra time, a little extra flavor won't hurt.
Do I Have to Saute the Onions First?
No, you don't. However, I highly recommend it. Sauteeing the onions before adding them to slow cooker will get rid of their bitterness which can seep into the gravy. Sauteed onions will have the bitterness cooked out and enhance the gravy with their sweet flavor.
While you do not have to add beef base to your slow cooker beef bourguignon, I highly recommend it to enhance the depth and richness of flavor. I use the Better than Bouillon brand, and I think it's great to keep in the kitchen in a pinch as well because you can quickly make a broth with it for anything you need (I keep both chicken and beef).
More Slow Cooker Beef Recipes You'll Love
- Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff - beef slow cooked in a creamy sauce with mushrooms and tossed with tender egg noodles.
- Slow Cooker Salisbury Steak - classic Salisbury steak is even better in the crockpot. The gravy is perfection with the sweetest, savory slow cooked onions, making it the best I've ever had.
- Crockpot Italian Beef Sandwiches - the flavor of classic Chicago Italian beef without having to make the trip! Try this easy slow cooker version, complete with giardiniera.
- Chipotle Barbacoa - a simple but flavorful shredded beef in spicy, earthy adobo sauce.
- Mississippi Pot Roast - the best pot roast you'll ever make, and you won't believe how easy it is too!
Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon Video
Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon
- 3 pounds stewing beef cut into 2-inch chunks
- 2 large carrots sliced
- 2 celery ribs chopped
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 large sweet onions diced
- 5 garlic cloves minced
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoons beef base
- 2 cups beef stock
- 3 cups red wine
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 ounces bacon roughly chopped
- 8 ounces whole white mushrooms quartered
- 2 shallots thinly sliced
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Add beef, carrot, and celery to a large 6-quart slow cooker. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter.
- To the butter, add onion and saute over medium heat, until tender and translucent.
- Add garlic. Continue sauteeing until fragrant, about 2 additional minutes.
- Stir in flour until well combined.
- Add tomato paste and beef base and stir again into a paste.
- Slowly begin adding beef stock, about ¼ cup at a time, stirring constantly to avoid lumps.
- Pour in red wine and thyme. Stir to combine.
- Bring wine mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes, until sauce is slightly thickened. Remove from heat.
- Pour mixture over beef and vegetables. Place bay leaves on top.
- Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours.
- At about 6-7 hours, remove lid, remove bay leaves, and turn heat to high for about 30-60 minutes.
- Meanwhile in a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until cooked through and crispy. Remove bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate, leaving drippings in the pot.
- To the bacon drippings, add mushrooms, shallots, and garlic powder, and saute until mushrooms are tender.
- Once tender, add mushroom mixture and reserved bacon to the slow cooker with the beef mixture and stir to combine. (or reserve to sprinkle on top) Continue cooking for the remaining time (of the 30-60 minutes in step 12)
- Serve warm with mashed potatoes or crusty bread.
- Beef base: I use Better than Bouillon brand. You can also use 1 teaspoon of beef bouillon or 1 cube crushed.
- Gluten Free: Use gluten free measure-for-measure flour instead of all purpose flour.
- Dairy Free: Use olive oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil instead of butter.
- Make Ahead: This recipe can be made up to 3 days ahead of time and reheated in a large pot on the stovetop when ready to serve.
- Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat a large batch on the stovetop or in individual servings in the microwave.
- Freezer: This recipe can be frozen before or after slow cooking. I do not recommend freezing the mushroom/shallot topping either way. To cook or serve, thaw overnight in the refrigerator. See full directions in the article.
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