This Easy Beef Bourguignon requires just 15 minutes hands-on time – your oven (or slow cooker) does all the hard work. Perfect for busy days when you want to get all your dinner prep done ahead of time! The long, slow cooking gives a wonderful richness and depth to the flavour of the stew, and means the beef is meltingly tender. (Cooking instructions given for both conventional oven and slow cooker / crock pot.)
Quick prep, long slow cook
Quick prep, long slow cook recipes like this Easy Beef Bourguignon are one of my favourite kinds of recipes! All you need to do is spend 15 minutes earlier in the day preparing this delicious beef stew and then leave your oven or slow cooker to do all the hard work.
It’s the perfect sort of dish to make before going out on a blustery country walk, or before you pick up the kids from school. It’s also a great dish to do for a dinner party – all the prep and washing up can be done hours ahead of time, meaning you have more time to chat with your guests when they arrive… and your kitchen looks immaculate!
Super easy recipe!
As you’d expect from me, this Beef Bourguignon recipe is incredibly easy! (If you’ve browsed other recipes, you’ll know that is definitely not normally the case… some Beef Bourguignon recipes are extremely faffy and seem to use every pot, pan and utensil in the house… not so with my recipe!)
All you need to do is brown the bacon, mushrooms, shallots and beef, and throw them all in an ovenproof dish (or your slow cooker). Then add red wine and stock, plus bay leaves, salt and pepper. And that’s all your prep done! Finally, cook for 3 hours in a conventional oven or 8 hours in your slow cooker and serve!
How do you pronounce ‘bourguignon’?
The ‘bourguignon’ in Beef Bourguignon is pronounced BOR-GIN-YON. (The G is a hard G, as in ‘gate’ or ‘goat’.)
What does Beef Bourgignon mean?
‘Beef Bourguignon’ means ‘beef cooked in the style of the French region of Burgundy’. In French, it’s actually called Bœuf Bourguignon.
Best wine for Beef Bourguignon
I always think Beef Bourguignon should be made with Pinot Noir – the grape variety found in red wines from Burgundy.
But Red Burgundy is very expensive and it seems a waste to cook with it. As a compromise, I use a New Zealand or Chilean Pinot Noir, which have a similar flavour to Red Burgundy, but slightly more oomph to stand up to the beef, and is not so expensive, so I don’t mind cooking with it.
I generally use Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir from Chile, but any medium-bodied Pinot Noir would be OK. Alternatively a medium-bodied Merlot would also work well.
Whatever you do, don’t use really cheap nasty wine in this, or you will taste it and it will ruin your stew. (And definitely don’t use old ‘gone off’ wine!) As a good rule of thumb, don’t cook with any wine you wouldn’t be prepared to drink.
Can you make Beef Bourguignon without wine?
Absolutely! You won’t get quite the same richness and depth if you don’t add wine, but it will still be a delicious beef stew. Just follow the recipe below, but use extra stock instead of the wine.
When to add the shallots and mushrooms to Beef Bourguignon?
Many recipes add the shallots and mushrooms into Beef Bourguignon towards the end of cooking, but I have experimented a little with this recipe and I find it actually tastes much better if you put them in at the beginning, along with everything else. Doing this also makes the recipe much simpler, as you don’t have to fiddle with the dish at all, once you have put it in the oven / slow cooker.
My recipe also uses chestnut mushrooms, rather than the more traditional button mushrooms, as I much prefer the flavour of chestnut mushrooms. However, feel free to use button mushrooms if you prefer them.
If the thought of peeling all those shallots fills you with dread and horror (it’s not that bad, but it is a little bit fiddly!), just use a regular onion, cut into slices, instead.
What to serve with Beef Bourguignon?
You have a few options here. For the easiest possible option, simply serve with some crusty French bread to mop up all that delicious gravy! Another great easy peasy option is to serve this delicious beef and wine stew with baked potatoes. Alternatively, Beef Bourguignon goes brilliantly with mashed potatoes and green vegetables.
What to drink with Beef Bourguignon?
The best match for Beef Bourguignon is whatever you put in the stew! (See above for suggestions.)
What to do with leftover Beef Bourguignon?
If you end up with leftovers, this Beef Bourguignon keeps very well in the fridge and is very easy to reheat. Simply place the cooked and cooled stew in an airtight container in the fridge, where it will keep for up to 3 days. To reheat, tip into a saucepan with a splash of cold water, bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes or until the stew is piping hot all the way through.
You can also reheat this in the microwave, if you prefer.
Can you freeze Beef Bourguignon?
The dish can absolutely be frozen! In fact it’s a really great option for filling the freezer. (Top tip – make double and freeze half!)
Place the cooked and cooled stew in an airtight container in the freezer, where it will keep for up to 1 month. Defrost overnight in the fridge and reheat as above.
If you like this recipe…
…you might also like:
Easy Beef Bourguignon
- 200 g lardons (or chopped streaky bacon)
- 12 small shallots peeled and chopped in half (or 1 large onion, sliced)
- 200 g chestnut mushrooms chopped in half (or quarters if really big)
- 800 g diced stewing beef (available from supermarkets or ask your butcher)
- 2 tablespoons plain flour
- 300 ml red wine (optional - see Notes 1 & 2)
- 500 ml strong beef stock (from a cube is fine, I used 2 Kallo organic beef stock cubes)
- 3 bay leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Crusty French bread, baked potatoes or mashed potatoes and green vegetables to serve
Instructions for cooking Beef Bourguignon in the oven
- Pre-heat your oven to 160C / 140C fan / gas mark 3 / 325F. (See below for slow cooker instructions.)
- Put a non-stick frying pan on a medium/high heat and wait a couple of minutes for the pan to heat up. Put the pieces of bacon into the dry pan and fry for 3-4 minutes until really brown and crispy, stirring frequently. Tip the bacon into a large ovenproof dish. (It must be one that has a lid.)
- Put the pan back onto the heat and add the shallots and mushrooms. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms and shallots are a golden brown on both sides. Tip into the ovenproof dish.
- Put the pan back on the heat and add half the beef. Fry for about 2 minutes on each side until golden brown. Tip into the ovenproof dish and repeat with the other half of the beef.
- When the second lot of beef is brown, turn the heat down low and sprinkle over the 2 tablespoons of plain flour. Stir to combine, then add the red wine. Bring to the boil, stirring, then tip into the ovenproof dish.
- Make a quick stock using 2 beef stock cubes and 500ml boiling water. Tip the hot stock into the ovenproof dish and add the bay leaves. Add salt and pepper to taste, then stir the contents of the ovenproof dish so everything is nicely combined. Then put the lid on the dish and put it in the oven for 3 hours.
- Serve with crusty French bread, baked potatoes or mashed potatoes and green vegetables, and a glass of Pinot Noir.
Instructions for cooking Beef Bourguignon in a slow cooker
- Follow the recipe exactly as it is written above. However, instead of placing the beef, vegetables and liquid in an ovenproof dish, put them in your slow cooker / Crock Pot. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 8-10 hours.
- I recommend Pinot Noir or Merlot. (I used Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir.) Whatever you do, don’t use really cheap nasty wine in this, or you will taste it and it will ruin your stew. (And definitely don't use old 'gone off' wine!) As a good rule of thumb, don’t cook with any wine you wouldn’t be prepared to drink.
- Beef Bourguignon can be made without wine, if you prefer. You won't get quite the same richness and depth if you don't add wine, but it will still be a delicious beef stew. Just follow the recipe as written, but use extra stock instead of the wine.
- Suitable for freezing.
- Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
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