Classic beef bourguignon recipe

(189 ratings)

Make this classic beef dish in your slow cooker and leave to stew for a rich tasting dish. A perfect winter warmer the whole family will love

Classic beef bourguignon recipe
Preparation Time20 mins
Cooking Time6 hours (on low slow cooker setting - 2-3 hours on high)
Total Time6 hours 20 mins
Cost RangeMid
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories607 Kcal30%
Sugar8 g9%
Fat31.8 g45%
Saturated Fat8.1 g41%
Protein64.7 g129%
Carbohydrates20.2 g8%

A true French classic, this beef bourguignon is perfect for a midweek meal - throw it all in the slow cooker and enjoy at dinner time.

This classic beef bourguignon recipe is sure to become a family favourite. This mouth-watering dish serves 4 people and leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Reheat thoroughly before serving. You've never tasted beef like this before; the meat literally falls off the bone when it comes to serving. You're going to enjoy every bite of this meal especially when served with new potatoes or mash and a handful of greens if you want to up your 5-a-day count. This meal makes the perfect Sunday roast dinner alternative. Make this classic beef dish in your slow cooker and leave to stew for a rich tasting dish. If you don't own a slow cooker you can cook in a casserole dish on a low-heat for the same amount of time - either way the flavour, texture and succulent meat will stay the same. A perfect winter warmer the whole family will love.

Read our tried and tested reviews of the best slow cookers.


  • 175g (6oz) chunk of streaky bacon
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 kg (3lbs) lean stewing steak cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1tsp salt
  • 30g (1oz) flour
  • 1/4tsp pepper
  • 3/4 ltr (1 1/4 pts) of red wine
  • 1tbsp tomato paste
  • 450ml - 600ml (3/4 to 1 pt) beef stock
  • 2 cloves mashed garlic
  • 1/2tsp thyme
  • A crumbled bay leaf
  • 18 to 24 shallots, braised in stock
  • 450g (1lb) quartered fresh mushrooms, sautéed in butter
  • Parsley Sprig

You will also need:

  • A 9-10 inch fireproof casserole 3 inches deep
  • A slotted spoon




  1. Remove rind and cut bacon into lardons (sticks 1/4inch thick and 1.5inches long). Simmer rind and bacon for 10mins in 2.5pints of water. Drain and dry.
  2. Preheat oven to 230°C/450°F/gas 8.
  3. Sauté the bacon in the oil over a moderate heat for 2-3mins to brown lightly. Remove to a side dish with a slotted spoon. Leave casserole aside. Reheat until fat is almost smoking before you sauté the beef.
  4. Dry the beef; it will not brown if it is damp. Sauté it, a few pieces at a time, in the hot oil and bacon fat until nicely browned on all sides. Add it to the bacon.
  5. In the same fat, brown the sliced vegetables. Pour out the sautéing fat.
  6. Return the beef and bacon to the casserole and toss with the salt and pepper. Then sprinkle on the flour and toss again to coat the beef lightly. Place casserole uncovered in the middle of preheated oven for 4mins. Toss the meat and return to oven for 4mins more. (This browns the flour and covers the meat with a light crust.) Remove casserole, and turn oven down to 160°C/325°F/gas 2.
  7. Stir in the wine, and enough stock so that the meat is barely covered. Add the tomato paste, garlic, herbs, and bacon rind. Bring to simmering point on top of the stove. Then cover the casserole and place in lower part of pre-heated oven. Regulate heat so that liquid simmers very slowly for 3-4hrs. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.
  8. While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms, leave them aside until needed.
  9. When the meat is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve placed over a saucepan. Wash out the casserole dish and return the beef and bacon to it. Distribute the cooked onions and mushrooms over the meat.
  10. Skim fat off the sauce. Simmer sauce for a minute or two, skimming off additional fat as it rises. You should have about 1pint of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly. If too thin, boil it down rapidly. If too thick, mix in a few tablespoons of stock. Taste carefully for seasoning. Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables.
  11. Cover the beef bourguignon and simmer for 2-3mins, basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce several times. Serve in its casserole dish, or arrange the beef Bourguignon on a dish surrounded with potatoes, noodles, or rice, and decorate with parsley.
Top Tip for making Classic beef bourguignon

Serve with mashed potatoes and green beans or braised cabbage.

Samuel Goldsmith
Freelance food writer

Former Assistant Headteacher, Samuel has a BSc in Food from the University of Birmingham and is also Co-Vice Chair of the Guild of Food Writers and a Trustee of 91 Ways CIC. His work has featured in national and international publications including Waitrose Food, Australian Delicious, and the LAD Bible Group. Samuel has also consulted on a number of best-selling food and drink books, and was a nutritional consultant for BBC’s Eat Well for Less.