A Fresh Classic Beef Bourguignon
Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon is simple and elegant
While I use my slow cooker year round, the fall and winter are the perfect times to use the slow cooker. And the perfect time for the French classic of bistros, Beef Bourguignon.
Let’s set the scene. Skies are gray. Leaves are turning. There is a chill in the wind. A small cozy kitchen with Glen Miller playing in the background. The well-worn apron is on and ready to cook this classic French dish made famous by the food superstar, Julia Childs to American audiences on her PBS Show.
The Classic Bistro Meal
I have made Beef Bourguignon the traditional way in a cast iron pot on the stove and oven. Given an opportunity to use my slow cooker allowing me the freedom of not having to watch the stove, I jump at it. I love a good slow cooker recipe. Especially when they have a bit of class to it. And what is classier than Beef Bourguignon? Basically, it is a beef stew made with carrots, mushrooms, potatoes, and fresh herbs. What makes it special is the use of red wine.
Making Beef Bourguignon
While I’m not a fan of slow cooker recipes where you have to do a prep cooking and prefer dump-and-go, since it is a Sunday, I decided to do a luxurious meal. Started my base for Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon with bacon. This is not for the faint of heart since the bacon fat is used in the recipe. Once the bacon is done then I removed and add the seasoned beef cubes searing them. Put the bacon and beef in the slow cooker. Pour in red wine working the nice bits leftover and reducing it then add beef broth, tomato sauce, and soy sauce. Blend that nicely then whisk in the flour. Allow the mixture to become thicker then pour over the bacon and beef. Add minced garlic, fresh thyme sprigs, carrots, mushrooms, and tiny potatoes. Give it a good stir. As a side, you could add pearl onions.
Now the slow cooker recipe I had for this beef stew asked for red cooking wine. Honestly, I don’t know what cooking wine is nor do I care to use it. My philosophy of cooking, while I don’t drink wine or beer, is to use the real stuff. Nice red wine. I had a red Italian wine that did the trick. And do we think the French use cooking wine? Didn’t think so. They use table wine on hand. It also asked for chicken broth, I used beef broth instead. Both additions make it richer. More authentic to how the French would prepare it.
Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon is ready to slow cook to moist flavorful perfection. I added fresh thyme from my garden. Always add fresh when you have an opportunity. The broth is going to rich with the wine, broth, tomato sauce, soy sauce, and thyme. You may want to add a crusty baguette.
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- 5-6 slices bacon, cut into think slices
- 3 lbs. boneless beef chuck, cut to 1 inch cubes
- 1 cup red wine, whatever red you have on hand works
- 2 cups beef bone broth
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup flour
- 3 Tablespoons minced garlic
- Handful of fresh Thyme
- 5 Medium Carrots, sliced
- 1 pound tri-color baby potatoes
- 8 ounce fresh mushrooms, sliced
- fresh chopped parsley for garnish
- 1 In a large skillet cook bacon over medium high heat until crisp. Put bacon in slow cooker. Salt and pepper the beef and add to the skillet and sear on each side for 2-3 minutes. Transfer beef to the slow cooker.
- 2 Add the red wine to the skillet scraping down the brown bits on the side. Allow it to simmer and reduce and slowly add beef broth, and tomato sauce, and soy sauce. Slowly whisk in the flour. Add the sauce to the slow cooker.
- 3 Add garlic, thyme, carrots, potatoes, and mushrooms to the slow cooker.
- 4 Give it a good stir.
- 5 Cook on low until beef is tender for 8-10 hours or high for 6-8.
- 6 Garnish with fresh parley.