Beef French Main Course Recipes

Beef Bourguignon Simplified

You don’t have to be a gourmet chef to make this classic French beef stew with carrots, onions, mushrooms and herbs simmered in Burgundy wine and broth. | Share

The classic Bœuf Bourguignon was popularized outside of France in the 1960s by Julia Child in her bestselling cookbook,  Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  It was re-discovered by Gen-Xers through the film Julie & Juliawhere Julie, a young food blogger, attempts to perfect Child’s exacting recipe. 

Forget searching all over town for pearl onions or lardons.  Why not try this simpler method and use the time you’ve saved to sample some of the wine you’ll be cooking with. 

A vineyard in Valotte, Chassey-le-Camp, (Burgundy) France. Photo: Peter Herrmann

Beef Bourguignon cooking tips

Equipment required

This recipe requires a skillet and a Dutch oven or casserole dish with a lid. A Dutch oven, sometimes referred to as a French oven, is a heavy enamel-lined cast iron pot. This robust design provides better heat distribution and less chance of scorching than a glass or ceramic casserole dish. You will also need a colander, a stovetop pot and a baking dish.

Choosing the right cut of beef

While more tender, fatty cuts like rib-eye or strip loin are great for quick grilling, the tougher, leaner cuts are preferred for this recipe. For low and slow cooking, as with pot roast or other beef stews, cuts like brisket, chuck, round, shoulder (blade), hip, or rump, all work nicely. These cuts don’t have the fat marbling that grilling beef has. With long, moist-heat cooking, the meat’s collagen breaks down into gelatin. This helps to tenderize the meat and gives it that delicious, tender melting texture when you bite into it.

It’s all about the wine

You can’t make beef Bourguignon without red wine. Burgundy wine or vin de Bourgogne, in French, is what gives this dish its name. The Burgundy wine region has more appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) wines than any other in France. The famous dry, red “Burgundies” are produced from pinot noir grapes. Other wines of the region include Côte d’Auxerre (Chablis), Côte de Nuits, Côte de Beaune, Côte de Chalonnaise, Maçonnais and Beaujolais.

Of course, any other pinot noir or dry, full-bodied red will work just fine in this recipe. For a real treat, wrap up dinner with a customary digistif like Prunelle de Bourgogne and a toast to Julia Child!

Beef Bourguignon in Dutch Oven

Beef Bourguignon Simplified

Kevin Lamoureux
The classic, yet simplified French beef stew with carrots, onions, mushrooms and herbs simmered in broth and Burgundy wine.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Total Time 3 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine French
Servings 6 people
Calories 580 kcal


  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 slices bacon chopped
  • 2 pounds stewing beef cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 large carrot cut into half-inch rounds
  • 1 large white onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic (divided) minced
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • cups beef broth
  • cups Burgundy or other full bodied red wine
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley divided
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 10 oz white or brown mushrooms sliced (about 5 medium-sized)


  • Preheat the oven to 325° F
  • Heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven. Add the bacon and cook until browned. Transfer the bacon using a slotted spoon to a baking dish.
  • Pat dry the beef cubes with paper towels then brown on all sides in the oil and bacon fat. Transfer to the baking dish with the bacon.
  • Add the carrot and onion to the Dutch oven and sauté to soften (about 5 minutes).
  • Add half the garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Return the the beef and bacon back to the pot. Toss in the flour and cook until browned (about 3-4 minutes).
  • Add the wine and enough broth to just cover the meat. Stir in the tomato paste, herbs (half of the parsley), salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer on the stovetop.
  • Cover and transfer to the oven. Cook for about 2½ to 3 hours or until the meat is tender.
  • During the last 5 minutes of cooking time, sauté the mushrooms and garlic in butter until browned (about 3 to 4 minutes). Season with a little salt and pepper then remove from the heat.
  • Place a colander over a pot then pour the contents of the Dutch oven into the colander. This is to strain the liquid into the pot. Discard the bay leaves and return the solid ingredients back to the Dutch oven along with the mushrooms.
  • Bring the sauce to a simmer on the stove and adjust the consistency. Ideally it should be thick enough to stick to a spoon. To thicken: in a container with a tight-fitting lid, add about 2 tbsp flour and 1 cup of cold water, shake vigorously until well blended. Stir the flour mixture gradually into the simmering sauce until well blended and the sauce has thickened.
  • Add the sauce to the meat and vegetables in the Dutch oven, stir until well coated, and heat for about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Serve, garnished with the remaining parsley.


Serve with mashed potatoes or over egg noodles.
Per serving
Calories: 580kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Iron: 4mg
Keyword beef, Bourguignon, stew

Originally published 11/22/2014. Revised and republished 2/28/2022

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