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Here’s how to make our savory, comforting, classic French beef stew (Boeuf Bourguignon) on the stovetop, in the Instant Pot or other pressure cooker, or in the slow cooker. Includes gluten-free and dairy-free versions. For a vegetarian version with vegan option, try our popular Mushroom Bourguignon.

bouef bourguignon over egg noodles in a bowl with a fork
Beef Bourguignon with Noodles
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Why we love this recipe

When the weather turns chilly, my thoughts turn to Boeuf Bourguignon. This is classic comfort food at its finest — a gorgeous French beef stew that rocks a whole bottle of wine and still feels wholesome. It’s not just dinner. It’s a role model for modern life. Our recipe:

  • Starts with some thick-cut bacon and flavorful beef chuck browned on the stovetop
  • Layers in hearty vegetables and aromatics
  • Simmers in the oven, Instant Pot, or slow cooker until the beef is beautifully tender
  • Comes together with plenty of thick, glossy sauce that pairs beautifully with noodles or potatoes

I first published this recipe here in 2017 and have since updated the post for clarity and the recipe to include multiple cooking methods.

What you’ll need

Here’s a glance at the ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe.

ingredients in bowls
  • I like to use beef chuck when making stew. It’s affordable and has lots of flavor, fat, and connective tissue, which makes it ideal for long, slow cooking. You can learn more about chuck and some other good stew meat choices here if you like.
  • You’ll need a whole bottle of red wine to make this recipe via the stovetop/oven method, and half a bottle for the Instant Pot. Reds from the Burgundy (Bourgogne) region of France tend to have similar characteristics to the pinot noirs I drink more regularly, so I usually reach for one of those.
  • Cremini mushrooms are also called baby bellas. They have a mild flavor and meaty texture that’s perfect for this dish.
  • For a dairy-free version of this dish, you have two options. Either substitute a plant-based butter or skim two tablespoons of the fat from the stew when it comes out of the oven and mix that with the flour.
  • Good old all-purpose flour does a great job thickening the sauce. For a gluten-free version of this dish, substitute your favorite 1:1 GF baking blend or all-purpose GF blend, whichever you have on hand.
  • The pearl onions are optional. I like to use a bag of frozen ones, which are petite and easy to work with. When I can’t find them, I leave them out. The ones pictured here are huge and didn’t actually make it into my stew — I saved them to make my grandpa’s favorite creamed onions.

My favorite sources for meat & pantry staples

For years, I’ve been sourcing our meat from ButcherBox. We love this curated meat delivery service, which provides grass-finished beef, heritage breed pork, organic chicken, and more from small farms direct to the customer. You can learn more in my extensive Butcher Box review and unboxing.

I love Thrive Market for a wide variety of products. Often described as one part Whole Foods, one part Costco, they’re a membership-based online market for healthier products at discounted prices. Plus, they’re mission-driven, engaged in the community, and not currently owned by a giant corporation. You can learn more in my Thrive Market review and unboxing.

Equipment

Here’s the cooking equipment you’ll need to make boeuf bourguignon.

  • For stovetop/oven cooking, you’ll need a large, heavy pot with a lid that can transfer from stovetop to oven. I use my 7.25-quart Dutch oven.
  • If you’re making this recipe in a pressure cooker, I recommend a 6-quart Instant Pot. Or make in in an 8-quart pot.
  • To slow cook, here’s a highly recommended Crock Pot.
bouef bourguignon over egg noodles in a bowl with a fork

How to make it

Here’s an overview of what you’ll do to make a gorgeous pot of boeuf Bourguignon using the stovetop to oven method. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details about this and the Instant Pot and slow cooker methods in the recipe card below.

step by step
  1. First you’ll cook the bacon and remove it from the pot. Then you’ll brown the beef in batches in the bacon fat. Remove all but a tablespoon or so of the fat from the pot.
  2. Add the onion and carrot and cook until lightly browned and softened. Add the garlic and cook one minute more. Stir in the tomato paste. Then pour in the wine and beef broth and the herbs, and add back the beef and bacon. Cover and transfer to the oven for about two hours, until beef is very tender.
  3. Meanwhile, sauté the mushrooms, defrost the pearl onions, and create the beurre manié by stirring together the butter and flour into a paste.
  4. When the meat is tender, carefully place the pot back onto the stovetop. Stir in the beurre manié and the mushrooms and pearl onions and simmer for 10 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the parsley.

Making Boeuf Bourguignon in the Instant Pot

A few notes on using the IP to make beef bourguignon:

A pressure cooker is a great way to make a long-cooking cut of beef like chuck tender in a much shorter period of time. So in that sense, it’s a smart way to make stew.

On the other hand, it’s a pretty mediocre tool for sautéing and browning ingredients. There’s a lot of browning to do in this recipe, so you’ve got a couple of options: use the IP, or do your browning and sautéing on the stovetop before adding ingredients to the pressure cooker.

Finally, because the IP is sealed, you’ll lose much less steam cooking this way than you would with a two-hour stint in the oven. Therefore, you’ll need to halve the amount of wine and broth you use.

Please refer to the recipe card below for full details on pressure cooking beef Bourguignon.

Slow cooking beef Bourguignon

As with the Instant Pot method, you’ll lose less steam in the slow cooker and should halve the wine and broth. Please refer to the recipe card for cooking times on low and high. It’s a flexible recipe that can adapt to your schedule.

Expert tips and FAQs

What kind of wine should I use?

Given the origins of this dish, a French burgundy would be the classic choice. I tend to use my favorite pinot noir instead. These wines have a lot of similar characteristics, since burgundy is made from pinot noir grapes. Any dry red with light to medium body that you enjoy drinking will do just fine in this dish.

Can I make this recipe in advance? What about leftovers?

Yes! This is a great recipe to make in advance. Like most stews, the flavors only commune and improve over time. You can make French beef stew earlier in the day, let it sit, covered, on the stovetop, and reheat right in the pot before serving.

To make further in advance, cool completely and then transfer to an airtight container. Store in the fridge for up to a week or the freezer for up to a year. When chilled, a layer of fat will rise to the top. You can remove it before reheating or stir it back as it heats.

What to serve with beef Bourguignon

Here’s how we love to serve this wonderful French beef stew:

  • Over buttered egg noodles or mashed potatoes
  • With a bottle of the same wine that’s in the stew (pictured here: A to Z pinot noir, 2016)
  • With a small and very simple mesclun salad with balsamic vinaigrette, either alongside or afterward

More favorite comforting beef recipes

bouef bourguignon over egg noodles in a bowl with a fork

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bouef bourguignon over egg noodles in a bowl with a fork
4.84 from 12 votes

Boeuf Bourguignon (French Beef Stew)

By Carolyn Gratzer Cope
Here's how to make our savory, comforting, classic French beef stew (Boeuf Bourguignon) on the stovetop, in the Instant Pot or other pressure cooker, or in the slow cooker. Includes gluten-free and dairy-free versions.
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total: 3 hours
Servings: 8
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Ingredients 

  • 3 pounds 1(360 grams) beef chuck or other stew meat, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 6 ounces (170 grams) thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) tomato paste
  • 1 bottle, (750 ml) dry red wine, such as Burgundy or Pinot Noir (see note 2)
  • 4 cups (950 ml) reduced-sodium beef stock (see note 2)
  • 2 large sprigs thyme
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon (14 ml) olive oil
  • 1 pound (454 grams) cremini (baby bella) mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 12- ounce 340-gram bag frozen pearl onions, defrosted
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons (15 grams) flour
  • ½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

Instructions 

  • Stovetop to Oven Instructions
  • Dry the beef cubes well with paper towels.
  • Set a large Dutch oven or other heavy, oven-proof lidded pot over medium-high heat.
  • Add chopped bacon and cook, stirring from time to time, until browned. Remove bacon from pot, leaving fat in pot.
  • In batches to avoid crowding, add beef cubes and brown well on all sides. Remove beef from pot and pour off (or spoon out) all but 1 tablespoon of fat.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F with a rack in the lower third.
  • Add onions and carrots to pot. Cook, stirring from time to time, until becoming tender and lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
  • Add garlic and cook, stirring, one minute more. Stir in tomato paste.
  • Add beef and bacon back to pot. Pour in wine and beef broth. Stir in thyme, bay leaves, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and pepper.
  • Cover pot with lid and place in oven. Cook for about two hours, until meat is very tender.
  • While stew cooks, set a frying pan over medium-high heat and pour in olive oil. When hot, add mushrooms and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned.
  • When meat is very tender, carefully place pot on stovetop over medium heat. Add mushrooms and pearl onions.
  • In a small bowl, mash together the butter and flour with a fork to form a paste. Stir paste into stew.
  • Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Remove thyme stems and bay leaves and stir in parsley just before serving.
  • Instant Pot InstructionsThe Instant Pot does an okay job sautéing and browning. You can choose to use it for the bacon, beef, carrot, onion, and garlic if you like. I prefer to use a large, heavy frying pan on the stovetop.
  • Dry the beef cubes well with paper towels.
  • Using the IP sauté function (on high if your model has an option) or in a large frying pan on the stovetop, cook chopped bacon, stirring from time to time, until browned. Remove bacon from pot, leaving fat in pot.
  • In batches to avoid crowding, add beef cubes and brown well on all sides. Remove beef from pot and pour off (or spoon out) all but 1 tablespoon of fat.
  • Add onions and carrots to pot. Cook, stirring from time to time, until becoming tender and lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
  • Add garlic and cook, stirring, one minute more. Stir in tomato paste.
  • Pour in 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) wine and 2 cups (475 ml) beef broth and scrape up browned bits from bottom of pot. Stir in thyme, bay leaves, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and pepper.
  • Add beef and bacon back to pot. (Or, if using a skillet, pour all contents into Instant Pot.)
  • Position lid seal vent. Cook on manual, high pressure, for 20 minutes. Let pressure release naturally.
  • While stew cooks, set frying pan over medium-high heat and pour in olive oil. When hot, add mushrooms and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned.
  • When pressure has released, carefully open Instant Pot and set to sauté. Stir in mushrooms and defrosted pearl onions.
  • In a small bowl, mash together the butter and flour with a fork to form a paste. Stir paste into stew.
  • Simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Remove thyme stems and bay leaves and stir in parsley just before serving.

  • Slow Cooker Instructions
  • Dry the beef cubes well with paper towels.
  • Set a large frying pan over medium-high heat on the stovetop.
  • Add chopped bacon and cook, stirring from time to time, until browned. Remove bacon from pot, leaving fat in pot.
  • In batches to avoid crowding, add beef cubes and brown well on all sides. Remove beef from pot and pour off (or spoon out) all but 1 tablespoon of fat.
  • Add onions and carrots to pot. Cook, stirring from time to time, until becoming tender and lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
  • Add garlic and cook, stirring, one minute more. Stir in tomato paste.
  • Pour in 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) wine and 2 cups (475 ml) beef broth. Stir in thyme, bay leaves, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and pepper.
  • Add beef and bacon to slow cooker. Pour in contents of skillet.
  • Cook on high for 5 to 7 hours or on low for 8 to 10 hours, until meat is very tender.
  • 30 minutes before serving time: In a small bowl, mash together the butter and flour with a fork to form a paste. Stir paste into stew, along with defrosted pearl onions. Raise slow cooker heat to high if not already using. Cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes to thicken.
  • Meanwhile, set frying pan over medium-high heat and pour in olive oil. When hot, add mushrooms and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned. Stir into stew.
  • Remove thyme stems and bay leaves and stir in parsley just before serving.

Notes

  1. I like to use beef chuck when making stew. It’s affordable and has lots of flavor, fat, and connective tissue, which makes it ideal for long, slow cooking. You can learn more about chuck and some other good stew meat choices here if you like.
  2. IMPORTANT: You’ll need a whole bottle of red wine and 4 cups of beef broth to make this recipe via the stovetop/oven method. You will only need half a bottle of wine and 2 cups of beef broth for the Instant Pot or slow cooker, since those cooking methods cause much less evaporation.
  3. Reds from the Burgundy (Bourgogne) region of France tend to have similar characteristics to the pinot noirs I drink more regularly, so I usually reach for one of those.
  4. For a dairy-free version of this dish, you have two options. Either substitute a plant-based butter or skim two tablespoons of the fat from the stew when it comes out of the oven and mix that with the flour.
  5. For a gluten-free version of this dish, substitute your favorite 1:1 GF baking blend or all-purpose GF blend, whichever you have on hand.
  6. The pearl onions are optional. If you can’t find frozen ones, I would just leave them out. Fresh ones must be blanched, peeled, and boiled in advance of adding to the stew.
  7. This is a great recipe to make in advance. Like most stews, the flavors only commune and improve over time. You can make French beef stew earlier in the day, let it sit, covered, on the stovetop, and reheat right in the pot before serving. To make further in advance, cool completely and then transfer to an airtight container to refrigerate for up to a week or freeze for up to a year. When chilled, a layer of fat will rise to the top. You can remove it before reheating or stir it back as it heats.

Nutrition

Calories: 560kcal, Carbohydrates: 13.2g, Protein: 61.1g, Fat: 29.8g, Fiber: 2.3g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Stews
Cuisine: French
Tried this recipe?Mention @umamigirl or tag #umamigirl!

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About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

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