Crock Pot Beef Bourguignon

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slow cooker beef bourguignon

My Crock Pot Beef Bourguignon is a fix it and forget it meal at its finest ~ this easy slow cooker beef stew is a pared down version of the fancy French dish  and I promise it will get rave reviews!

An easy and elegant slow cooker recipe for fall!

Slow cooker meals are a lot of things, but they certainly aren’t elegant.  They might be delicious, of course they’re easy,  they make your kitchen smell insane. and they make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, but they aren’t what anyone would call fancy.  And that’s ok.  When you’re hungry after a long day you don’t need fancy.  I’ve been thinking a lot about slow cookers lately.  I’ve had one for years, but honestly it doesn’t get that much use.  Most of my cooking is done from fresh ingredients in a pretty quick manner, and I don’t really need it on a regular basis.  But every time I do haul it out, I fall in love all over again.  And with both my daughters newly out on their own I’ve been reminded of what a godsend a slow cooker can be.

Easy Slow Cooker Recipe for Beef Bourguignon

Today I took my favorite Beef Bourguignon and adapted it for the crock pot and I must say, I think it’s a rare example of an elegant slow cooked meal.  I say adapted, but I really didn’t have to do anything much, and it’s true that most soups and stews can be made in the crock pot, with just a few small adjustments.  Some recipes fare better than others, though, and sometimes color and texture can be sacrificed in the name of convenience.   I like to choose hearty dishes like stews and dried bean soups for my slow cooker; they not only tolerate, but benefit from the prolonged cooking time.

My Slow Cooked Peach Barbecue Smothered Pork Chops is a perfect example of how long slow cooling can take a potentially tough cut of meat like pork chops, and render them fork tender.

Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon

The secret to a great bourguignon is in the sauce.  More specifically, it’s in the Burgundy, its namesake deep red wine that tenderizes the meat and gives the sauce a rich base.

A large shot of Cognac enriches it even further, and during the long slow cooking the two produce an amazing sauce.

Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon

Slow Cooker/Crock Pot Beef Bourguignon
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55 ratings

Yield: serves 4-6

Slow Cooker/Crock Pot Beef Bourguignon


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lb stewing beef, cut in large chunks
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp flour (leave out for gluten free)
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme, tied in a bundle (reserve some leaves for garnish)
  • 1/2 cup cognac
  • 2 cups beef stock or broth
  • 2 cups red wine (Burgundy, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir)
  • 1 heaping Tbsp tomato paste (I like the kind in the tube)
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled, halved, and sliced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut in 1 inch pieces
  • 1 lb small white skinned potatoes, left whole if small, or cut in large chunks
  • 8 oz (give or take) mushrooms, dusted off and halved
  • 1 bag frozen pearl onions
  • a splash of red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar


  1. Browning the meat is an optional step, but if you have the time, I like to do it. Skip this step if you like. Heat the oil in large heavy saute pan or stock pot. Toss the meat with the salt, pepper, and flour, When the oil is nice and hot, brown the meat, in 2 batches, until browned on all sides, about 6 minutes per batch. Put the meat in the bottom of your slow cooker and top with the bundle of thyme.
  2. Turn off the heat and add the cognac to the pan, and scrape up all the brown bits as the liquid bubbles. Add the wine and beef stock and continue stirring until you've gotten all of the good stuff off the bottom and sides of the pan, put it back on the heat if necessary. Stir in the tomato paste.
  3. Add the garlic, carrots, onion, potatoes, mushrooms and pearl onions to the slow cooker. Add the liquid from the pan to the slow cooker and give everything a gentle stir to get it settled.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  5. At the end of cooking, remove the bundle of thyme and taste to check the seasonings. I like to add a splash of vinegar at this point, add it according to taste. If you want a thicker sauce, stir in a knob of butter coated with flour, or sprinkle in some Wondra flour and stir well. Use corn or potato starch for gluten free.
  6. Serve the stew with a sprinkling of fresh thyme leaves.


There is a lot of alcohol in this dish, and while most of is DOES cook out, even in a covered slow cooker, there will be some save this for the adults. The potatoes are not normally included in Bourguignon, but I added them to round out the stew as a complete meal. No use in using the slow cooker if you have to make a side dish!


  • If you love the idea of easy elegance, you might also like my EASY CASSOULET ~ it’s a scaled down version of the French classic.


Don’t forget to pin this wonderful slow cooker/crock pot beef bourguignon!

Slow Cooker/Crock Pot Beef Bourguignon is a fix it and forget it meal at its finest ~ this pared down version of the fancy French dish will get rave reviews! #crockpot #slowcooker #beef #certifiedangusbeef #dinner #stew #beefstew #bourguignon #french #beefstewrecipe #comfortfood

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  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Emory Welcher
    December 22, 2018 at 5:54 am

    Hello, I’m looking forward to trying this for Christmas Eve dinner with my partner.

    Is the cognac part of the recipe a must? Or can you skip it?

    Thank You, and Happy Holidays!

    • Reply
      December 22, 2018 at 6:51 am

      You can skip it but it adds a really interesting depth of flavor. You can substitute red wine if you like, or leave it out.

  • Reply
    December 5, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    I will need to double the recipe but am reluctant to double all the alcohol. Would you recommend beef bouillon as a substitute?

    • Reply
      December 5, 2018 at 1:24 pm

      That would work fine, Jay.

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  • Reply
    July 19, 2018 at 6:57 pm

    Just curious, what size slow cooker is this recipe for? Thanks

    • Reply
      July 19, 2018 at 8:46 pm

      At the time I had just a standard size crock pot, Catherine, I don’t recall the exact specifications, but it’s pretty much standard.

  • Reply
    May 6, 2018 at 5:23 pm

    This is what real good food looks like.

  • Reply
    Albert Bevia
    December 18, 2017 at 6:20 am

    Recipes like this remind me that I need to invest in a crock pot, this sounds so delicious, plus I love anything that has cognac and red wine in the ingredients :)

    • Reply
      December 18, 2017 at 6:25 am

      Thanks Albert!

  • Reply
    December 12, 2016 at 8:15 am

    What size crock pot did you use? I have a 5.5 qt crock pot, and this recipe looks like it might be for a 4-qt. I can make quantity adjustments, but thought I would at least ask. The recipe looks fantastic, and I’d love to try this dish.

    • Reply
      December 12, 2016 at 8:19 am

      Hi Cathy, I’m not at home right now but I used a pretty standard size crock pot, I’ll check and see if I can be more specific when I’m home.

  • Reply
    August 30, 2016 at 7:21 am

    In a recipe that came with my cooker, you first marinate the beef in the fridge overnight in wine with sliced onion, thyme, parsley, pepper and olive oil. I wonder if this is excessive or redundant as your recipe sounds fine without it. Any thoughts?

    • Reply
      August 30, 2016 at 7:32 am

      My recipe is definitely meant to be an easy version of beef bourguignon, Cliff, so I didn’t marinate. In my experience, marinating does make a difference in the flavor of meat, but since this will be cooking for so long in the crockpot I wonder if it would make as much of a difference as if, say, the meat were being grilled.

  • Reply
    August 19, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    Made this for dinner last night. Soooo delicious! We did alter it a bit, the biggest thing probably omitting the cognac and just using wine, but the wine really made the dish. The meat was breaking apart, it was so tender. We have leftovers, of course. We got a few slices of sourdough bread to sop up all that delicious gravy! This is a keeper!

  • Reply
    August 2, 2016 at 10:48 am

    I made this today, so amazing!!

    • Reply
      August 2, 2016 at 12:32 pm

      Thanks Natasha, I think Ina is just the best!

  • Reply
    May 17, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    I really love this and make it sometimes, thanks for sharing

  • Reply
    April 26, 2016 at 8:33 am

    This recipe looks great! I’m having a book club this Sunday for the book The Nightingale which takes place in France during WW2. Can I make this 2 days ahead as written and then reheat? Thank You!

    • Reply
      April 26, 2016 at 10:21 am

      I think stews are always fantastic the day or so after…so go for it! The only thing I would mention is to put the veggies in late, so they don’t turn to mush.

  • Reply
    Mary M. Martinez
    April 12, 2016 at 7:29 am

    Love this recipe! Will have to give it a try

    • Reply
      April 12, 2016 at 9:24 am

      Thanks Mary!

  • Reply
    January 22, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    Can I cook this on high for 5 hours and get a similar result?

    • Reply
      January 22, 2016 at 12:42 pm

      It kind of depends on your machine, Lindsay, but I think you could. If your crock pot gets very hot, though, the meat will not be as tender in the end. The best thing is to try so you will know for the future.

  • Reply
    January 3, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    I made this today. After only 4 hours on low, the meat was tough and the carrots hard ;( wish it had come out better.

    • Reply
      January 4, 2016 at 7:16 am

      Hey Tara – this needs the full 6-8 hours, undisturbed time for everything to fully cook and come together.

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