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!
crock pot beef Bourguignon
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.
I adapted my favorite Beef Bourguignon recipe for the slow cooker
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.
the secrets to making beef Bourguignon in a slow cooker?
It’s 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.
If you possibly can, I love to add my veggies about half way through the cooking time. This just helps them stay firmer. If this isn’t possible, it helps to keep them rather chunky so they can hold up to the long cooking.
what else can your crock pot do?
- Beef Barley Soup ~ crock pot and stove top recipe
- Crock Pot Pumpkin Butter
- Slow Cooked Apple Bourbon Smothered Pork Chops
- Easy Crock Pot Cranberry Butter
- Easy Slow Cooker Pho Recipe
- Slow Cooked Cider Brats with Apple Onion Relish
Slow Cooker/Crock Pot Beef Bourguignon
- crock pot
- 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 Tbsp (heaping)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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
- 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.
- Serve the stew with a sprinkling of fresh thyme leaves.
- There is a lot of alcohol in this dish, and while much of it does cook out, even in a covered slow cooker, there will be some remaining…so 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 can, I prefer to add my vegetables about halfway through the cooking process so they don’t get over cooked
- 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.
Questions and Reviews
I made this today. After only 4 hours on low, the meat was tough and the carrots hard ;( wish it had come out better.
Hey Tara – this needs the full 6-8 hours, undisturbed time for everything to fully cook and come together.
I have made Beef Bourguignon from a French cookbook, hours and hours of work but delicious. Yesterday I made your crock pot version. It smelled so tempting all day totally worth the wait; absolutely delicious down to the last drop. A big hit with my family and I rate it a 5 star keeper! I had leeks leftover from a previous meal so threw those in as well, otherwise followed your recipe down to the knob of floured butter and splash of red wine vinegar.
Too gorgeous! Beef stew is one of my favorite dishes. Yours looks perfect to cuddle up with after a cold day like today 🙂
I just made a sub par beef stew, but this one looks much better. I can’t wait to try it…I like the addition of pearl onions!
I love pearl onions, too! Have you ever bought them fresh? It takes forever to peel them, but they are fantastic! That said, I always buy the frozen ones 😉
There are sources online that describe getting pearl onions out of their skin easily. Basically, it involves boiling them for 2 minutes, cooling in an ice bath, cutting off the root end and then popping them out of the skin. Sounds easy to me, but I bought them frozen–even easier.
I absolutely love my slow cooker, but I certainly don’t use it as much as I should. This recipe looks great!
This looks delicious, Sue! Fall and winter are the time I crave meals like this one. Certainly going to try this!
This looks like perfection – and I’ve always thought potatoes should be in the stew. Great slow cooker recipe Sue!
Crock pot. The name makes me smile. Of course so does bourguignon (the kind in the bowl and in the glass). GREG
It’s true that slow cooker meals don’t tend to be very aesthetically pleasing, but this is a beauty. The perfect comfort food!
I love my slow cooker, and this dish is just perfect. It looks beautiful, and I can just imagine how good it smells and how wonderful it tastes. It is the time of year for dishes like this!