Slower Cooker Beef Bourguignon
Country of Origin: France
Beef bourguignon is a well known traditional French stew prepared with braised beef, red wine, vegetables and seasoning. It is found throughout households in France and in many Parisian bistros. Unstoppable Foodie, Valarie, made beef stew and pot roast for me and the kids many times, but once she prepared the beef bourguignon, it was like eating beef for the first time. Once you place the first mouthful on your tongue, your taste buds are delighted by an entirely new flavor profile. It is no wonder Julia Child described the dish as, “certainly one of the most delicious beef dishes concocted by man.”
We made this dish to satisfy our cooking curiosities and to simply try something new and up our game from the traditional beef stews we have eaten in the past. As good as those dishes were, they would never match up to the flavors we experienced with the beef bourguignon. How had I been alive for 46 years and never experienced the savory flavors of this dish. Apparently, I am not the only one, since our two French exchange students, Theo and Elise, never talked about it.
We first discovered beef bourguignon on Pinterest, in several of our cookbooks and a variety of websites, including the Food Network. I am not sure which recipe inspired Valarie the most, but I will never forget my first experience with this dish.
As noted by Russ Crandall in “A Brief History Lesson, and a Recipe: Beef Bourguignon,” the rich stew originates from the Burgundy region of Eastern France, an area known for its architecture, excellent wines and prized Charolais cattle. Although the dish is referred to as traditional or classic French, it did not appear in cookbooks until 1903, when first noted by Chef Auguste Escoffier. It was later refined into the haute cuisine dish it is today. Most people associate this classic dish to Julia Child, as appeared in her cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Like many of our favorite dishes, it started as a peasants dish, possibly dating back to the Middle Ages.
We love beef bourguignon because of the unique flavor profile, beautiful aromatics and the unmistakable taste. It is comfort food originally for the peasant, but now elevated for the most sophisticated palate.
This has become a perennial favorite at the Nat household. How many kids do you know that love beef bourguignon? I know four in this house. I would say this is without a doubt one of Valarie’s signature dishes. We hope you find as much delight in preparing and tasting this dish as we do!
- 7 slices of maple flavored bacon, finely chopped
- 3 pounds of beef chuck roast, cut into one inch cubes
- 1 ¼ cup of a good dry red wine (traditionally red Burgundy)
- 2 cups of chicken broth
- ½ cup of tomato sauce
- ¼ cup of Kikkoman soy sauce
- ¼ cup of all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped
- 6 medium carrots, sliced
- 1 pound of tri-color baby potatoes
- 4 ounces of crimini mushrooms, sliced
- 4 ounces of bella mushroom, sliced
- 1 Tbsp. of McCormick’s Herbs de Provence (blend of savory, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage)
- Trader Joe’s Sea Salt to taste (salt)
- Trader Joe’s Rainbow Peppercorns to taste (pepper)
- Garnish: Fresh parsley
1. In large skillet cook finely chopped bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan and place into heated slow cooker (setting low).
2. Season beef cubes with salt and pepper and add to skillet with bacon grease. Sear beef on each side for 3-4 minutes. Transfer beef to slow cooker. (Note: Cook beef in small batches, do not over load pan with beef)
3. Deglaze pan by adding red wine to skillet. Scrape any remaining food from sides and bottom. Simmer and reduce and slowly add chicken broth.
4. Add tomato and soy sauce to skillet. Simmer for 1 minute.
5. Slowly whisk in flour and then add sauce to slow cooker.
6. Add Herbs de Provence, garlic, thyme, carrots, potatoes and mushrooms to slow cooker.
7. Stir and cook on low setting between 8 and 10 hours.
8. Serve on a bed of mash potatoes and garnish with fresh parsley. (Note from Dale, for those who do not like a double potatoes serve over rice.)