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Beef Bourguignon over egg noodles in a white bowl.
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Beef Bourguignon

Beef Bourguignon, a rustic French pot roast, is prepared low and slow in the oven. Tender chunks beef simmer in a luscious red wine sauce with lots of vegetables and just a hint of smoky bacon.
Course Main Course
Cuisine French
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 5 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 433kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 (3 to 4 pound) boneless beef chuck roast (see note 1)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 slices bacon (about 4 ounces, see note 2)
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup red wine (see note 3)
  • 2 cups beef broth (see note 4)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 4 large carrots peeled and cut oblique
  • 8 ounces white button mushrooms halved
  • 1/2 cup frozen pearl onions (4 ounces, see note 5)
  • Buttered egg noodles or rice or boiled potatoes, for serving

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Pat the beef dry with paper towels and season liberally with salt and pepper on all sides.
  • In a Dutch oven or large stock pot, fry bacon until crisp. Transfer to a plate and crumble when cool. Reserve bacon fat for cooking beef and keep hot.
  • Lay beef in a single layer in pot and fry in reserved bacon fat until well-browned on each side (work in batches if you have more than one roast). Transfer the beef to a plate.
  • Stir in the garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in wine and stir, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
  • Add beef broth, tomato paste, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-high and cook uncovered for 10 minutes, until the sauce has reduced.
  • Return the beef and bacon to the pot. Add carrots, mushrooms, and frozen onions. Cover and bake for 3 and 1/2 hours, turning the beef in the pot every 30 minutes.
  • Transfer the beef to a large bowl and shred with two forks. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with the vegetables over buttered noodles.

Notes

  1. Boneless beef chuck roast: A less expensive cut of beef that really shines with slow and low cooking. Shoulder roast or round roast is fine, too.
  2. Bacon: Just a few slices of bacon add wonderfully smoky flavor and provide just enough fat for browning the beef.
  3. Red wine: Bourguignon or "from Bourgogne" is usually made with a red Burgundy, aka Pinot Noir. I've also made this with Côtes du Rhône and a Beaujolais and it's always a hit. Buy what you like to drink. Or substitute more beef broth.
  4. Beef broth: I always keep a jar of “Better than Bouillon” beef base in the fridge, a paste which is similar to bullion cubes and you dissolve it in boiling water. It is widely available and tastes delicious. You can substitute chicken broth, too.
  5. Pearl onions: Frozen pearl onions are already peeled and ready to eat; that means less work for you. 
  6. Yield: A 4-pound roast should make 12 servings of Beef Bourguignon as a meal.
  7. Make ahead: The flavor of Beef Bourguignon improves if you make it a day ahead. Let the dish cool and refrigerate overnight. Reheat gently on the stove, using more broth or a splash of wine. Or reheat in a slow cooker for 3 to 4 hours on HIGH.
  8. Storage: Keep leftovers in the refrigerator and eat within 4 days.
  9. Freezing: This recipe freezes really well. Label, date, and enjoy within 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  10. Browning the beef: If you run out of bacon grease while browning the meat, just add some olive oil to keep things going.
  11. Browning the vegetables: In Julia Childs' famous version of Boeuf Bourguignon, she browns the vegetables in the bacon fat after she browns the beef (before stirring in the garlic and deglazing the pan).
  12. Check the liquid in the pot: All Dutch ovens and ovens are different, so if the braising juices run low while baking, add a little extra wine or broth to keep things from drying out.

Nutrition

Serving: 4ounces | Calories: 433kcal