Beef Bourguignon w/Slow Cooker Adaption

Hey friends! My goal this year is to adapt one of our favorite family recipes each month to a more simplified slow cooker version! Here is one of our favorites that I am sharing today while republishing the original recipe from the archives. You won’t be disappointed!

After watching the film Julie & Julia on the life of Julia Child awhile back, I was determined to learn to cook a few of Julia Child’s recipes, starting with her Beef Bourguignon, since it was so emphasized during the film (and I have the very same Le Creuset french oven as well!). After several attempts, I have come up with a fabulous adaption of the recipe that is so much simpler than the original and still ever as delicious! This meal is absolutely fabulous – especially for the meat loving husband. It is certainly a special treat for us on a budget, but it makes the man very happy, so I make it once a month or so. It is also a excellent dish for hospitality and has received rave reviews wherever we have served it. We serve over creamy garlic mashed potatoes or noodles for a delicious comforting meal. Unfortunately, I really failed in my photography on this one…but it is truly my favorite meal!

Ingredients:

  • 6 strips of bacon
  • 2-3 pounds stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 Tablespoon arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • 3 cups red Burgundy wine (pretty much any cheap red wine works as well. I recommend sticking within the french wines for best results.)
  • 2-3 cups beef stock
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1-2 crumbled bay leaves
  • 2 pounds mushrooms, quartered
  • 1/4 cup butter

Directions:

  1. In a large 9-10 inch fireproof casserole pan, cook bacon over medium/high heat until tender and browned. Remove bacon from pan, while leaving the bacon grease in the pan.
  2. Dry the beef in a paper towel before placing in the casserole and saute it on each side until nicely browned.
  3. Add the carrots, onions, and 1/2 cup beef broth and saute until tender.
  4. After bacon has cooled, chop into small pieces, and then add back to the pan with stew meat and vegetables.
  5. Toss with salt, pepper, and arrowroot powder and mix till well combined.
  6. Add the wine, remaining beef broth, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf. Add enough liquid so that meat is barely covered. Bring to a boil.
  7. Turn oven to 325 degrees. Cover the casserole and place in the lower third of the oven. Regulate heat so liquid simmers very slowly for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
  8. While the beef is cooking, prepare the mushrooms. In a large skillet, melt 1 Tablespoon butter and 1 Tablespoon olive oil. As soon as you see that the butter foam has begun to diminish, add the mushrooms. You may want to do them in two separate batches to prevent overcrowding, which will prevent them from browning nicely.
  9. Toss and shake the pan for 3-5 minutes until mushrooms are nicely browned. Remove to a large bowl.
  10. After the meat has cooked for 2 hours, add the mushrooms. Return to oven for the remaining 1/2 hour to 1 hour.
  11. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate. The taste improves with age! Simply reheat to serve.

Enjoy!

SLOW COOKER ADAPTION:

Yes! I am all about simplifying and making life easier for myself, so my recent adventure was adapting this recipe to make in the slow cooker. And it works beautifully

Simply throw all the ingredients into your slow cooker. The only changes you will want to make include eliminating the beef stock (as it will make it too wet) and doubling the arrowroot powder/cornstarch. You do not need to precook the meat in anyway. I like to throw the bacon in whole and then after it is cooked, I will remove and chop it up. You can saute the mushrooms as the recipe above describes for extra flavor before adding, or you can simply toss them in as well without any advance preparation. Cook on low for 6-8 hours for best results. You can cook it on high for a shorter period of time, but if you want the stew meat to be soft and tender, it is best to cook low for the longer period. Yum!

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of three, homemaker, and writer. She is the editor of Passionate Homemaking since its beginning five years ago. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

55 Responses to Beef Bourguignon w/Slow Cooker Adaption

  1. Fran October 12, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

    I just purchased my first slow cooker. This recipe sounds amazing and can’t wait to try. Will the flavor suffer if the beef stock is eliminated in the slow cooker?

  2. Norma Engeswick October 5, 2013 at 8:09 am #

    Sounds delicious! Maybe I missed it but about how many servings will this make?

  3. Angela January 13, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

    Thank you for the crock pot adaptation! I have been making this in our cast iron dutch oven and ‘slow cooking’ it via stove/oven. My son (6 years old) wants to try rabbit and I have hear that it taste amazing when cooked like beef bourg. so I am going to use your crock pot adaptation and make rabbit bourg. this week. I may have a hard time getting over the idea of it but my son really wants to try it b/c my husband grew up eating it at least once a month and he wants to be like his Daddy:)

    • Kimberly in NC January 31, 2013 at 10:52 am #

      Please let me know if this worked with rabbit! Our neighbor gave us several rabbits and I’d love to know if it would be good cooked this way. Thanks!

  4. Suzy November 7, 2012 at 9:35 pm #

    this might sound weird but did I miss the part where the 1/4 cup butter comes in? I have it ready to go in the crock pot for tomorrow but can’t figure out if I am supposed to throw butter in the crock pot with it or not…?

    • Lindsay November 8, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

      Sorry, that is just for sautéing with the original recipe. It is not necessary for the crockpot version.

  5. The Groundskeeper November 5, 2012 at 11:26 am #

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!! We also love this dish and every time I make it wonder why I haven’t sat down to figure out how to make it in the crockpot. I have also made it and froze it to reheat next time, though it is always the best fresh.

    I was actually my husband who found this recipe (beef bourguignon) and first made it. While watching him I commented that it seem “involved”. He disagreed. Of course, he was making it in a quiet kitchen by himself, and on a lazy Saturday afternoon to boot. I think it is time to put this back on the menu; next week sounds good.

  6. Jacqueline November 1, 2012 at 9:16 am #

    Sorry if this is a stupid question but…
    For the crackpot/slow cooker version, do you put the meat in raw?

    • Lindsay November 1, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

      Yes! Sorry that was not clear.

  7. Jessica K October 31, 2012 at 4:26 pm #

    I think I may try this with moose meat…it looks so yummy.

  8. Sheri October 31, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

    I’m not sure if it’s just me, but it’s hard to read your site now. It has a dark brown background and I can’t see the words too well. Is it just me?

    • Jacqueline November 1, 2012 at 9:22 am #

      No its not just you… its like that for me too! Are you on a smartphone? This site is really hard to use on a Android, which is all I lhave for the internet. Lindsay, are you perhaps going to be providing a mobile version in the future? It would be very much appreciated! :)

      • Lindsay November 1, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

        I do have a mobile version of the website that works on the iPhone. I assumed it worked on android but ill have to check with my hubby (the tech guy around here).

    • Lindsay November 1, 2012 at 1:17 pm #

      Have you tried clearing the cache on your computer?

  9. Oh Lardy October 31, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

    This sounds perfect for a chilly evening! Thanks!

  10. Sharon October 31, 2012 at 10:23 am #

    Looks yummy. Have a question…… Have you ever tried to make your own dishwasher soap? I’m looking into it these day. The powder stuff I pour in just seem full of yucky toxins.

    • Lindsay November 1, 2012 at 6:01 am #

      Yes, I have tried…but it had mixed results. It is a bit risky too as it can clog your dishwasher and lead to overflow, which is what happened a few times. I just use Seventh Generation or Trader Joe’s powdered dishwasher detergent now.

      • Sharon November 1, 2012 at 9:24 am #

        Thanks, good to know. Your blog is very helpful! Michigan love- SRJ

  11. Bethany October 31, 2012 at 6:53 am #

    Thank you for this recipe! I love using my crock pot, especially as the days get colder. I am also very pleasantly surprised that there are no tomatoes or potatoes or hot spices at all, since I’m allergic to nightshades. For some reason I thought that Beef Bourguignon had ingredients I can’t eat. Can’t wait to try it!

  12. Melissa October 25, 2011 at 9:09 am #

    Think I can use Merlot instead?

    • Lindsay October 25, 2011 at 3:30 pm #

      Probably. May not be as rich in flavor though.

      • Bethany October 31, 2012 at 6:57 am #

        Okay, on this note I have a question: what exactly is a burgundy wine?

        I usually have either Merlot, Shiraz, or Pinot Noir on hand for the occasional glass with my husband, but I guess I really don’t know enough about cooking with wines.

        • Lindsay October 31, 2012 at 8:01 am #

          It’s a French wine. If you look in the French wine section at the store, you should be able to find it. If not, just choose another French red wine. I have used a half dozen different kinds and they all add their own unique flavor.

          • Bethany November 11, 2012 at 9:30 pm #

            Thank you! Appreciate your response and will be trying it this week!

  13. Bethany August 15, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

    Could this be made in a crockpot? If so how long would it need to cook?

  14. Siobhan March 16, 2011 at 9:57 am #

    A friend of mine passed me this link recently and I’ve been looking forward to giving it a try! Tonight’s the night! I loved the movie, love cooking, and can’t wait to have this fabulous meal with my family tonight!

  15. Sarah February 9, 2011 at 2:19 pm #

    Have you ever used chicken stock as a sub for beef stock?

    • Lindsay February 9, 2011 at 3:35 pm #

      Yes, it works just fine as well.

  16. Amy Walker January 31, 2011 at 6:26 pm #

    This is cool. I’ve felt the same way since seeing that movie. Her cookbook is on our list that we’re scouring the used bookstore for.

  17. Rebecca January 29, 2011 at 1:31 pm #

    I made this last night for the hubby and some guests… it was awesome! It’s definitely going in my recipe book. =)

  18. theYakRanch January 29, 2011 at 8:49 am #

    Thanks for sharing! We have made a tradition of making “Yak Bourguignon” with friends every New Year’s Eve. It is a ton of fun and the complexity of Julia recipe makes for some full-contact, community cooking. We will definitely try your version as an everyday recipe would be a big help.

    Can’t wait to try it!

    http://www.theyakranch.com/yak-recipes/Yak-Roast-boeuf-bourguignon.html

  19. Betsy January 26, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

    Except for the bacon and mushrooms, this is almost exactly how I make my beef stew. Yes, the wine definitely makes a difference in taste!

    • Lindsay January 27, 2011 at 7:26 am #

      That’s funny…because this doesn’t taste anything like a stew in my experience. Maybe because it doesn’t have the potatoes, or enough carrots to make it taste that way. It is very unique, rich in flavor, and thick. I think the bacon and mushrooms help differentiate it significantly as well.

  20. Amy January 26, 2011 at 9:20 am #

    Where do you find arrowroot powder?

    • Lindsay January 26, 2011 at 9:30 am #

      It is an herb that is a more natural and healthy replacement for cornstarch. you can find it at health food stores, Bulk Herb store online, or Bob’s Red Mill. You can also just use cornstarch.

  21. Katie January 25, 2011 at 10:45 pm #

    I was just watching Julie and Julia last week, debating if I should make this or not! :) Sadly I can’t buy or cook with wine right now because there is no alcohol rule at the ministry where I live and work. I’m a dorm mom for 15 girls at a school for the Deaf in Baja Califorina, can’t really just open a bottle of wine in there. Maybe I’ll make this while visiting family or friends this summer. You may have addressed this before but where do you buy your meat? I can find organic ground beef when I am in San Diego for the day but that’s it. Thank you for all you do on this blog!

    • Joanna December 30, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

      I had read in another recipe (my little brain can”t remember what it was!) that also called for red wine and they said, “or substitute with red grape juice.” Do you think that would be worth a try for a non-alcoholic alternative? Obviously real grape juice, not grape flavoured:) and probably direct pressed would be best. I’m sure the flavor would be different, but it is how I am planning on trying this recipe. It looks SOOO good!

  22. elaine January 25, 2011 at 8:37 pm #

    are you kidding(!) – the picture is fabulous and I am positively drooling!! (over the food as well as your Le Creuset :) Can’t wait to try this – thanks for sharing … I had been a little intimidated by the one in Julia’s cookbook.

  23. Brandy @Brandy's Brood January 25, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

    Oh I wanted to make this for the exact same reason!! I’ll have to write this down and give it a shot sometime soon! Thanks for sharing!

  24. Simply to Delight January 25, 2011 at 3:33 pm #

    oh this recipe looks absolutely amazing!! I have a question, Do you have a go to list of recipes that you make when you bring meals to other families? If so, would you mind sharing, please?

    thanks for sharing!

    • Lindsay January 25, 2011 at 9:51 pm #

      I don’t have a list per say, but do strive to bring good meat dishes to friends…knowing how much a new mommy needs iron after having a baby. And its really a blessing to splurge and bring a nice meal. This recipe is one of my favorites to bring to friends because it is easy to multiple so we have enough for our family as well. I’ve made it half a dozen times for families. At other times, I have cooked a ham or roast in the crockpot – a vary easy meal but oh so delicious!

  25. Lacey Wilcox January 25, 2011 at 11:44 am #

    Wow…yummy! Did you buy your french oven from Amazon?

    • Lindsay January 25, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

      I actually found one used on ebay.

  26. Michelle January 25, 2011 at 10:25 am #

    That looks delicious!
    I’ve been working on February’s menu and was wanting a good beef stew type recipe. I’ll definitely be giving yours a try.

  27. Becci January 25, 2011 at 10:15 am #

    This looks simply amazing. Oh, yum!

  28. Renae January 25, 2011 at 8:30 am #

    Is there a substitute for the wine if you don’t have it?

    • Miriam January 25, 2011 at 9:39 am #

      I really recommend using wine if at all possible. Recently I’ve started using wine in my recipes that call for it (rather than omitting or substituting) and it makes such an amazing flavor improvement! (Particularly if using venison rather than beef, as I do.)

      I use inexpensive grocery-store wine, about $5-7/bottle. And for those who don’t consume alcohol, please rest assured that ALL the alcohol is cooked out of the wine in this method of cooking, so it’s completely safe even for children!

    • Lindsay January 25, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

      The wine is a huge flavor enhancer in this recipe. In fact, I don’t think it would be half as good without it. I buy burgundy wine at Trader Joes for $7.

  29. Jennifer January 25, 2011 at 8:28 am #

    Sounds like a great recipe. I have some venison stew meat I’m going to try with this. My kids don’t ‘love’ mushrooms, but I’m going to try to ‘disguise’ them, though :)

  30. jeana January 25, 2011 at 7:39 am #

    I made the one from her book the other day, and it was just wonderful! I’d love to try yours, so I’m going to add it to my list!

  31. Lindsey January 25, 2011 at 7:37 am #

    I will certainly be making this as soon as possible, it looks amazing! Thanks for the recipe :-)

  32. Courtney January 25, 2011 at 3:50 am #

    I too have been experimenting with beef bourguignon recipes ever since seeing Julie and Julia. This recipe will be next on my list, and it will be tested next week when our friends come over to celebrate their birthdays!
    Next you need to come up with a nutritious and delicious bruschetta recipe :)

    • Lindsay January 25, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

      Ohh…I do have a delicious bruschetta recipe…I will have to share that soon.

      • Courtney January 26, 2011 at 4:57 am #

        YES PLEASE!

  33. prasti January 25, 2011 at 3:22 am #

    oh my! that looks so delicious…even at 6:20 a.m. :) . seems like the perfect comfort food, especially during the cold winter months. i’m going to have to bookmark this page so i can try out the recipe. yum!