Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon with all the delicious classic French flavors of beef, red wine, mushrooms and bacon made in your slow cooker.
Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon
Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon seems like it should be more difficult than it is. The French dish that is considering daunting to most chefs is a deliciously easy comfort food recipe I make any time I need to decompress and destress.
It may seem like a pretty low stress kind of job to cook for families and put recipes online but I actually do quite a lot of work related travel. There were three months this year that I was traveling for almost half the month and each time I visited five or more cities. The day I would come home this dish was what I set up in the slow cooker for when I woke up the next day.
Brown the beef and the mushrooms well then let the slow cooker break down the connective tissue until what you’re left with is a rich red wine braised beef stew.
Then do yourself a favor, get the best fresh baguette you can find and a stick of butter. Heck make things amazing with an easy side salad. This dinner will make you feel like those old time-y Campbells Soup commercials used to promise it would when the snowman kid would melt.
C’mon you remember the snowman kid!
Tips for making this Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon perfect:
- Don’t overcook the bacon, burnt bacon is bitter and the bacon will not stay crisp in the stew anway. Get a good crisp but don’t stress perfection.
- Brown the beef to a deep brown color. The browned beef will payoff in the end, please don’t cook this without browning the beef, you lose a ton of flavor.
- Crimini mushrooms add more flavor than white button and shouldn’t be more than a couple cents a pound more expensive. You can use sliced too but cutting in half tends to help them stand out in the end dish better.
- Pearl Onions are totally classic to the dish and I love them. I used fresh but you can also buy frozen. Just be sure you peel off any of the “papery” layers, they won’t soften in the stew.
- I call for beef broth in the recipe but honestly (and yes I’ve said this a million times before) I use Beef Base in addition to or in place of beef stock/broth. I can double up on the intensity without waiting for beef stock to reduce to intensify flavor.
Looking for more Slow Cooker Recipes?
- Slow Cooker Salisbury Steak and Mashed Potatoes
- Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken
- Slow Cooker Roast Beef (Sliceable!)
- Ultimate Slow Cooker Pot Roast
- Ultimate Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches
Tools Used in making this Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon:
Slow Cooker: Love this slow cooker and how programmable it is, it has been a workhorse for me… until…
My New Slow Cooker: This recipe was made in this slow cooker. I brown the meat in the insert without losing a bunch of the flavor by transferring the meat and leaving the browned bits behind. If you’re thinking of a new slow cooker, consider it if your budget is open.
Cast Iron Skillet: If you don’t have a slow cooker with a stovetop friendly insert, this is my most used pan in my kitchen, heavy, keeps heat well and gives the BEST sear ever.
Pig Tail Flipper: I use this to flip the chuck roast easily. I use this tool EVERY time I cook something that requires flipping, it is amazing.
Beef Base: I almost never buy boxes of broth because I keep the beef, chicken and vegetable version of this Better Than Bouillon.
- 6 slices bacon
- 3 lbs chuck roast
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt divided
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 1 pound crimini mushrooms cut in half
- 3 carrots peeled and cut into 1" chunks
- 4 cups beef broth *
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 4-5 stalks fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 pound white pearl onions peeled
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 tablespoons butter unsalted
- 2 tablespoons flour
- Preheat an aluminum slow cooker insert or cast iron skillet on high heat.
- Cook the bacon until crisp, then remove.
- Season the beef with half the salt and the pepper.
- Add to the skillet and brown on each side for 4-6 minutes or until deeply browned on each side.
- Remove the beef from the pan and add in the mushrooms and lower the heat to medium high.
- Cook the mushrooms for 3 minutes, stir then cook another 3 minutes.
- Into the slow cooker add the mushrooms, carrots, half the bacon, broth*, second half of the salt, tomato paste, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, pearl onions and red wine.
- Cut the beef into 2 inch chunks and add it to the slow cooker.
- Stir all the ingredients until well mixed and cook on low for 7 hours.
- In a small bowl mix the butter and flour and add it to the slow cooker and stir.
- Cook an additional hour or until thickened.
- *Alternately use a big scoop of Beef Better than Bouillon like I did in addition to water/stock. The extra beef flavor is fantastic.
I made this with a few modifications it was a hit-a family of 8 and everyone said it was a keeper! My youngest doesn’t like soup style food and she had two bowls! I omitted the bacon,used Beech mushrooms and Cherry wine as that was what was on hand. I also I added quartered roasted potatoes at the very end.
Can I brown the meat the day before?
I’ve made this recipe about three times now and it is always a hit. The recipe is easy to follow. The hardest part is peeling the baby onions, but worth it. My 11 year old grandson told me it’s now his favorite which is high praise.
I drop Pearl onions in a pot of rapidly boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Drain water. Cool to touch. Snip bottom of onion with kitchen scissors. Holding top of onion, apply gentle pressure, pinching until onion slides out of unwanted outer peel. Easy.
Very tasty!! I added heaps of fresh herbs and chopped celery. I also swapped the tomato paste for a tin of crushed tomatoes. Family loved it!
I love this recipe and have used it many times. Everyone loves it. I have one day a week that I cook for 18 and triple this recipe. I usually put it in the cooker at night let it cook all night. Could I assemble it several hours before and keep refrigerated until later that evening before I turn on the slow cooker?
This is a quick and easy recipe and it turned out so good ????
What do I do with the other half of the bacon
Can I cube and flour the beef before browning it, use the same pan for the mushrooms then deglaze the pan with a couple splashes of wine before adding it all to the crockpot? Will it mess up the liquid content? This looks like an amazing recipe!
I think that sounds wonderful!
Very tasty recipe! However, you direct us to put in half of the bacon, then never reveal where the other half is used. Is it a topping? Is it for the cook? ( that’s my favorite)
Thanks for sharing this great recipe.
Haha, the cook can definitely partake but yes, you’ll want to use it as a topping before serving. Never enough bacon, right?
In my house we just use it for breakfast the next morning or the morning of
Looking forward to trying this recipe for Christmas! Can I sub grass fed stew meat for the chuck? Will it be just as tender in the slow cooker?
No, a different cut of meat would have different marbling. I’m assuming if you’ve got great marbling in that beef it should work okay though? Usually stew meat doesn’t have great marbling which is why the butcher cuts it up to sell it off.
Does the butter need to be melted or just softened? Thanks!
Softening it will work perfectly. Enjoy!
I made this exactly as written today and it was ridiculously good… I was shocked, actually. Just to ask, though, why do you not say to use Burgundy wine in this crockpot recipe like your non-crockpot Beef Bourguignon recipe? Does Burgandy no work well in slow cooker meals? I ask for knowledge and because next time I make this, I would like to try Burgandy in the crockpot version. Thanks! 😉
I’m so glad you enjoyed it! This is the original version so I was trying to make recipes using more pantry items or items people would readily have in their kitchen. You can definitely use brandy in this slow cooker version.
I’m anxious to make your slow cooker beef bourguignon recipe. Before I begin, I have 2 questions. 1) recipe says to use half the bacon into slow cooker . . . What is the other half of bacon used for? 2) Exactly how much beef base do you add?
Sorry about that. The other half of the bacon I use as a garnish and sprinkle it on top before serving. I usually add a scoopful of the base to deepen the flavor of the broth. Hope this helps. Enjoy!
Thank you much for your help. I will make this for Christmas dinner,
Sabrina all of your stews look delicious. My question is what would you serve as a side to a stew. Rice, salad, mash…?
Generally I do a salad with creamy dressing (I like blue cheese) because with something hearty like a stew I want fresh vegetables alongside it. Sometimes in a hurry I even just do carrots and tomatoes for bursts of fresh flavors. I think the balance works because stews are generally so hearty.
As always…thank you for your talent!
You’re so kind, thank you.
Thanks for the recipe Sabrina, can’t wait to try this weekend!
If wanted to cook it on high. How many hours on high?
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