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
- 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.