Here is a slow cooker variation of the classic French recipe for Beef Burgundy. It is slowly braised beef, mushrooms and carrots in rich red wine sauce. I added a little bit of bacon and maple syrup to this recipe to make it even better! It is the perfect recipe to bring in the cooler weather!
Last weekend when I was in Austin, I was reminded of the fact that while I live in Vermont, and we are in the middle of fall foliage, the rest of the country is still having some warmer weather. Here in Vermont however, fall is assuredly here. Yesterday I woke up to a view from my kitchen window of Mount Mansfield, the highest peak in the state, with a dusting of snow above the treeline.
Last night we had a frost warning, so I stole a moment before it got dark to get out into the garden to cut all of the remaining basil. We brought in a large bundle of rosy hydrangea blooms so they wouldn’t turn brown. Jase lit a fire. We’ve got our fluffy winter comforters on the beds now. It’s sweater weather.
And not to brag, but the Vermont foliage this year is unparalleled! Just magnificent, and it seems like very little of the leaves have dropped yet.
We’re there. It’s fall. It’s the cooler half of the year.
So, like it or not, it’s time for the slow cooker to get it’s work out. Time to bust out the red wine and the braising cuts of meat. The stewing vegetables. The comfort food recipes!
Beef Burgundy is about as perfect as it can get for this type of weather. I made this slow cooker beef burgundy recipe over and over again to get it just right for you today so I have a lot to say about it. I wanted to make sure you all would love it!
First, I should back up and go over a few things.
What is the Difference Between Beef Stew and Beef Burgundy?
Beef Burgundy or Beef Bourguignon are actually a type of beef stew. Beef stew, as we know it here in the United States is usually more simple. Beef Burgundy however has mushrooms and bacon and red wine. Not all Beef Stews have those elements, but virtually any Beef Burgundy recipe you’ll come across has those three elements.
Is Beef Burgundy and Beef Bourguignon the Same?
Yes they are the same thing. This dish is named after the French region famous for its wine. The region is known as Burgundy (in English) or Bourgogne (in French.) The dish Beef Bourguignon translates to Beef of Bourgogne. Having never studied french, except one class of Culinary French in culinary school, I am much more comfortable with the English pronunciation!
Anyway, Burgundy is a region in France where they make kick ass red and white wines, both of which are referred to as Burgundy, or in French Bourguignon. The red wines are made from Pinto Noir, whereas the white wines are mainly made from Chardonnay. Interestingly, this region (just south of Paris) also includes Chablis, which is also made from Chardonnay grapes. Okay, wine geeking aside. The point is, that Beef Burgundy is all about the WINE!!!
Buying Beef for Beef Burgundy
I think we’ve discussed this about a thousand times, but here on Healthy Seasonal Recipes, you’ll notice that I call for specifically grass fed beef. I do this for a number of reasons.
Why Buy Grass Fed Beef
- Healthier: Beef that is grown on a diet of grass is leaner, and has more Omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamin E and CLA which are important to our health.
- Greener: Furthermore raising steers on grass is friendlier to our environment.
- Grain Finishing: Most beef start off on a grass fed diet, but then are brought to feed lots to “finish” on corn and grains. This causes the steer to put on a lot of weight and their meat becomes more marbled with fat. When in doubt choose “grass finished.”
- Note: Just because beef is labeled “organic” does not mean that it has only been fed a grass diet. If the steer is fed certified organic grains it can still be called organic. Look for Grass Fed Organic if you can.
What Cut of Beef To Use For Beef Burgundy
- Use Beef Chuck: For beef stew and beef burgundy, you’re going to be cooking the meat for a long period of time, therefore you want to use a cut of meat with a lot of marbling and connective tissue such as the Chuck.
- Why is the Chuck Tough: Beef Chuck comes from the shoulder area of the steer. This is an area of the animal that does a lot of constant work and there is a lot of connective tissue within the muscle. This being the case, the meat is very tough. Slow cooking and braising is an excellent way of breaking down that connective tissue.
- Slow Cooking Tenderizes Meat: When you slow cook meat that has connective tissue, after about 4 hours of slow moist heat the collagen in the muscles breaks down into gelatin. This will melt into the meat and broth and give the stew excellent silky texture and richness.
What is Unique About This Beef Burgundy Recipe
There were a few things I did which I think made a big difference in why this is so yummy and I want to tell you why I did them.
- It Has Maple In It: One, I added a touch of maple syrup. I did this because I felt that the earlier tests of the recipe were too sharp and acidic from the wine. The sweet caramel flavors from the maple balance it out.
- Beurre Manie: The second thing I did was I thickened the sauce with beurre manie, which is a mixture of softened room temperature butter and flour that is whisked into a sauce or stew to thicken it as it simmers. I had tried to use cornstarch in previous tests, but I felt that the sauce was too wan. The butter and flour mixture really gives the red wine sauce a velvety mouthfeel of a true Beef Bourguignon. I only needed two tablespoons of butter to do the trick, but it makes all the difference. I’ve also used this method in my Chicken and Wild Rice Soup and it makes all the difference!
- The Interaction of Maple and Butter: What was really surprising to me was the bonus of what happened to the maple flavor when I made the switch from cornstarch to butter and flour. The butter really brought out the maple flavor, and the maple brought out the butter flavor. This has to do with the fact that butter and maple are BFFs (In case you missed it, I was talking about these BFFs a couple weeks ago when I made maple apple crisp. See tip #4). The same phenomenon is true in savory dishes.
How to Make Slow Cooker Beef Burgundy
Beef burgundy’s rich flavor may seem impossible to recreate at home, but I assure you it’s incredibly simple to make. Here’s how I made classic French beef burgundy in the slow cooker:
- Sear the beef chuck — Heat a little oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat, then add the beef and cook until seared and browned on several sides and no longer pink on the outside. Once seared, transfer the beef to the insert of your slow cooker.
- Sauté the vegetables — Using the same skillet you seared the beef in, sauté the onion, mushrooms and thyme in a drizzle of oil. Cook until the vegetables start to soften and brown, making sure to stir the veggies often.
- Combine all the ingredients and cook — Transfer the vegetable mixture to the slow cooker, then add the wine, carrots, celery, tomato, broth, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Give it all a good stir before covering and cooking on low.
- Stir in the beurre manie — In the last hour of cooking, mash the flour and butter together in a small dish until smooth. Stir the mixture into the stew until it dissolves, then cover and continue cooking until the timer goes off. Stir the bacon into the stew at the very and serve the slow cooker beef burgundy with a sprinkle of chopped fresh parsley.
Friends, please come back and let me know if you try this dish! I love hear from you! Leave me a comment, or shout out on social media!
More Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes:
If you haven’t tried my Slow Cooker Chicken Gumbo, you really must! It is an all time favorite!
The unexpected flavors in this Slow Cooker Chinese 5 Spice Beef Stew are a great change of pace!
This Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup is one of the few times when I don’t pre-sear the meat and it came out great anyway!
If you’re feeling really adventurous you should try this Sweet and Spicy Slow Cooker Short Ribs with Shiitake Mushrooms.
I have been loving this Slow Cooker Beef with Pasta and Porcini Mushrooms since 2008! You’ll love it too!
This Beef Burgundy recipe (also known as Beef Bourguignon) features Slow Cooked beef chuck, mushrooms and bacon in a velvety and rich red wine sauce!
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons avocado oil or organic canola oil, divided
- 1 1/2 pounds grass fed beef chuck, cut into large bite sized chunks
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 8-ounce container white mushrooms, sliced
- 1 teaspoon dry thyme
- 1 ½ cups red wine, such as Burgundy or Pinot Noir
- 2 carrots chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1 Roma tomato, chopped
- 1 ½ cups beef broth
- 2 tablespoons dark pure maple syrup or brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
- 4 pieces bacon, cooked and crumbled
- ½ cup chopped parsley
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat. Add beef and cook, stirring once or twice, until seared and browned on several sides, and no longer pink on the outside, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer the beef to the insert of a slow cooker.
- Return the skillet to medium heat, add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and add onion, mushrooms and thyme. Cook, stirring often until the vegetables are starting to soften and brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Transfer the vegetable mixture to the slow cooker. Add wine, carrots, celery, tomato, broth, maple syrup, salt and pepper and stir. Cover and set timer for 5 hours on low.
- When timer has 1 hour left, mash flour and butter together in a small dish until smooth. Stir flour and butter mixture into the stew until it dissolves, cover and continue cooking until the timer goes off. Stir the bacon into the stew. Serve the stew topped with parsley.
Tip: Make sure the beef is not wet from the packaging. Pat dry with a clean paper towel before searing.
To make ahead: Prepare through step 3 and refrigerate overnight. Continue with step 4, adding 30 minutes to total initial cooking time before stirring in the butter and flour mixture.
- Serving Size: 1 1/3 cups
- Calories: 264
- Sugar: 6 g
- Sodium: 780 mg
- Fat: 15 g
- Saturated Fat: 1 g
- Carbohydrates: 14 g
- Fiber: 2 g
- Protein: 10 g