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Nate Cooks » Boeuf Bourguignon for the Slow Cooker

Boeuf Bourguignon for the Slow Cooker


OK, so it’s been a while. The summer was long and hot, which was not conducive to cooking much of anything, let alone writing about it.

Now as readers of this blog know, I like me some braised meats. Unfortunately the summer is not really the best time to enjoy some slow-cooked beef products, not to mention the fact that cooking something all afternoon in a 95 degree apartment seems like the least appealing thing EVER. However, fall is here, which means the glorious return of the slow-cooker.

I was so excited by this prospect that I broke out one of the more long recipes that I have done with the slow-cooker – boeuf bourguignon. The thing is, there’s nothing particularly difficult about boeuf bourguignon, especially if you use a slow-cooker. It really is just beef stew with red wine after all. It’s just that it takes a LONG time. Like, two days long.

Because I like my slow-cooker and it’s been so lonely all summer I adapted this recipe from a couple that I found online and in cookbooks I have. I’m not sure how authentic it is, but you end up with a silky rich sauce over beef that’s pretty much just falling apart. That, in the end, is *my* goal at least with this sort of cooking. So, the next time you have a free weekend, try this out!

Here’s what you’ll need for boeuf bourguignon in a slow cooker. Note that you need to start things the night before you actually want to eat it; so plan accordingly.

3lbs chuck roast cut into 2″ pieces $16.47
1 bottle red wine $12.00
1-2 large onions, diced $1.42
2-3 carrots, diced $0.79
1/2 lb pearl onions $2.99
1/2 lb mushrooms $1.99
6 oz slab bacon $3.49
1 tablespoon tomato paste $0.99
6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped $0.87
2 cups beef stock $4.99
1 bay leaf $0.89
few sprigs of parsley $0.99
1 celery stalk $2.49
salt $0.79
pepper $1.59

Total: $52.75 for 6-8 servings or $8.72 a serving.

The day before you want to have the beef, you’ll want to start the process by marinating it. In a large bowl or plastic container combine the beef, the carrots, and the onions. Pour enough wine over it to cover the meat, then pop it in the fridge over night. It should look something like this:


That’s all you *have* to do the night before. However, because I had fancy brunch plans the next day, I made things easier for myself by prepping the pearl onions, the mushrooms and the bacon. Feel free to do whatever.

For the onions:

If you’ve never dealt with pearl onions, brace yourself. They’re delicious, delicious, royal pains in the ass and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying or delusional. You can buy them peeled and frozen, but I don’t trust that so I buy them fresh. The best way to peel them is to chop off the bottoms and use a paring knife to put a big X on the bottom. It should look something like this.


Now blanch them in some boiling water for about 30 seconds to a minute.


Don’t they look pretty? Drain them and rinse with cold, cold water for a few minutes until they’re cold. Now you *should* be able to squeeze the onions off and have the inside pop out of the skins and the first layer or so of the onion. That’s the theory. I’m sure that wicked awesome chefs pop those things out like it’s their jobs (which it is) but frankly, my average is about 60%. Sometimes they slide right out, sometimes they just don’t. Oh well, at the end you’ll have a nice pile of onions that look like this:


Pop those in the fridge.

Chop the mushrooms up and put them in the fridge as well. Finally, chop up the bacon. You want them to look like this:


You want them about 1/4″ by 1/4″ and lengthwise across the piece. If there’s a rind (skin) on the bacon you should cut that off and keep it for the stew. That’s about it for day one.

The next morning, it’s time to brown everything. Start with the bacon. Pop it in a big skillet and heat it over medium heat to render out some of the fat. This will smell delicious – try to restrain yourself from eating every bit of the bacon as it comes out.


Add the bacon pieces to the slow-cooker and leave about 1 tablespoon of fat in the skillet. Separate the beef from the marinade and add the beef to the pan in small batches, browning the pieces all over.


Once that’s done, put the beef in the slow-cooker. Then you want to brown the onions and mushrooms. Drain off all but a tablespoon of the grease in the pan and then brown the onions and mushrooms separately, and each should take about 5-7 minutes. Once browned, put them back in the fridge.


Strain the carrots out of the marinade and add them to the slowcooker. Add the tomato paste and garlic to the frying pan, then add the marinade and deglaze the pan. Dump this in the slow cooker on top of everything else along with the bay leaf, celery, and parsley. Get that bad boy going on “low” and let things simmer for 8-10 hours.


By the time the day goes by things should be smelling amazing. To finish things off, pull the meat out of the simmering liquid. It should basically be falling apart. Strain the liquid and throw out all the vegetable and bacon mush. Put the meat in a warm oven or back in the slowcooker on “warm” to keep it from getting cold. Put the liquid on the stove in a big saucepan and start to reduce it, with the onions and mushrooms. Let it reduce down until it’s thick and coats the back of a spoon. Once it’s reduced taste it and if it needs salt and pepper, go for it. Spoon the sauce, onions and mushrooms over some meat, add some chopped parsley and enjoy!


  • By Heather @ chik n' pastry, November 4, 2009 @ 11:09 am

    Yay - you’re back! and this looks awesome - i have quite a few “weekend recipes” myself, and haven’t had much time on the weekend to really cook :( happy fall !


  • By Nancy, November 4, 2009 @ 4:35 pm

    Looks absolutely delectable, perfect for a chilly fall day. I love braised meats too — now I just need to get a slow-cooker so they can braise during the day while I’m at work!


  • By Suzee, November 10, 2009 @ 8:28 pm

    I wouldn’t have thought this was a $50 dish (money wise, not taste wise!), but yeah - you are right! It is! I never count alcohol - it’s too depressing!


    Nate Reply:

    I know, the wine does kick up the price! But assuming you have some of the stuff in your cabinet already, it will definitely end up being less than $50.00.


  • By Kelly-Dru, November 29, 2009 @ 5:43 pm

    I’ve got it all in the slow cooker now! 2hrs 26min left on the countdown…that’s the trouble when you are stuck inside when it’s pouring rain, I want a taste test NOW! I stumbled across your site while I stumbled around my own kitchen this Sunday morning,looking for the perfect Boeuf Bourguignon recipe for my S/C. Love your site-step-by-step w pics (& lots of humor)is perfect! Looking forward to trying your other interesting variations.

    Thanks, Nate!


    Nate Reply:

    I know, it’s painful to wait. Definitely let me know how it comes out!!


    Kelly-Dru Reply:

    No worries, I snuck a glass full of wine during the process!


    Nate Reply:


  • By Tickle, December 13, 2009 @ 1:58 am

    Thank you for your recipe, and the wonderful photos! You made it sound do-able, so I am doing it.. it’s marinating in the fridge for a big party tomorrow afternoon, along with some cranberry chicken, butternut squash turkey lasagna, and cuban black beans (not all in the same pot, I promise). : ) Bon appetit!


  • By Unasyboandoca, March 31, 2010 @ 3:40 pm

    Hi all,

    it seems pretty cool here

    i have some very strong opinions

    talk to you all soon!

    [IMG - -


  • By Шмелев, May 6, 2010 @ 1:06 pm

    Охотно принимаю. Вопрос интересен, я тоже приму участие в обсуждении. Вместе мы сможем прийти к правильному ответу. Я уверен.


  • By valerie nelson, July 2, 2010 @ 10:00 am

    where does the beef stock come into this?


  • By Crystal, January 17, 2011 @ 12:04 am

    Is there a reason to throw out all the vegetables? Does it get too mushy? I kind of like carrots in it, so was wondering if it made a difference to keep the vegetables….


  • By Bruce, February 23, 2011 @ 9:27 pm

    I have a 6-quart slow cooker. Can I increase the amounts in this recipe by 50% or even double the amounts and still fit it all in my Crock Pot?


  • By bill, March 19, 2011 @ 1:22 pm

    I may have missed but where does the two cups of stock come in?.


  • By Cookie McCookerson, December 21, 2011 @ 5:40 pm

    When should I add the beef stock?


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  • By Alex G, March 20, 2012 @ 9:21 am

    Hi there,
    Starting the browning process this morning and can’t wait for dinner tonight! One silly question, “when does the beef broth go in?” :)


  • By Sarah, October 7, 2012 @ 11:11 am

    Nate, love your blog. I stumbled on it while looking for a french toast recipe using baguette. Mine is always too soggy. Yours came out perfectly and this beef bourguignon recipe looks incredible. Already planning for next weekend. Looks like your blog has faded. Hoping not or that it has moved elsewhere. Do tell. And thanks!


  • By Valerie, November 20, 2012 @ 11:37 am

    Thanks so much for this detailed recipe! So delicious!


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