Instant Pot Beef Bourguignon: From Julia Child to My Kitchen

Instant Pot Beef Bourguignon: From Julia Child to My Kitchen
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Beef bourguignon also called instant pot beef bourguignon, is a classic French dish that is traditionally made with tender chunks of beef, red wine, mushrooms, onions, and bacon. It’s a rich and flavorful dish that is perfect for a special dinner.

Julia Child recipe really inspired this dish for a try and this version uses an Instant Pot to make the cooking process easier. The beef is cooked in a flavorful sauce with mushrooms or mashed potatoes and onions until it’s tender and delicious.

Instant pot beef bourguignon on a plate

This is a great romantic recipe to make for Valentine’s Day by the way! Pair it with some amazing wine and crusty bread and you’re in business! Serve it with your favorite sides for a complete meal.

Vitamin C from the mushrooms helps to counterbalance the acidic nature of the red wine, making it more palatable.

Enjoy this delicious dish as Valentine’s choice for dinner tonight!

Ingredients and Tools You Need to Make Beef Bourguignon

For the perfect beef bourguignon, you’ll need a few key ingredients and tools. First and foremost, select a high-quality cut of beef such as chuck or round roast for tender meat that melts in your mouth. You’ll also need flavorful vegetables like onions, carrots, and mushrooms to complement the richness of the dish.

In terms of tools, make sure you have a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot with a lid for braising the beef to perfection.

A sharp chef’s knife is crucial for slicing through tough cuts of meat and chopping up veggies with ease. And don’t forget about a trusty wooden spoon for stirring everything together as it simmers on low heat.

Selecting the Right Cut of Beef and Vegetables

When selecting a cut of beef for your Beef Bourguignon, choose a marbled one for maximum flavor. The fat will melt into the dish as it cooks, creating a rich and savory taste that’s essential to this classic French recipe.

The chuck roast is often sold as a ”chuck roll. ”It can also be sold as a ”chuck eye roast” or a ”chuck shoulder roast.”

It’s the same cut of meat; it’s just packaged and labeled differently depending on where you buy it. If your butcher doesn’t have a chuck roll, you can ask them to cut you a 3-4 pound chuck roast.

Opt for root vegetables like carrots and parsnips to complement the dish with their earthy flavors and satisfying textures. And don’t forget about pearl onions which add sweetness to balance out the richness of the beef and red wine sauce.

Choosing a marbled cut of beef for Beef Bourguignon creates a rich and savory taste as the fat melts into the dish.

Using these ingredients will help you create a delicious Beef Bourguignon that is sure to impress your guests or satisfy your cravings at home. With careful attention paid to choosing quality meat and veggies, you’ll be well on your way to mastering this iconic French dish in no time!

Tools You Need for Cooking Beef Bourguignon

Cooking Beef Bourguignon requires the right tools to ensure your dish turns out perfectly. Here are the essential tools you need:

  • A Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot to distribute heat evenly and allow for slow cooking.
  • A sharp knife for cutting meat and vegetables into even pieces, ensuring they cook evenly.
  • A wooden spoon or spatula for stirring without damaging the pot’s surface.

These simple yet crucial tools will make sure that you can cook beef bourguignon with ease, resulting in a tender, flavorful dish that is sure to impress your guests.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cooking Beef Bourguignon

Preparing the ingredients is an essential first step in making beef bourguignon. I like to take my time and chop all of the vegetables into uniform pieces so they cook evenly.

It’s also important to choose a good quality cut of beef that will be tender after cooking for several hours.

Browning the beef and vegetables creates depth of flavor in this classic French dish. When browning, make sure not to overcrowd the pan, as this can cause steaming instead of browning.

The goal is to get a nice sear on each piece before adding liquids and continuing with the recipe.

Preparing the Ingredients

When it comes to beef bourguignon, choosing the right cut of beef is essential. I prefer using chuck roast as it has a good amount of marbling which adds flavor and keeps the meat tender during cooking.

After trimming off any excess fat, I cut the meat into two-inch cubes and pat them dry with paper towels before seasoning with salt and pepper.

beef bourguignon recipe

Chopping and prepping vegetables can be time-consuming but is worth it in the end. For this dish, I like to use onions, carrots, garlic, and mushrooms.

The onions are sliced thinly while the carrots are chopped into medium-sized chunks. The garlic cloves are minced finely while fresh mushrooms are quartered.

Measuring out wine, broth, and spices beforehand makes cooking much easier as everything will be within reach when needed.

For this recipe, I measure out one bottle of red wine (preferably a Burgundy) or Pinot Noir if you like, low-sodium beef broth (4 cups), tomato paste (2 tablespoons), thyme sprigs (3-4), bay leaves (2), salt & pepper for taste before beginning to cook.

Browning the Beef and Vegetables

Searing the beef in batches for maximum flavor is crucial to creating a rich, savory base for Beef Bourguignon. I like to use a heavy-bottomed pan and heat it until it’s smoking hot before adding my meat. This ensures that each piece gets a nice caramelized crust without overcrowding the pan.

Adding onions, carrots, and garlic to my pot after browning the beef creates an aromatic base that infuses every bite with deep flavors.

I chop them into small pieces and sauté them until golden brown before returning the beef to the pot.

Cooking everything together until it’s all perfectly golden brown takes time but is definitely worth it for that incredible depth of taste!

Deglazing and Braising the Beef

Pouring in red wine to deglaze the pan is a crucial step in making beef bourguignon. It not only adds depth of flavor, but also helps scrape up any browned bits that have accumulated on the bottom of the pan. These caramelized bits are packed with savory umami goodness that can take your dish from good to great.

After deglazing, it’s time for braising; this involves simmering on low heat for several hours until the beef is tender and flavorful. The following bullet points provide further guidance:

  • Add enough liquid (beef broth or stock) to cover about two-thirds of the meat.
  • Take care not to boil, as this will toughen your meat instead of making it tender.
  • Keep an eye out for evaporation. You don’t want all your liquid gone!
  • You can add additional vegetables such as carrots or onions during this phase if desired.

By taking care during these critical steps, you’re well on your way to mastering classic French cuisine at home!

Reducing and Thickening the Sauce

Removing excess fat from the sauce after braising is an important step in achieving a rich and flavorful beef bourguignon.

To do this, I like to use a ladle or fat separator to remove as much of the excess fat as possible before continuing with reducing and thickening the sauce. This ensures that the final product isn’t too greasy and has a silky smooth consistency.

When it comes to thickening sauce, there are two main options: using roux or cornstarch slurry. For me, it depends on personal preference and what ingredients I have on hand.

Roux is made by cooking flour and butter together until it forms a paste-like consistency, which can then be added to the sauce for thickness. Cornstarch slurry involves whisking cornstarch into cold water or stock before adding it to the simmering liquid for quick thickening.

Whichever method you choose, remember that less is more – always start with small amounts of your thickener of choice and gradually add more if needed.

Before serving your beef bourguignon, don’t forget to taste for seasoning! The flavors will have developed during braising so adjustments may need to be made in terms of salt or acidity levels.

Adding fresh herbs such as thyme or parsley at this stage can also give an extra boost of flavor complexity that will make all the difference when enjoying your homemade French classic dish!

What Wine Should I Use in Beef Bourguignon?

The key to this dish is the red wine you choose to use. A good quality Burgundy or Pinot Noir will give the best flavor results. If you don’t have access to one of these wines, any dry red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot will work just as well.

cooking beef with red wine

classic accompaniments for beef bourguignon

Whenever I think of beef bourguignon, my mind immediately jumps to the classic accompaniments that make this dish truly complete.

As someone who has made this dish many times, I can tell you that there are a few side dishes that pair perfectly with the rich and hearty flavors of beef bourguignon.

First and foremost, I always serve my beef bourguignon with mashed potatoes. The creaminess of the potatoes complements the savory and slightly sweet flavors of the beef, while also providing a neutral base that allows the main dish to shine.

I like to add a little bit of butter and cream to my mashed potatoes to make them extra silky and luxurious.

instant pot beef bourguignon beef stew with mushrooms
Beef bourguignon with mashed potatoes

Another classic side dish that pairs well with beef bourguignon is roasted vegetables. Carrots and onions are already a staple in the stew, but I like to add some additional root vegetables like parsnips and turnips to the mix.

I toss them in olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast them in the oven until they’re caramelized and tender.

Finally, I always serve a crusty baguette alongside my beef bourguignon. Not only does it make for a great vessel for soaking up the sauce, but it also adds a lovely textural contrast to the meal.

Overall, when it comes to classic accompaniments for beef bourguignon, mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, and a crusty baguette are the way to go.

Tips and Tricks for Perfecting Your Beef Bourguignon

To perfect your beef bourguignon, start by selecting the right cut of meat. Look for well-marbled cuts like chuck or brisket, which will become tender and flavorful after slow-cooking in wine and broth. Don’t be afraid to use a cheaper cut – the slow cooking process will make it just as delicious.

Next, take your time building layers of flavor through browning each ingredient one at a time before adding them to the pot. This step can be tedious but is crucial for developing depth in the dish.

Finally, add personal touches such as pearl onions or mushrooms to elevate the dish even more. And don’t forget that beef bourguignon gets better with age!

Learn More: How To Make the Best Beef Burgundy: A Taste Buds Guide

Adding Personal Touches to the Dish

On adding personal touches to beef bourguignon, there are a few things I like to do. Firstly, I love using different types of mushrooms for added flavor and texture. Oyster mushrooms or shiitake mushrooms work particularly well in this dish and add a depth of earthy flavor.

instant pot beef bourguignon beef stew simmered with burgundy red wine

Another thing I like to do is opt for a full-bodied red wine to enhance the richness of the sauce. A bold Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot can really take this dish up a notch.

Incorporating root vegetables such as parsnips or turnips also adds an interesting twist on traditional beef bourguignon. They bring both sweetness and earthiness that pairs perfectly with the rich flavors in the dish.

Lastly, experimenting with different herbs and spices can be fun too! Adding thyme brings out the savory flavors while smoked paprika gives it a subtle smokiness that complements the wine perfectly.

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

When it comes to storing and reheating leftovers of beef bourguignon, there are a few simple guidelines to ensure that the dish stays delicious.

First, allow the dish to cool completely before transferring it into an airtight container in the fridge. When you’re ready to reheat, use low heat on the stovetop and stir occasionally to prevent sticking or burning.

Once your leftover beef bourguignon is heated up and ready to serve, consider pairing it with crusty French bread or mashed potatoes for a cozy meal. Here are some other tips:

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to three days
  • Reheat slowly over low heat on the stove
  • Add additional broth or wine if necessary during reheating
  • Serve with crusty French bread or mashed potatoes


After mastering the art of beef bourguignon in my own kitchen, I have come to appreciate the complexity and richness of this classic French dish. From searing the meat to simmering it in a hearty red wine sauce, each step requires patience and attention to detail.

But the end result is worth it: tender beef that melts in your mouth and a depth of flavor that can only be achieved through slow cooking.

While Julia Child may have introduced this dish to American home cooks, I am grateful for the opportunity to make it my own.

With a few tweaks here and there, I have found a recipe that suits my tastes perfectly. And with each bite, not only do I savor the delicious flavors but also feel proud of what I’ve accomplished in my own kitchen.

Frequently Asked questions

Can I Make Instant Pot Beef Bourguignon Ahead of Time?

You can make this Instant Pot beef bourguignon recipe a day or two in advance. You can then reheat it on the stovetop or in the Instant Pot when you’re ready to eat.

What Substitutions Can I Make in Instant Pot Beef Bourguignon?

While the recipe calls for specific ingredients, there are some substitutions you can make to customize the dish to your taste. For example, you can use beef broth instead of beef stock, olive oil instead of butter, and beef stew meat instead of chuck roast. You can also try adding different vegetables such as mushrooms or carrots to the mix.
Finally, if you want a quicker cooking time, you can opt for a quick pressure release rather than a natural pressure release. With these simple substitutions, you can create your own unique version of Instant Pot Beef Bourguignon!

Instant Pot Beef Bourguignon

This beef bourguignon recipe is a hearty, savory stew that everyone is sure to love. It is absolutely delicious, and perfect for warm winter meals and a Valentine dinner surprise!
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time3 hours
Total Time3 hours 25 minutes
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: French
Servings: 8 people
Author: daisol plate


  • 8 slices bacon cut into ¼-inch slices
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 3 – pound boneless beef chuck fat removed and cut into 1½-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 carrots sliced diagonally into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 large yellow onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced; divided
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 750 ml bottle good red wine such as Pinot Noir or Cote du Rhone
  • ½ cup cognac
  • 1 2 – cup can beef broth
  • 1 tbsp. 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves or ½ teaspoon dried)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 pound frozen pearl onions thawed
  • 1 pound fresh cremini mushrooms stems or mashed potatoes removed and caps thickly sliced


  • Heat oven to 325°F
  • Pat the beef dry with paper towels, season with salt & pepper; set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt and pepper; set aside.
  • Add the bacon to a Dutch oven set over medium heat. Cook until the fat has rendered and use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon pieces to a paper towel-lined plate.
    beef burgundy recipe
  • Add 1-tablespoon canola oil to the pot and wait 30 seconds to allow the oil to heat. Add about ⅓rd. beef cubes to the pot, turning as needed, to sear all sides. Repeat with remaining beef searing ⅓rd. of the beef at-a-time. Transfer the beef to the same plate with the bacon.
  • Add the carrots and chopped onions to the Dutch oven. Sprinkle with 1-teaspoon kosher salt and ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Cook 8-12 minutes or until the vegetables have lightly browned. Add half the minced garlic and cook another 30 seconds.
  • Add the beef and bacon back to the pot with the vegetables and mix. Sprinkle flour over the meat/vegetable mixture and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.
  • Add the wine slowly while deglazing (scraping the flavorful bits) the pan. Add the cognac and enough beef broth to almost cover the meat.
  • Add the tomato paste, thyme leaves and bay leaf and stir. Bring back to a simmer, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and place it in the oven.
  • Cook the beef 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally, until the meat is fork-tender.
  • While the beef cooks, prepare the onions & mushrooms. Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the thawed pearl onions and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook until the onions are lightly browned on all sides, 8-10 minutes. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, sliced cremini mushrooms and the remaining minced garlic to the pan. Cook until golden brown, about 6-8 minutes. Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, if needed. Set aside until beef is ready.
  • When the beef is cooked through and tender, transfer the stew from the oven to the stovetop. Remove the lid and set the burner to medium heat. Add the pearl onion/mushroom mixture and bring the stew to a boil (stovetop). Reduce the temperature to low and simmer 15 minutes. Remove the stew from the heat and let sit another 15 minutes.
  • Discard the bay leaf and rosemary sprig.
  • Season the stew to taste, and serve over mashed potatoes (or mushrooms) or egg noodles.
    Instant pot Beef bourguignon with mushrooms
  • Enjoy as you lick your plate clean!

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