Best Cut Of Beef For Beef Bourguignon


How do you decide what the best cut of beef for beef bourguignon? I know it’s a little more complicated than “This is good,” or “This is bad.” There are several factors involved in choosing the right cut. This article will give you some good advice to consider every time you want your beef bourguignon to turn out to be fantastic.

What Is The Best Cut Of Beef For Beef Bourguignon?

We tried it with brisket, chuck steak, and stewing beef (yep, I cooked it in our Instant Pot/Multi Cooker for the third time). Our favorite result came from the brisket.

The flesh broke apart so wonderfully and tasted so much better than the others, resulting in a luscious result. Having said that, you can use any stewing beef that you can locate or that you have on hand.

Tips To An Incredible Beef Bourguignon

  • Taste test: We tasted it right after it was cooked and discovered that the wine was a very prominent flavor in the gravy. Please don’t be concerned or attempt to correct it right away! Allow approximately 15 minutes of resting time for the flavors to meld together. We like it once the wine flavor had subsided. The flavors are much greater if you serve it the next day.
  • The buttery garlic mushrooms are a must-try. When I tried to incorporate them from the beginning, they shriveled up and vanished by the end. They’re incredibly good straight out of the pan, plump and buttery. I couldn’t help myself and added some garlic, salt, and pepper to them. It gave the final product a lot more flavor.
  • Cook the gravy until it thickens. This is an important step that should not be skipped. After draining the liquid, leave it to simmer for a minute or two and see the magic of a beautifully rich and glossy gravy thicken before your eyes. If the sauce is overly thick, thin it out with a few tablespoons of liquid at a time. If the sauce is too thin, boil it for about 10 minutes over medium heat, or until it reaches the desired consistency.

About 2 1/2 cups sauce thick enough to coat the back of a spoon should be left.

What Kind Of Beef Is Ideal For Beef Bourguignon?

What’s the Best Beef Bourguignon Meat to Use? Beef bourguignon is traditionally made with both pork (in the form of lardons, small strips of fatty, thick-cut bacon) and stewing beef (usually beef chuck diced into 2-inch cubes), though any lean cut (such as brisket) can be used.

What’s The Difference Between Beef Stew And Beef Bourguignon?

The addition of red wine distinguishes beef stew from boeuf bourguignon in France. Water and onions are used to moisten traditional American beef stews; later versions include beef broth or tomato sauce. Stews with wine must be cooked at a low temperature.

Which Beef Cut Produces The Most Tender Stew?

There is no better cut of beef for beef stew than chuck! For the greatest tender flavor, get a thick chuck pot roast and chop it into chunks.

Chuck roast is a harder cut of meat than sirloin or rib roast, and it benefits greatly from pressure or slow cooking to produce the greatest beef stew! Because tough fibers are broken down by pressure cooking or slow cooking, the beef pieces become melt-in-your-mouth tender.

Stew Meat is also a wonderful alternative for the budget-conscious and time-pressed cook. Because beef stew meat is usually a variety of bits and pieces, some of the pieces may have a distinctive texture when stewed.

The meat on the left is chuck, which has a constant texture and marbling throughout, while the meat on the right is store-bought stew meat, part of which is quite lean. Chuck is, without a doubt, the best cut of meat for a stew.

What Makes Beef Bourguignon Unique?

This classic French meal may be found on our la carte menu. It has a rich and fascinating history in the culinary world, which we wanted to share with you.

Beef bourguignon is a hearty and delightful dish that is well-known not only in France but also around the world. It’s as well-known as other French classics like ratatouille and coq au vin.

It’s a hearty slow-cooked beef stew made with red wine, potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, garlic, onions, and a bouquet garni (bundle of thyme, parsley and bay leaves).

The meal has a few variants, the most notable of which is the inclusion of lardons to various recipes, including ours.

Cooking With Red Wine

Meat bourguignon comes from provincial Burgundy, an area known in French as Bourgogne – hence the name – where the valued Charolais cattle are recognized for producing great beef. Burgundy is also famed for its excellent wine, therefore the region’s iconic and historical cuisine is naturally a blend of these two specialties.

The wine in which the beef is cooked plays a critical role. The red wine should ideally be a Burgundy red, such as Pinot Noir or Gamay. The wine’s flavors infiltrate the beef and elegantly complement the other components, resulting in a rich and flavorful stew.

A Medieval Food That Is Still Popular Today

Boeuf bourguignon is a peasant dish that dates back to the Middle Ages. Slow cooking was popular in rural areas at the time because it was inexpensive, filling, and could serve a large number of people. It was also a safe and effective technique to cook harder portions of meat that would have gone to waste otherwise.

This dish was traditionally prepared over two days; the longer it cooked, the stronger the flavor and the more tender the meat became.

This dish has evolved over ages from peasant fare to a classic Parisian cafe dish to what has become a byword for French cuisine. This dish is delicious and adaptable, and the beauty of it is that it can be cooked and served in a variety of settings.

From High Society To The Masses

Despite the fact that records of this meal date back to the Middle Ages, chef Auguste Escoffier, also known as “the king of chefs” or “grandfather of classical French cuisine,” published the first written recipe for it in 1903.

Auguste Escoffier popularized this rustic cuisine among high-society metropolitan dwellers. Those who dined in elegance at Paris’s and London’s most expensive and sophisticated haute cuisine restaurants, such as the Ritz, the Savoy, and the Carlton Hotel.

His original approach called for a full piece of beef, but the recipe now calls for diced or cubed meat. Julia Child, the famed American cookbook author, chef, and TV personality who published the epic 1961 guidebook Mastering the Art of French Cooking, was a driving force behind this growth.

Julia included her own twist on the classic recipe, which featured lardons, as well as directions to dry the beef with paper towels before searing it in the pan and a variety of other unique techniques that helped her recipe become a hit.

As a result, Julia Child introduced boeuf bourguignon to American kitchens. It became one of her best-known recipes, propelling it to international culinary prominence, as she praised it in her book as “surely one of the most delectable beef dishes invented by man.”

Beef Bourguignon Today

Beef bourguignon is still a popular dish among gourmets around the world. Many prominent chefs, like Anthony Bourdain, Richard Olney, and Michel Roux, have revealed their customized beef bourguignon recipe.

From putting pig’s trotter in the stew instead of beef cheek, to marinating the meat ahead of time and caramelizing the onions, all of these personal touches don’t detract from the dish’s integrity, but rather enrich it or add a defining characteristic that is unique to the chef in question. It demonstrates the versatility of a simple yet delicious recipe.

Our chefs frequently mention how much they enjoy beef bourguignon. It’s a dish that’s both pleasurable to create and eat, and it has a rich history to match its flavor. This distinguishes it as a unique dish in our opinion at Cte.

Can Cabernet Sauvignon Be Used In Beef Bourguignon?

  • Which wine is the most effective: A red Burgundy wine, such as Pinot Noir, Merlot, or Cabernet Sauvignon, is usually used to make beef Bourguignon. You’ll need a red wine with enough tannins to balance out the richness and tenderness of the stewed beef.
  • Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon: Complete all instructions up to step 5, then transfer to a slow cooker and cook for 8 hours on low.
  • Instant Pot Beef Bourguignon: To make this in the Instant Pot, use the Saute mode to cook everything up to and including step 5, then cover the IP and set the timer to 35 minutes on the “meat/stew” button. Allow the IP to naturally cool and release pressure after 35 minutes of high pressures before lifting the lid.
  • Noodles and mashed potatoes are not included in the nutritional statistics. Please keep in mind that nutritional data is an approximate estimate that varies substantially depending on the products utilized.

Is It True That Beef Bourguignon Tastes Better The Next Day?

What is it that people always say after eating reheated leftover stew? “The next day is so much better.” This is why we postpone gratification and eat the Boeuf Bourguignon a day later. This also allows us to remove the fat from the top of the meat, resulting in a considerably leaner bourguignon than would otherwise be possible.

Remove the dish from the fridge and scrape off as much fat from the top as you can using a spoon. Preheat the oven to 180C (about 360F).

Place the Boeuf Bourguignon in a covered oven-safe serving dish once the oven is hot (mine happens to be both stove top and oven safe which is even more practical).

What’s The Difference Between Coq Au Vin And Bourguignon Beef?

Coq au vin (rooster in wine) is a classic French meal that originated in Burgundy and is essentially beef bourguignon made with a rooster instead of beef. Because rooster is rougher and gamier than chicken, slow cooking meat with the wine’s powerful flavor is beneficial. Because chicken flesh is more soft than rooster meat, coq au vin is frequently cooked with chicken.

Is Sirloin Suitable For Stewing?

Stew meats can be made from a range of beef cuts, including round, chuck, and sirloin. Stew meat is made into a stew by simmering it in a liquid broth over low heat for an extended length of time. Stewing meat that has been cooked for a long time becomes soft, fork-tender, and flavorful.


Beef Bourguignon is a French classic made with melt in your mouth beef, mushrooms, carrots, and red wine and is cooked to perfection in the most delicious rich sauce. A hearty and comforting meal that you will make again and again!

After my Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon went crazy viral, I knew that I wanted to show you how to make it on the stove and in the oven. If you are looking for more hearty beef stew recipes, be sure to also try Beef Stew with Bacon, Vegetable Beef Soup, or this Slow Cooker Beef Stew.

Beef Bourguignon being scooped into a ladle.

Beef Bourguignon

You will fall in love with this Beef Bourguignon! I am so excited to share with you the stove top version! If you are looking for a slow cooker Beef Bourguignon click here. I love everything about this meal and how completely flavorful every bite is. The meat falls apart so smoothly and melts in your mouth with the beautiful taste of the broth that coats every meat and vegetable leaving you wanting more. I have two teenage boys and I was getting worried I wouldn’t have any left overs for me to warm up the next day with them continuing to enjoy bowlful after bowlful. My girls were equally enjoying it and kept saying between each spoonful “this is good, this is really good!”

When I know that my family is quiet at the dinner table I imagine a silent, slow clap and knew I had to share immediately on this way of cooking Beef Bourguignon. Your family will be thanking you! It does take a few extra steps but don’t let that intimidate you. It is meant for any level cooking and can be prepared quickly. It is a family favorite that is going on the monthly menu plan!

How do you make Beef Bourguignon?

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large dutch oven over medium high heat pot add the olive oil and bacon pieces. Cook until crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon.
  • Add the carrots, pearl onions, and mushrooms and sauté 2-3 minutes until tender. Remove and set aside.
  • Add the red wine to the skillet scraping down the sides and allow to deglaze. Add the beef stock, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and whisk in the flour.
  • Add the beef and the vegetables back to the pot and stir. Add garlic, thyme and bay leaf. Put a lid on pot and let it simmer in the oven for 1 1/2-2 hours until the beef is tender.
  • Stovetop: Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a low and simmer. Cover and let cook 1 1/2- 2 hours or until beef is tender.

What is the difference between Beef stew and Beef Bourguignon?

Steps to make Beef Bourguignon.

The big difference between beef stew, and French boeuf bourguignon, is the presence of red wine. Traditional American beef stews are lubricated with water and onions; later versions, with beef broth or tomato sauce. Stews with wine must be cooked slowly.

What is the best cut of beef for Beef Bourguignon?

  • A good quality lean stewing beef is what I was able to master with this Beef Bourguignon.
  • Brisket
  • Chuck Steak
  • Round Steak

What is the best red wine for Beef Bourguignon?

In this case, Beef Bourguignon, literally translated as Burgundian Beef, is a very old French recipe that uses fatty beef cooked in red wine to create a stew that is either served warm or cold (as in a left-over, the following day). The red wine was typically a red Burgundy – a Pinot Noir or Gamy.

Most good beef stews do have red wine in them. This really brings out the deep and rich flavor in the sauce. But rest assured the alcohol does get cooked out. But I promise it is necessary in really bringing out this amazing flavor in the stew!

If you are not wanting wine in your Beef Bourguignon you are welcome to omit it and use beef stock in replace of it. The wine does add the flavorful touch. I would recommend keeping the red wine and enjoy the rich flavors this stew has to offer!

Areal view of Beef Bourguignon.

What do you serve with Beef Bourguignon?

  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Rice
  • Noodles
  • Croutons
  • Crackers
  • Dinner Roll or a Baguette

Can you freeze Beef Bourguignon?

Yes, you can! Properly stored, cooked beef stew will last for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. To further extend the shelf life of cooked beef stew, freeze it; freeze in covered airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags.

I like to freeze it in freezer bags or a sealing bag that locks in all the flavors. I freeze them laying down and take them out the night before I am wanting to serve it. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator or you can defrost in the microwave if needed on low heat to warm through, stirring occasionally. It will freeze up to 3 months.

The 3-Day (But So Worth It!) Beef Bourguignon Recipe

Beef bourguignon is one of my favorite French classics… If you want an exceptional Beef bourguignon then make some room in your fridge… and calendar!

It’s not that it takes a long time to prepare, it’s that there are 2 overnights involved so you have to plan well in advance. Having these 2 overnights do make a huge difference so why not try it! Your taste buds will thank you.

Ingredients For Your Beef Bourguignon:

Servings: about 8 hungry persons with some leftovers (but keep in mind that since it stores really well, you should be making at least this amount – if not more)

  • 2kg (~4 lb) of boneless braising beef meat (cross-rib roast or shin). In France the cut is called: “Paleron
  • 120g (1/4 lb) of lardons -m (thick bacon cut into rectangles)
  • 2 bottles of Burgundy red wine (like a Cote du Rhone or Pinot Noir) (du vin rouge de Bourgogne -m)
  • 3 carrots (des carottes -f)
  • 2 medium size onions (des oignons -m)
  • 20 or so small white (Pearl) onions (des oignons grelots -m)
  • 300g (2/3 lb) of fresh mushrooms (des champignons -m)
  • 3 bay leafs (des feuilles de laurier -f)
  • 1 large teaspoon of tomato paste (du concentré de tomate -m)
  • 1 bouquet garni (it’s a french word already 🙂
  • 3 cloves of garlic (des gousses d’ail -f)
  • Olive oil (de l’huile d’olive -f)
  • 3 squares (~15 grams/0.5 oz) of really dark (bitter) chocolate (80% cocoa or more) (du chocolat noir amer -f)
  • 3 tablespoons of flour (de la farine -f)
  • salt, pepper (du sel et du poivre -m)


  • 1 or 2 sheets of puff pastry (de la pâte feuilletée -f)
  • Egg wash (an egg yolk mixed in with 3-4 tablespoons of room temperature water)

Day #1 – The Boeuf Bourguignon Marinade

The key to a great Beef bourguignon (or just ‘bourguignon’ as we most often call it) is to marinate the raw meat before you actually cook with it. The problem is that if you simply cut your meat and pour wine on top of it, the meat actually develops a taste of alcohol which I don’t find nice. Since we’re in this for 3 days, let’s start properly!

In a large pot, pour the 2 bottles of wine and add the carrots cut into large pieces, the medium size onions roughly cut, the bay leaves, the peeled garlic cloves, and the bouquet garni. Bring everything to a boil for about 10 minutes. Let it cool down to room temperature and put it in the fridge for 1 or 2 hours until cold.

In the mean time, cut the meat into large chunks (about 5cm cubes) and trim the excess fat. Once the marinade is cool, pour it over the meat into a non reactive dish/pan, cover and put in the fridge overnight (minimum 8 hours).

Note: you might wonder why we are using a whole 2 bottles of wine when most other recipes you’ve seen usually have one bottle. We do this for 2 reasons, 1 is that because we will cook this bourguignon twice, there will be a lot of evaporation and 2, there’s nothing more frustrating than being left with having to ration the sauce when you go in for a second serving. It’s a stew, it should be stewy, not just chunks of meat! (If you must, you can substitute 1 of the bottles for some beef stock, just be careful about the salt if you do).

Note #2: Don’t be (too) cheap on the wine.  The golden rule is that if you don’t enjoy drinking the wine, then don’t use it for cooking. I often serve the same wine that was used for the dish while we are eating the dish (sort of like a culinary Inception 😉

Day #2 – Cooking The Beef Bourguignon

Take the marinade and meat out of the fridge. Take all the meat pieces out and using paper towels, make sure they are as dry as you can. Discard the marinade… NOOOO, just kidding, of course, you don’t discard the marinade, at this point it’s red gold! Set it aside preciously on a soft pillow while you take care of the meat.

Leave the meat out for 30 minutes so that it comes back to room temperature and put your oil in a thick skillet. When the oil is really hot, sear the pieces of meat 5 or 6 at a time to make sure you don’t crowd the pan. Try to get as much of a crust onto the meat as possible. Add pepper and salt to the meat only right after you dropped it in the pan (putting salt before, even 5 minutes, will draw moisture out of the meat and you’ll be steaming, not searing). Put aside.

Discard any remaining oil from the pan and put in the ‘lardons’ (bacon) on high heat. Stir so that they get a nice color then take them out of the pan and put them with the meat.

Lower the heat to a medium fire under the pan, strain all the solids from the marinade (keep the bay leaf and bouquet garni aside) and put them into the pan. Cook for 5 or 7 minutes until you start seeing some color, make sure you scrape the bottom of the pan to get all the nice bacon and meat bits that stuck. Sprinkle the flour and mix it in so that it doesn’t lump up.  Add salt and pepper – Watch out though, if you used a lot of bacon, it can add a lot of salt… So you need to taste the bacon and add salt accordingly.

Put the wine back into the pan and add the meat, bacon, bay leaves, bouquet garni and tomato paste. Cover and let it cook slowly.

In the meantime, peel the Pearl onions (which as small white onions you usually serve whole) and let them roast slowly in a pan with a bit of olive oil. You are looking to get some color but to also cook the onions through (don’t overcook them, since they’ll cook some more in the bourguignon and then need to hold their shape, yet be tender).

In another pan, heat up some oil. Clean the mushrooms and depending on their size, either keep them whole or cut them in half or quarter. Roast them in a hot pan until they get some color. Make sure the pan is not too small, there should be room between the individual pieces of mushrooms so as to not steam them but roast them. Do it in several batches if you prefer.

After about 1 hour of cooking, incorporate the onions and mushrooms with the rest of the bourguignon and check the seasoning and adjust if needed… At this point, add the 3 squares of dark chocolate, trust me with this. It’ll add lots of depth to your sauce and give it a really nice shine.

Cook gently for another 30 minutes and turn the heat off. At this point, go ahead and eat a piece of meat, you know you can’t resist and you deserve it. If you have some crusty bread, you can even dunk one or 2 pieces in the sauce to eat… I won’t say anything 🙂

Let it sit a few hours until it’s cool enough to put in the fridge overnight.

Day #3 – The Finishing Touches To Your Beef Bourguignon

What is the thing that people say EVERY time they eat reheated leftover stew? “it’s so much better the next day”. And this is why we delay gratification and wait and extra day to eat the Boeuf bourguignon. This also allows us to skim the fat from the top and make a much leaner bourguignon than you could otherwise make.

Take the dish out of the fridge and using a spoon, remove as much as the fat from the top as you can. Turn your oven to 180C  (about 360F).

When the oven is hot, put the Boeuf bourguignon in a covered oven safe serving dish (mine happens to be both stove top and oven safe which is even more practical).

Beef Bourguignon With Puff Pastry

At this point, you could serve the bourguignon once it’s completely reheated but to give it an even extra touch, you might want to serve it with a nice puff pastry crust. It’s delicious and it sorts of hides the beef bourguignon – which is not super presentable by itself…

Unroll a sheet of puff pastry. In France we can find some delicious store made puff pastry, there is really no need to make your own unless you think that 3 days for a boeuf bourguignon is not enough work 🙂 Once it’s unrolled, put it back in the fridge so that it gets really cold.

After about 20 minutes of reheating, drape the puff pastry on top of the bourguignon, make a slight criss cross on top with a knife edge and brush the pastry with a bit of the egg wash. Quickly put back in the oven until the puff pastry is golden color.

It’s finally ready to eat! I like serving it with a side of greens like french green beans and either fettuccine pasta or gnocchi with just a bit of butter but you could also serve it the more traditional way with steamed potatoes.

If you make it, take an extra few minutes to let me know in the comments how it turned out and if it’s not by far the best bourguignon you ever made…

Bon appétit ! 🙂

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