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Slow Cooker (or not) Beef Bourguignon
with mashed potatoes / mixed greens salad

Active: 50 min Total: 8 hr 50 min
We looked to Julia Child for tips on this iconic French dish, but we’ve given it the Cook Smarts treatment to cut down on dishes and streamline the cooking process. Even with our shortcuts, the key to this rich stew is to develop layers of flavor by sauteing the ingredients in batches, so you'll need a little extra time to assemble this one. Finishing the dish in the slow cooker or oven at low heat will tenderize the meat and help to develop the flavors.
Smarts #1: This is even better if made a day or two ahead, so feel free to make it when you have time and just reheat it to serve.
Smarts #2: This recipe could be made in the Instant Pot. For tips, join the Cook Smarts Instant Pot Facebook Group.


Beef Bourguignon:
  • Carrots - 8 oz , cut into 1" rounds
  • Onions, medium - 1 , diced
  • Garlic - 4 cloves , chopped
  • Bacon - 4 slices , diced
  • Mushrooms, any button - 8 oz , quartered
  • Beef, sirloin or boneless chuck - 1 lb , 2" cubes
  • Tomato paste - 1 Tbsp
  • Flour, all-purpose - 1/4 cup
  • Thyme, dried - 2 tsp
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Black pepper - 1/4 tsp
  • Red wine - 1 1/2 cups (Pinot Noir, Cabernet, Merlot, or red blends are great options; sub beef stock)
  • Stock, beef - 2 cups
  • Bay leaves - 2
  • Parsley (opt) - 1 Tbsp , chopped
Mixed Greens Salad:
  • Vinegar, balsamic - 1 Tbsp
  • Lemon juice - 1 tsp
  • Mustard, Dijon - 1 tsp
  • Honey - 1 tsp
  • Oil, olive - 3 Tbsp
  • Mixed greens - 6 oz (sub any salad greens)
Mashed Potatoes:
  • Potatoes, russet - 1 lb , peeled and cubed
  • Sour cream - 2 Tbsp (sub plain or Greek yogurt)
  • Butter - 2 Tbsp


  1. Carrots / Onions / Garlic / Bacon - Prep as directed. Combine carrots and onions in one container. Store garlic and bacon in their own containers. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Make vinaigrette - Whisk together vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, and honey. Add olive oil while whisking. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  3. Mushrooms / Beef - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
  4. Dry and season beef - Pat beef dry with paper towels. (This will help it to brown.) Season with some salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
  5. Slow cook beef - Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add bacon and saute until lightly golden brown, ~5 minutes. Transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Add beef to bacon grease and cook on all sides until deep golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer beef to plate with bacon. In remaining fat in pan, saute carrots, onions, and mushrooms until onions are tender, ~5 minutes, adding some oil if the pan starts to look dry. Add garlic, tomato paste, flour, thyme, salt, and black pepper. Stir until no dry spots remain. Pour wine over vegetables and bring to a simmer. Add beef stock and bay leaves. Return beef and bacon to pot and bring back to a simmer. Simmer everything together for 5 minutes. Transfer to a slow cooker and cook until the beef is very tender, low for 8 to 10 hours (high for 4 to 5 hours). (If you prefer to use the oven: Cover the Dutch oven, leaving the lid slightly ajar, and bake the dish in the oven at 325F / 163C for 2 hours.) (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
  6. Potatoes / Parsley (if using) - Prep as directed.

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  1. Place potatoes into a saucepan and cover with cold water and some salt. Cover and bring to a boil.
  2. Remove lid from potatoes and simmer until potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork, 12 to 15 minutes.
  3. Drain potatoes and let sit in a colander for ~5 minutes to allow the steam to escape (this creates creamier potatoes vs. liquidy potatoes).
  4. Use a masher to mash potatoes with sour cream, butter, and some salt.
  5. Toss greens in vinaigrette until dressed to your liking.
  6. Taste beef stew and season with some more salt and / or pepper. Remove and discard bay leaves.
  7. Serve stew over mashed potatoes with parsley on top (if using). Enjoy salad on the side.



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