Squeaky Clean Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon
After I purchased my very first slow cooker a couple of weeks ago, I decided to test it by making a “really-busy-with-work-and-all-got-no-time-to-prep-just-dump-everything-in-the-bowl-then-press-the-on-button-and-be-on-your-way” version of a classic: Beef Bourguignon.
For that rendition, everything got conveniently dumped into the bowl of the slow cooker before being placed in the fridge to marinate overnight. Then, in the morning, it was set to cook slowly all through the day while the “chef” was out to work.
While the resulting stew was mighty excellent, I also wanted to test the “It’s-the-weekend-and-I-have-plenty-on-time-on-my-hands-so-I-can-brown-the-meat-and-all” method.
Although I was hoping to use the exact same ingredients, I was forced to make a few very minor tweaks to that list.
For starters, adding red wine to my stew was not an option this time as I am currently in the middle of a 30-Day Reset, as a part of the “Your Personal Paleo Code” program by Chris Kresser. As such, I have eliminated all forms of alcohol from my diet for the entire month of March. No choice, that had to be left out!
Secondly, I couldn’t find my beloved frozen pearl onions anywhere, so I was in no position to add them… I decided to sub rutabaga instead. Not a bad choice at all, if you ask me!
Apart from that, this second version is pretty true to the original.
Only the prep will be slightly different this time. Since we’re going to be browning the meat, we want to make sure that it’s patted really nice and dry, as well as sprinkled with a generous dose of salt and pepper.
It’s always a good idea to prep your vegetables ahead of time! Peel, chop, slice and put all of this neatly away…
Now time to brown the meat. The secret to getting a nice golden crust like this is to 1- get your pan scorching hot, 2 – add plenty of fat, 3 – do not crowd the pan; work in several batches if you have to, and lastly, DO NOT move that meat around!
Just by looking at it, you should be able to tell that a nice crust has formed underneath. It’ll sort of show from the side… Only when that’s happened will you flip your meat.
Do the exact same thing on the other side. No playing with the meat. Just leave it be. And feel free to add more fat if you feel more is needed.
Once all the meat has been cooked, remove it to a bowl to catch all the juices, lower the heat to medium, add a little more fat to the pan if necessary then throw in the onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the onion is fragrant and becomes slightly translucent.
Add your broth, red wine vinegar, Dijon Mustard and bring to a simmer. Add the meat and meat juices back to the skillet, stir and kill the heat.
Transfer the contents of your skillet to your slow cooker then throw in the carrots, rutabaga and mushrooms that you prepped earlier.
Stir one final time, add fresh rosemary and bay leaves then put the lid on and set to cook for 6 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
Once your stew is fully cooked and to your liking, you’ll probably want to thicken that sauce some.
To do that, ladle about a cup of the cooking liquid into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Meanwhile, in a small container, mix tapioca starch and water together. Pour that into the boiling liquid and cook for a minute, whisking constantly, until thickened.
Transfer this thickened sauce back to the slow cooker and stir until well incorporated.
And now you are ready to serve! Ah! I wish you could smell this!
Despite the absence of red wine, this stew definitely does not lack flavor. In fact, I would say it has even more depth in that area than the previous version. The browning of the meat definitely played a big role in adding mucho gusto to this dish.
Plus, I was able to go get some of the pungency that is usually provided by the wine by adding wine vinegar and Dijon mustard. You’d be surprised what miracles these two ingredients combined can do to the up the zing factor of a dish.
Honestly, I much preferred this version to the previous one. Oh, I’m not saying that I would never make the original ever again, but I will definitely reserve it for those circumstances where time is really of the essence.
You can be certain that if time permits, I will definitely favor this version. It does require slightly more effort, takes a little bit more time and dirties a tad more dishes, but it’s all entirely worth it.
I think that next time, I will make a double batch. I’m sure this freezes wonderfully!
Oh, and I will add red wine, too! Just because…
Slow Cooker Squeaky Clean Boeuf Bourguignon
- 2 lb grass-fed beef stew meat
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 small rutabaga, peeled and diced
- 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary, whole
- 2 Bay leaves
- 1 tsp Himalayan salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 cups bone broth
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced
- 2 tbsp tapioca starch
- 2 tbsp water
- Slow Cooker
- Pat the meat dry and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
- Melt a generous amount of healthy cooking fat such as lard, ghee or coconut oil in a heavy skillet set over high heat.
- Add the meat in a single layer, making sure that the pieces do not touch, and cook until brown on all sides. Work in several batches if you have to so you don’t overcrowd the pan. Remove the cooked pieces of meat to a bowl to collect the juices.
- Once all the meat has been cooked and set aside, lower the heat to medium, add a little more fat to the pan if necessary then throw in the onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the onion is fragrant and becomes translucent.
- Add the broth, red wine vinegar and Dijon Mustard and bring to a simmer. Add the meat and meat juices back to the skillet, stir and kill the heat.
- Transfer to slow cooker, add carrots, rutabaga, mushrooms, rosemary and bay leaves
- Cook the stew on low for 8 hours or on high for 6 hours.
- Once your stew is fully cooked and to your liking, ladle about a cup of the cooking liquid into a small saucepan and bring to the boil.
- Meanwhile, in a small container, mix tapioca starch and water together. Pour that into the boiling liquid and cook for a minute, whisking constantly, until thickened.
- Transfer this thickened sauce back to the slow cooker and stir until well incorporated.
- Serve immediately (don't forget to fish out rosemary sprigs and bay leaves)
If you’ve tried this recipe, please take a minute to rate the recipe and let me know how things went for you in the comments below. It’s always such a pleasure to hear from you!
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75 Comments on “Squeaky Clean Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon”
Who cares about red wine when the end result looks this amazingly good? Seriously, this is one legit beef bourgignon, I’m sure Julia Childs would grant her seal of approval!
You think so? Nah… not without the red wine, she wouldn’t.
Mind you, maybe if she’s tasted it… AH! One can always dream! 😀
Seriously! I ever time I see this dish I think of the “Julie & Julia” movie. 🙂 LOVE IT!
This version looks so comforting and amazing. Can’t wait to try it Sonia, great recipe and photos per usual. You never disappoint. 🙂
Ah, now you are making me want to watch that movie again… I might sit myself down in front of it sometime this week! And thank you so much for your kind words, Krista. You’re too sweet! 🙂
Sonia you’re making so hungry right now I swear people on the bus can hear my tummy rumbling! This boeuf bourguignon looks SPECTACULAR !!
LOL! Too funny Marie. And so very kind of you to say! Thank you! 😀
Have yourself a lovely day, my dear!
Thank you for this recipe! It’s busy doing it’s thing in my slow cooker as we speak! Smells amazing! What would you serve this with, Sonia?
A spoon? 😉
Seriously, Storm, I really don’t know. You stumped me here. I never even thought of actually serving this with something. To me, it’s a complete dish in itself and doesn’t need a side dish!
So yeah… I think I’ll have to stick to my first answer. A spoon! 😉
I am making this and serving some mashed cauliflower to soak up those juices. We don’t do grains but I can’t let them go to waste!
What a fantastic idea! 🙂
Morning!i was going to make this for dinner Friday night. I don’t have the bone broth, can I use beef broth instead?
Love all you recipes! We make your stuff all the time!
Why absolutely, Connie! I will be just as good! And thank you for your kind words, real happy to hear! 🙂
Made this last night for dinner with cauliflower rice.. DELICIOUS! Thanks for sharing 🙂
Thanks for letting me know, Hannah. I greatly appreciate it. And really glad to hear you liked the recipe, too! 🙂
AMAZING!!!!! Made this dish tonight and my family could not stop raving about it. Just so flavourful and delicious!! A dish I will definitely be making again….and I am going to check out your other recipes right now!!! Thank you for sharing!!!
YAY! So very happy to hear and thank YOU so much for taking the time to let me know, Karen. This is pure gold to me and you, are a real gem! 🙂
I’m not sure about the paleo-ness, but I’ve used a combination of apple juice and ACV in place of wine before with fantastic results.
And I agree with the idea of the Dijon mustard. I like to add fresh ground mustard seed to my chilis and stews.
I made this today and just served it over mashed cauliflower. YUM! Talk about comfort food. Thanks so much! I’ll be using this recipe again soon!
Must’ve been super good indeed with the cauli-mash! Glad to hear the recipe was to your liking, Jessica, and thanks a bunch for taking the time to let me know! 🙂
What a lovely recipe! My house has smelled wonderfully since I browned my stew meat, and I used the vinegar substitution that you recommended. This recipe is simply delightful! The best crock pot dish I have ever made. Thank you!
Thank you so much for your kind words, Kelly, that is SO very nice of you to say! I’m real happy to hear that this recipe was to your liking and sincerely appreciate your taking the time to let me know. You rock!!
I found the dish extremely ciinegar tasting. I used the 1/4 cup as written in recipe. Please help
My hubby and I LOVE this recipe. I was a bit skeptical, because at first I thought that this was just a traditional “Beef stew”… and clearly it is not. It is SO much more than that.
After doing Whole30 with my hubby about 6 months ago, I’ve been wanting to go 80% Paleo(20%=not so paleo)… still can’t give up cheese &creamer in our coffee & we still eat bread @ family gatherings/restaurants.. But slowly but surely getting there!
Thank SO much for your awesome recipes! You’re making losing weight/getting healthy waaaay easier!
Thank YOU so much for your amazing feedback, Cassie, talk about making my day! 😀 You totally rock, and stick with it, you’ll see: paleo gets easier and easier with time. It’ll eventually just come naturally. (although I don’t think it’s possible for anyone to be 100% perfect 100% of the time. We still need to be realistic!)
Making this as I speak! Literally… It’s in the crockpot and I’m so excited to try it tonight 🙂 I’m glad I read the comments too because I was trying to decide to serve it over rice or not, I’m definitely going with mashed garlic cauliflower too. I’m also using coconut flour instead of tapioca starch because I’m out and my grocery store didn’t have any in stock (apparently it’s now a hot commodity?) hope it works just as well.
Awesome! Hope the stew was to your liking, Britta! 🙂
I am wanting to make this next week but I need to know whether to double it or not. I have a 7 quart crock pot and I need to feed us two meals with it. How big of a crock pot do you use. When you say 4-6 servings is that adult size? child size? 1 bowl per serving? I’m excited about trying this. I have made Julia Child’s recipe before and it was delicious. Can’t wait to have it as a soup!
I used a 7 quart slow cooker, Jewelz. As for portion size, this always depends on the diner… so I would say this serves 4 hungry individuals, 6 if diners aren’t that hungry or if something else will be served on the side.
I made this today and it was absolutely delicious! Thank you so much.
Happy to hear you liked it, Julie! Thanks for taking the time to let me know. That’s greatly appreciated! 🙂
I made this today, and it was fantastic. I followed all of your directions, except I added a bit more carrots, and a bit more broth to go along with them. And since I’m such a sucker for veggies, I’ll add another cup or so of broth and I’ll double up on the carrots and mushrooms when I reheat the leftovers.
I’ve ended up with a pretty restrictive diet, and recently had to eliminate nightshades, so having such a yummy beef stew(ish) recipe, sans tomatoes and potatoes, makes my tummy happy, and the non-Paleo/nightshade-free/grain-free/etc. folk in the house have no idea they’re eating good stuff. Thank you!
Yay, so very happy to hear, Michelle! Thank you so much for the awesome feedback, too. I greatly appreciate you taking the time to let me know! 🙂
I’m so excited about this dish!! I’m making it right now. the store did not have any turnips or bay leaves. How badly will that affect the recipe??
I’m afraid I may be a little late with my answer (sorry, currently on vacation…) but you will do just fine without them, Kalei.
Wow, I made this last night and just had bowl for lunch, delicious – so much flavor!
So very happy to hear, Darlene! Thanks a bunch for letting me know, too. It’s always a pleasure to get good feedback!
I made this last week using the venison stew meat we had on hand and we ate it three different times. Now four days later I’m making it again with elk meat this time. I am madly in love with this dish. I’ve opted out of using the slow cooker and have been simmering it on the stove in my dutch oven which is a little quicker. This is definitely a new staple recipe. We can’t get over the fact that it truly is guilt free! I also must commend you on the red wine replacement using vinegar and dijon.. Delicious! Thanks Julie!
Just in case anyone else decides to go stovetop rather than crockpot, I doubled the broth, vinegar, arrowroot starch, and dijon mustard. I also opted to use a full pound of whole mushrooms rather than the half pound of sliced I did last time and it was WONDERFUL! The fifteen year old who refuses anything other than meat and potatoes even ate them, which is saying something huge.
So happy to hear you and yours like the stew that much, Monica. And kudos to you for adapting the recipe and making it your own! Thanks for sharing your tips, too. That’s greatly appreciated!
I made this last night and I fell in love. Definitely on my list of regulars!
Yay! So very happy to hear, Rustie. Thanks a bunch for letting me know! 😀
Hi, this recipe looks amazing and I would very much like to try it. I follow the Autoimmune Protocol and can’t have mustard, any ideas on what I could substitute?
Do you think it can be slow cooked on the stow in a regular pot? If it’s just lighty simmering for 8 hours?
The dish looks amazing! A must try, but without the mustard though.
Probably, although I doubt that it will take so long to cook, you’ll probably have to cut that by half, and make sure to keep an eye on the liquid level, to make sure you don’t ever run out…
What if I CAN find the frozen pearl onions? What’s the measurement?
As much, or as little as you like, Amy! 😀
In this other recipe, I used half a pound and it worked great, so you might want to start roughly that amount.
Just finished making this and it smells divine! Yum yum can’t wait to dig in!
are there potatoes in this recipie? I don’t see them on the ingredients but I see them in pictures?
Not sure where you see potatoes, but there are no potatoes in this recipe… only carrots, rutabaga and mushrooms.
Ahhh I am sorry it’s the rutabaga I am seeing! Excited to make this for dinner! Wanted to make sure I was doing it right ?
Awesome! I hope you like it, Jessie. And I’m sure it would turn out just as good if you were to use potatoes instead of the rutabaga! 🙂
Tried it for my super bowl guests and family. It was very disappointing. I guess my french roots can’t sacrifice too much of the taste.
Any way I can substitute the bone broth? I don’t have any and I don’t have time to make.
You could very well use beef broth instead.
Can I freeze this after cooking?
I love this recipe and have done it before but without the the red wine and I’m now wanting to do it again but with the red wine 😉
When would I add it is it with the bone broth on straight into the slow cooker?
Thanks for the recipe
Absolutely, Alex. I would replace a cup of the bone broth by a cup of red wine, simple as that!
Just made this recipe. Delicious, even without the wine.
Super happy to hear, Jill! Thanks a bunch for letting me know, I always appreciate getting good feedback! 🙂
The dish was very good but the mushrooms tasted off. Any ideas what may have gone wrong?
Perhaps your mushrooms had gone bad?
Thank you for this recipe Sonia! I’ve lost count of how many times I made it throughout our winter and our chilly start to Spring (Canberra, Australia). I’ve made it with the red wine vinegar and with red wine and both were delish. I’ve also been either adding some sweet potato chunks, or serving it with sweet potato mash, which hubby loves.
Ah, but you are so very welcome, Nikki! The pleasure is all mine, really. And thank YOU so much for the awesome feedback. You have no idea just how much I appreciate that!
I too found this recipe too vinegar-ey tasting…and 6 hours on high did not soften the beef enough
Real sorry to hear, Rebecca!
i used real red wine instead. richer flavor without the vinegar taste
Can you sub the rutabaga for maybe butternut squash or sweet potatoes? Also, onions and mustards HATE me…is it safe to leave those out or do I need to suffer? ????
I’m also not afraid of red wine…would I just swap out the 1/4 cup of red vinegar for real wine?
Looks amazing…can’t wait to try!
All sounds like great subs/swaps to me! And don’t worry about leaving the onions and mustard out. No need to suffer!
I would like to make this in a dutch oven, in the oven. How long and what temp should I use? Also, can cranberry juice be substituted for wine or vinegar. Thank you!
I dunno Laura… I’m guessing about 3 to 4 hours at 350F? As for the cranberry juice, sure you could, but the flavor would not be the same. Love the idea, though… very interesting!!
I absolutely loved this. The red wine .makes a HUGE difference. I’m making it again tonight and am already excited!
I made this for dinner tonight and it was excellent!! I will definitely be making it again!!
Made this last night, and my husband and daughter both ate it, even though neither are fans of anything resembling stew. I also subbed potatoes for the rutabaga, and it worked out great. One question – could you prep all of this the night before, and then throw it in the crockpot to cook the next morning?
I really wouldn’t see why not, Laura!