Beef Bourguignon

Boeuf Bourguignon Recipe

Spend a wonderful evening with a few French classics and some wine to go with dinner! By the way, my bourguignon is included in Joan Schwartz’s charming book, deceptively innocent, called Meat and Potatoes. My secret ingredient here is crème de cassis, the wonderful black currant liqueur (there are very nice Passover substitutes, berry liqueurs)

This dish reheats very well and improves with age, so go ahead and make it a day or even two ahead.


  • 4 pounds beef or bison shoulder, cut into 2-inch cubes for stew
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • ¼ cup crème de cassis (liquor stores; Passover: use a nice berry liqueur)
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced small
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 6 bay leaves, or 1 teaspoon ground
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only (or throw the sprigs in whole, but don’t forget to
    discard them at the end of cooking)
  • 2 pounds very thin long carrots, peeled (about 20)
  • 20 very small organic potatoes, scrubbed (only organic potatoes are safe with
    skins on)
  • 2 dozen tiny onions, peeled and left whole (frozen OK: they are already peeled)


On a stove top: Place beef, water, and oil in a heavy, wide-bottom pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce to medium and cook covered for 2 hours. Add the garlic, wine, cassis, tomatoes, pepper, and bay leaves and cook 30 more minutes. Add thyme, carrots, potatoes, and onions and cook 30 more minutes.The meat should be fork-tender. Transfer meat and all vegetables on platter with a slotted spoon. If the liquid left in the pot is too thin, reduce it on a high flame until it is thickened, the consistency of maple syrup. Pour the reduced liquid over the whole dish and serve hot. Will make 8 to 10 servings.

With a Crock-Pot: Layer all the ingredients except the water (no water) in a 6-quart Crock-Pot, in the order they were given. Set the Crock-Pot on low in the morning. It will be ready for dinner (10 to 12 hours total cooking time).

21 replies
  1. Irene
    Irene says:

    Thank you for your response. I don’t think I will try that dish again. I will stick with my beef short ribs for Passover Seder. Thanks again

  2. Irene
    Irene says:

    I just made this dish. I followed your instruction for the crock pot to a T and let me tell you something…it came out terrible! I used a good cut of beef shoulder but the meat was extremely tough and chewy even though I put a good red dry wine. The potatoes are overcooked and the sauce is sour even though I used a liqueur. I am lucky that I didn’t count on this dish for my Passover Seder meal. Running to the store now to get something to make a quick dinner for my kids.

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Irene I am so sorry to hear this. Since the dish is `100% tried and true, and appears in very well-respected publications and cookbooks, I’m wondering what could have gone wrong. Off the bat, what I can think of, that would be beyond your control and mine, is: 1. tough cut of meat. 2. crockpot temperature too high. Try making it the conventional way, on a stovetop, make sure you start out with a good a tender cut of meat.

  3. Seyma
    Seyma says:

    A new classique! I cooked this dish Friday morning and kept it on warm in a slow cooker a few hours before Shabbat dinner. I was able to do the super-easy prep Thursday night, which saved me some much-needed time. My confession is that I forgot to look for the creme de cassis or berry liquer during my grocery run, but I can assure any of you in the same situation, the dish is still delicious without it. Another plus is that since the dish itself contains so many filling elements (without being too heavy), you don’t necessarily need a ton of side dishes on your table. Looking forward to making this dish again soon!

  4. sara
    sara says:

    The crockpot instructions are for a 10 to12 hour cooking period. What if this dish were to be in the crockpot 24 hours, like for shabbat, would you sugggest adding water,or doing anything differently?
    Thank you

  5. sara
    sara says:

    I bought your cookbook and I do not see any info about cooking this dish for more than 10 hours. PLease help, thanks

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Can you please clarify? So sorry I didnt understand your comment. In my recipe, I offer two options: Stove top, and crockpot. Each option comes with its respective instructions and cooking time.

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