Beef bourguignon is a classic French stew recipe. Make this low-carb, paleo & whole30 version in your slow cooker or Instant Pot.
My version of beef bourguignon has a set-and-forget simplicity that just can’t be beat on those super busy days. The flavors become so much deeper and richer when the stew is allowed to sit and just mellow while you are out taking care of your responsibilities, and you get to feel like a super hero when it’s time to eat.
What is Beef Bourguignon?
Beef bourguignon is a French beef stew dish, also sometimes called beef burgundy for the red wine the traditional recipe is made with. The tender cuts of beef fall apart and melt in your mouth when you use your slow cooker or Instant Pot. This is a hearty and flavorful stew dish that is perfect for those chilly autumn and winter nights that are fast approaching. The delicious smell of the beef, mushrooms, and onions stewing together will make your mouth water as you wait for this beef bourguignon finish cooking. For even more amazing flavor, this recipe calls for crispy bacon crumbles to be mixed in during the cooking process. Once you’ve tried this hearty and flavorful beef bourguignon stew, you’ll want to make it at least once a week for the rest of the winter!
A Healthier Version
My delicious beef bourguignon recipe is healthier than the traditional recipe being low-carb, paleo, and whole30 compliant. Winter is the time of year when it can be easy to gain some weight without knowing, so I tried making this recipe as healthy as possible to try to fight that. I’ve adapted this recipe by substituting wheat flour for arrowroot flower, taking the wine out, and using my own homemade Bone Broth as a base for the entire dish.
Adding potatoes to this recipe is optional. If you want the recipe to be low-carb, you need to omit them. To make this beef bourguignon more keto-friendly, you can omit the carrots as well. If you are going to use potatoes, I suggest you use a waxy potato like baby red or yellow potatoes.
Thickening the Stew
While low-carb, paleo, and whole30 diets don’t include regular wheat flower, there are still natural options for thickening your beef bourguignon that do fit the diet. My personal favorite is arrowroot flour, which I make a slurry out of by adding water and mixing well before adding it to my stew. Other options are cassava flour which is nut free or tapioca root starch. There are even some brands that sell a specific “paleo flour” mix that you could look for if you can’t find the arrowroot starch that I use.
Storing Beef Bourguignon
If you are anything like me, you probably like to make enough of a dish like this to have leftovers at least once during the week. I always have plenty of reusable containers (both plastic and glass work great) ready to go to store a few meals worth of leftovers in, and beef bourguignon can stay in your refrigerator in an airtight container for up to four days. This dish also freezes incredibly well and can stay in your freezer for three to four months in an airtight and freezer safe container. When I make this dish in my slow cooker and have a large amount leftover (like more than will fit in two reusable containers) I just pull the ceramic crock out of my cooker and put the whole thing in the refrigerator, but that does take up quite a bit of room. If you choose this method of storing, you can just pull the crock out of your fridge and put it back in your slow cooker on low to heat back up. I would only suggest this method when you know it will be a short time until you warm your leftovers back up since the slow cooker is not an airtight seal.
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A low-sodium version of this recipe can be found in my second cookbook, The Low-Sodium Slow Cooker Cookbook.
- 2 pounds beef stew meat (or beef sirloin or chuck roast cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces)
- 4 cups low-sodium beef broth
- 4 ounces bacon (cooked & crumbled for slow cooker, uncooked & chopped for Instant Pot)
- 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 pound carrots, peeled & chopped
- 1 pound baby potatoes, sliced (optional)
- 1 cup pearl onions
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (or more)
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon oil (for Instant Pot)
- Add all ingredients to the slow cooker. Stir to mix well.
- Cook HIGH 3-4, LOW 6-8.
- Remove bay leaves before serving.
- Turn on the pressure cooker and select sauté. Once hot, add the bacon and cook 3-5 minutes or until bacon is done. Remove the bacon using a slotted spoon and set aside on a paper towel lined plate.
- Add beef & cook until browned, 2-3 minutes on each side.
- Add the broth and if needed, deglaze the bottom of the pressure cooker by scraping all the bits off with a wooden spoon.
- Add bacon, pearl onions, carrots, mushrooms, potatoes (if using), garlic, salt, thyme, and pepper. Stir to mix well.
- Close lid and seal valve. Set high pressure and cook for 35 minutes. When done, natural release pressure for 10 minutes then manually the remaining pressure.
Cook time calculated for slow cooker.
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