Short rib beef bourguignon is a dinner party staple! With bacon, mushrooms, and a glossy red wine gravy, this classic French stew is a cozy and impressive meal that is secretly super easy to make. Save this recipe for holidays, parties, and date-nights at home!

Short rib beef bourguignon on a stoneware plate next to thyme, a beige linen, and a glass of red wine on a wood table.

We got our first little sprinkling of snow this AM, and it was the coziest winter morning I could ever hope for. Total fuzzy blanket, acoustic folk music, hot coffee bliss.

So of course, it only made sense to whip up a little dinner to match the weather. When it’s chilly out, I will always choose comfort food like red wine pot roast or beef stroganoff with brandy and shallots. And of course, bourguignon, which is basically the epitome of cozy in a bowl.

This stew is by and far one of my favorite meals. With fluffy potatoes or buttery noodles, it’s deeply flavorful, fall-apart tender, and beyond elegant. The recipe is also ridiculously simple but still elevated enough to serve to guests at a party. Let’s make it!

What is beef bourguignon?

Beef bourguignon is a classic French beef stew that is braised with red wine, bacon, carrots, onions, and mushrooms. Sometimes, it’s also called Beef Burgundy! The stew is simmered for hours which makes the beef melt-in-your-mouth tender. It’s beyond delicious.

Why you’ll love this recipe!

Beef bourguignon has been one of my favorite recipes since I was a kid! My mom used to make it all the time and after I went away to college, it became one of my go-tos as well. This version is based on my family’s recipe but uses short ribs instead of stew meat for even more flavor!

  • Short ribs are rich, super flavorful, and well-marbled.
  • The stew has the most amazing red wine gravy.
  • This recipe is surprisingly easy but impressive for guests.
  • It’s a go-to meal for dinner parties, holidays, & date-night at home.

The ingredient list

White and brown bowls of short ribs, carrots, onions, bacon, mushrooms, tomato paste, herbs, butter, and salt on a white counter next to beef broth and a bottle of wine.
  • Beef short ribs – you can use bone-in or boneless short ribs. I’ve tested with both! Boneless are a bit easier but bone-in gives the stew a bit more flavor.
  • Salt & pepper – I use Morton’s Kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper.
  • Bacon – this is a classic ingredient that adds saltiness and more meaty flavor. Look for thick-cut bacon for the best texture.
  • Carrots – fresh carrots will add sweetness to the stew.
  • Shallots – pearl onions are classic in bourguignon but I prefer shallots because the flavor is more delicate.
  • Herbs – a mix of garlic, bay leaves, fresh rosemary, and fresh thyme elevates this dish and makes it even more delicious.
  • Tomato paste – not every bourguignon recipe has tomato paste, but I like adding a bit for color and deeper flavor.
  • Flour – regular all-purpose flour will thicken the gravy.
  • Red wine – the best wine for beef bourguignon is one from the Burgundy region – usually Pinot Noir or Gamay. But, any dry, mild red wine will work.
  • Beef broth – my go-to is beef Better Than Bullion but any good-quality low-sodium beef broth will do!
  • Butter – to help sauté and brown the mushrooms.
  • Mushrooms – I like creminis for their meaty texture and mild flavor. Use whatever you like though!

Ingredient variations

  • Beef – feel free to use stew meat instead of short ribs.
  • Bacon – pancetta or lardons would be delicious in this recipe!
  • Onions – brown onions or pearl onions will work too.
  • Herbs – I definitely recommend fresh herbs in this recipe, but dried will work in a pinch.
  • Gluten-free – replace the flour with a one-to-one gluten-free alternative like Cup4Cup.
  • Mushroom-free – if you’re not a mushroom fan, feel free to leave them out!

How to make this recipe

Six steps to making stew. In photo 1, beef on a sheet pan. In photo 2, raw bacon in a white pot. In photo 3, the bacon is cooking. In photo 4, beef is in a white pot. In photo 5, tongs hold a seared piece of beef. In photo 6, carrots and onions in a white pot.
  1. Start by seasoning the short ribs with salt and pepper.
  2. Then, cook the bacon until it’s crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan and set it aside for later.
  3. Sear the short ribs until they have a nice brown crust.
  4. Add the carrots and shallots to the pot.

Pro tip!

You’ll want to brown the meat in batches. If you overcrowd the pan, the meat will steam instead of sear. Searing the ribs in batches will give them a nice brown crust on the outside which will add a ton of flavor!

Six steps to making short rib beef bourguignon. In photo 1, carrots and shallots are cooking in a white pot. In photo 2, the pot has tomato paste in it. In photo 3, the pot has flour in it. In photo 4, wine is being poured into the pot. In photo 5, beef broth is being poured into the pot. In photo 6, the pot has short ribs and bay leaves in it.
  1. Cook the veggies until the onions are softened. Then, tip the garlic, thyme, and rosemary into the pot.
  2. Spoon the tomato paste into the pot and cook it until it’s dark red, about 1 minute. Add the flour and cook it for 1 more minute.
  3. Stir the red wine and beef broth into the veggies until the mixture is nice and smooth.
  4. Next, pour the bacon and short ribs back into the pot. Add the bay leaves and bring the mixture to a simmer.
  5. Cover the pot and then bake the stew at 350°F (180°C) for 2-2 1/2 hours until the beef is very tender.

Quick tip

After braising for a couple of hours, the gravy should be glossy and thickened. If it’s not, you can use a roux to thicken it up. Just mix 2 Tablespoons of flour with 2 Tablespoons of softened butter. Stir about 1/3 cup of gravy into the roux. Then, bring the stew to a simmer on the stovetop and add the roux-broth mixture. Simmer, stirring often, until the gravy is thickened.

Three pictures to sauteeing mushrooms. In photo 1, a white pan has butter and raw mushrooms. In photo 2, the mushrooms are browned. In photo 3, the mushrooms are added to the stew.
  1. Right before serving, melt the butter in a large skillet.
  2. Add the mushrooms and sauté until they’re browned.
  3. Stir the browned mushrooms into the finished stew. Enjoy!

Slow cooker instructions

I usually like making this recipe in a Dutch oven, because it’s a bit more flavorful. But, a slow cooker is a great option if you need something that can cook all day while you’re out-and-about. Here’s how!

  1. Start by crisping the bacon in a pot. Remove the bacon and set it aside for later.
  2. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper, and then sear them until they’re browned on all sides.
  3. Then, combine the bacon, short ribs, carrots, shallots, garlic, thyme, rosemary, tomato paste, red wine, beef broth, and bay leaves in the bowl of a slow cooker.
  4. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours, until the beef is very tender.
  5. About 20 minutes before serving, mix 2 Tablespoons of flour with 2 Tablespoons of softened butter. Stir the roux into the stew and cook on HIGH for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the broth is thickened.
  6. Meanwhile, sauté the mushrooms in butter until they’re browned. Add the mushrooms to the beef and enjoy!

What should I serve with beef bourguignon?

Make sure you’re serving this stew with side dishes that will soak up all of the amazing red wine gravy! These are some of my go-to beef bourguignon sides.

A stoneware plate with short rib beef bourguignon on a wood table next to herbs, a beige linen, and a glass of red wine.

Storing, make-ahead, & reheating

To store leftover bourguignon, spoon the cooled stew into an airtight container. Refrigerate the leftovers for up to 5 days.

You can also make beef bourguignon in advance! Just make the stew and let it cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Then, cover the pot and refrigerate the leftovers for 1-2 days. Sauté the mushrooms right before serving and enjoy!

To reheat the leftovers, you have a couple of options. For small amounts, I usually just microwave leftovers for 1-2 minutes, until they’re heated through. To reheat large portions, add about 1/2-1 cup of beef broth to the stew. Then, cook it over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the stew is hot. (Just a head’s up, the fat might rise to the top and solidify. After a few minutes on the stove, it will melt.)

Pro tip!

I actually think this beef stew tastes even better after the flavors have had time to meld for 1-2 days. If you can swing it, I would definitely recommend making the stew the night before. If not, no worries, it’ll still taste amazing!

Helpful tools

A white plate of short rib bourguignon on a wood table next to herbs, a beige linen, and red wine.

Tips & tricks

  • The quality of beef broth is important in this recipe. It adds a deep, rich, savory flavor! I like using a good-quality bouillon but use whatever you like best.
  • Check on the the stew every 30 minutes or so. If the liquid is cooking off too quickly, add more beef broth 1/2 cup at a time, as needed.
  • If the beef is not fork tender after 2 hours, braise it a bit longer. Another 30-60 minutes should do the trick!
  • Don’t overcrowd the mushrooms when you’re sautéing them. You want them to be golden-brown and crisp on the edges, not rubbery.

Recipe FAQs

What cut is best for bourguignon?

Stew meat is the typical cut for bourguignon because it’s flavorful, and after braising for a few hours, it becomes super tender. But I personally like using short ribs because it has the savory flavor of stew meat and rich marbling which adds so much extra depth!

Why does my stew taste bitter?

If your stew tastes bitter, it’s likely because it’s overcooked. The red wine will turn bitter if it’s cooked for too long. I also recommend choosing a high-quality tomato paste, because lower-quality brands sometimes taste metallic. If your stew is bitter, try adding some butter or 1 teaspoon of sugar to round it out.

Can you overcook bourguignon?

This stew is pretty sturdy and can be braised for hours. But, if it’s overcooked, the fat will render out of the meat and become dry. It could also burn if it’s cooked for too long, so keep an eye on the dish and take it out as soon as the broth is thick and the meat is fork-tender!

Should the bourguignon sauce be thick or thin?

The broth should be glossy and thickened after braising for a few hours, like a good stew. If it’s not thickened, try adding roux to thicken it up!

What red wine is best?

Burgundy wine, like Pinot Noir or Gamay, is the most traditional. But, any dry, mild red wine will work. I usually pick a French variety since this is a French dish, but use whatever you like to cook with! When it comes to the best wine pairing with beef bourguignon, I like to serve the stew with Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, or Zinfandel.

Two stoneware plates with mashed potatoes and short rib beef bourguignon on a wood table next to herbs, a beige linen, and red wine.

More beef dinner recipes

Beef Wellington Bites with Dijon Sauce
Smoked Tri-Tip
BBQ Bacon Blue Cheese Burgers
Reverse Seared Steak with Peppercorn Sauce
Meatball Subs with Garlic Rolls
Tri-Tip Sandwiches with Garlic Aioli

If you make this recipe, I would love it if you left a star rating and review! I read every single comment and love hearing what you think about my recipes. Thank you for supporting Sunday Table!


5 from 1 vote

The Best Short Rib Beef Bourguignon

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours
Short rib beef bourguignon is a dinner party staple! With bacon, mushrooms, and a glossy red wine gravy, this classic French stew is a cozy and impressive meal that is secretly super easy to make. Save this recipe for holidays, parties, and date-nights at home!

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 pounds bone-in beef short ribs, cut into 3-inch chunks (1,589 grams)
  • Kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 pound thick-cut bacon, sliced (227 grams)
  • 3 carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks (1 cup/150 grams)
  • 2 shallots, finely diced (3/4 cup/75 grams)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced (1 Tablespoon)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste (33 grams)
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour (22 grams)
  • 3 cups dry red wine, such as Pinot Noir (708 milliliters)
  • 2 cups low-sodium beef broth (472 milliliters)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter (14 grams)
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced (227 grams)

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Pat the short ribs dry with paper towels. Then, season the ribs on all sides with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • Add the bacon to a large Dutch oven. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the bacon is crisped. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon from the pot, leaving behind the fat. Place the bacon in a bowl and set aside for later.
  • Then, working in batches, sear the short ribs in the bacon fat until they have a deep brown crust, about 1-2 minutes per side. If the pan gets dry, add neutral oil to the pan, as needed. Place the short ribs on a plate.
  • Reduce the heat to medium. Tip the carrots and shallots into the Dutch oven and cook until the onions are softened and starting to brown on the edges, about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, and rosemary and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Stir the tomato paste into the veggies and cook until the tomato paste is darkened, about 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the veggies and stir well. Sauté for about 1 minute to cook off the raw flour taste.
  • Slowly pour the red wine and beef broth into the pot, stirring constantly, until the mixture is smooth. Stir the bacon and short ribs back into the pot, making sure that the short ribs are covered. Add the bay leaves.
  • Bring the bourguignon to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, remove it from the heat. Cover the pot and place it in the middle rack of the oven. Braise the bourguignon for 2-2 1/2 hours, until the meat is fork tender and falling off the bones. The gravy should be glossy and thickened.
  • Right before serving, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms in a single layer along with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring every once in a while, until the mushrooms are golden-brown.
  • Remove the bones and bay leaves from the bourguignon and discard. Then, add the mushrooms and stir until the stew is well-combined. Taste and season with more salt and pepper, if needed. Serve with mashed potatoes, rice, buttered noodles, or crusty bread. Enjoy!

Notes

You can also use 3 pounds (1,362 grams) of boneless short ribs if you prefer. The bones add extra flavor, but either will work!
You’ll want to brown the meat in batches. If you overcrowd the pan, the meat will steam instead of sear. Searing the ribs in batches will give them a nice brown crust on the outside which will add a ton of flavor!
The quality of beef broth is important in this recipe. It adds a deep, rich, savory flavor! I like using a good-quality bouillon but use whatever you like best.
Check on the the stew every 30 minutes or so. If the liquid is cooking off too quickly, add more beef broth 1/2 cup at a time, as needed.
If the beef is not fork tender after 2 hours, braise it a bit longer. Another 30-60 minutes should do the trick!
After braising for a couple of hours, the gravy should be glossy and thickened. If it’s not, you can use a roux instead! Just mix 2 Tablespoons of flour with 2 Tablespoons of softened butter. Stir about 1/3 cup of gravy into the roux. Then, bring the stew to a simmer on the stovetop and add the roux-broth mixture. Simmer, stirring often, until the gravy is thickened.
Don’t overcrowd the mushrooms when you’re sautéing them. You want them to be golden-brown and crisp on the edges, not rubbery.
I actually think this stew tastes even better after the flavors have had time to meld for 1-2 days. If you can swing it, I would definitely recommend making the stew the night before. If not, no worries, it’ll still taste amazing!
Cuisine: French
Course: Main Course
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 475kcal, Carbohydrates: 10.9g, Protein: 59.7g, Fat: 19.9g, Saturated Fat: 7.2g, Cholesterol: 170mg, Sodium: 640mg, Potassium: 370mg, Fiber: 1.3g, Sugar: 2.2g, Calcium: 75mg, Iron: 7mg
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xo Sara Lynn

Song of the day – You Are the Best Thing by Ray LaMontagne