Last evening, I enjoyed this tasty slow cooker version of beef bourguignon, and today, I had some of the leftovers for lunch. What a treat! I used a cheaper cut of beef for this recipe, but I still got excellent results, thanks to the ability of the slow cooker to tenderize even the toughest cut of meat.

Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon

Here’s what you need:

  • 3 pounds of beef chuck or round roast
  • salt and pepper to season the beef
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 4 bacon slices, cut in one-inch pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup of dry red wine
  • 2 cups of beef stock
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste (Italian herb style)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 ounces pearl onions, peeled (I used frozen pearl onions that were already peeled.)
  • 3 carrots sliced into half-inch discs
  • 8 ounces baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 ounces egg noodles cooked according to the package directions, drained
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup parsley, freshly chopped, to use as a garnish for the noodles

Here’s what to do:

  • Cut the beef crosswise into one-inch thick slices. (If you place the meat in the freezer for about an hour, it will be easier to cut.)
  • Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan.
  • Salt and pepper the meat; then place it in the pan. Sauté the slices of beef, three at a time, over medium-high heat until browned on the outside and very rare in the middle, approximately 1-2 minutes on each side.
  • Remove the beef slices from the pan and place them in the slow cooker.
  • In the same pan, sauté the bacon on medium heat until lightly browned but not crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan and transfer to the slow cooker.
  • Drain all of the fat from the pan except for 2 tablespoons. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Deglaze the pan with the red wine and cook on high heat for one minute, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add this liquid to the crock pot.
  • Add to the crock pot the beef stock, tomato paste, thyme, salt, pepper, onions, carrots, and mushrooms.
  • Cook on the low heat setting for 8 hours.
  • If the sauce needs thickening, put 2 or 3 tablespoons of the sauce in a small bowl and stir in some cornstarch. Pour this mixture back into the slow cooker and stir until blended.
  • Cook the noodles according to the package directions; then drain and toss with the butter. Sprinkle the noodles with the fresh parsley and top with the beef bourguignon.

A better cut of beef, such as a loin roast, is used when making the stovetop version of this recipe; however, this naturally tender, expensive cut isn’t a suitable candidate for the slow cooker, because the long, slow cooking process will cause the meat to fall apart, especially when cooked in a large quantity of liquid. Believe me, I’d much rather use a cheaper chuck or round roast and let the slow cooker take care of the tenderizing for me. Besides, I think the tougher cuts have more flavor. Try this recipe and see if you agree with me.

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