Total Julia Child moment, here.
I’ve always been intimidated by “boeuf bourguignon.” I don’t know why, maybe because it’s very fancy sounding? No, can’t be that – I studied French for almost 10 years (I minored in it in college!)
I think I was intimidated because it’s supposed to be a sophisticated stew with perfectly cooked meat, and I’m not that well-versed in the art of the perfect sear.
Enter: the slow cooker.
The slow cooker is a life saver for many reasons, but mostly (and specifically, for today), it’s a life saver because it makes even the most complicated dishes and dumbs them down – literally, just dump everything in a pot and click go. Well, you have to set the time first, but you get the picture.
I couldn’t believe how amazing my kitchen smelt after this – and as someone who rarely eats red meat, I tasted some after it was done, and I did a little giggle and spoon lick a la Julia Child!
Seriously, if you’ve ever wanted to make this dish (beef or boeuf bourguignon) but couldn’t figure out how to do it without overcooking the meat or making a lackluster stew, now’s your time: grab the slow cooker, sear the meat, dump it into the cooker along with the veggies, broth, and wine (or sub more broth if you’re not using wine), and hit go!
I hate to keep saying this, but it’s totally Valentine’s Day friendly, especially if your partner is a meat-lover. Plenty of meat-y flavor in this dish, and the carrot noodles are MUCH more fun to eat than your predictable cubed carrot.
Just a note – you can add the carrot noodles in at the beginning, BUT they will fall apart, because they will be so tender. It doesn’t affect the flavor, of course, only the consistency. SO, if you want noodles, stick wit only cooking in the last hour, but if you don’t care and are just trying to set your slow cooker to get dinner on the table when you get home, add it all in at the same time!
Happy Monday, everyone – I’m traveling this week, so I’m keeping it as productive and focused as I can. I’ll be speaking at the US Chambers of Congress in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, discussing the “business of health,” as an invited speaker. Say what?!
ALSO, don’t forget to tune in today at 3:00pm EST to watch me on Facebook Live with Sur La Table, making some Italian-inspired Valentine’s Day dishes!
Nutritional Information & Recipe
Weight Watchers SmartPoints*: 16 points
*These points were calculated using the official Weight Watchers SmartPoints calculator. We are in no way affiliated with Weight Watchers, we are providing this information based on popular demand.
Slow-Cooker Boeuf Bourguignon with Spiralized Vegetables
- 5 slices bacon cubed (use thick-cut bacon if you can find it)
- 3 pounds beef chuck roast round roast, or other similar cut, cut into 1-inch cubes
- salt and pepper
- 1 large yellow onion Blade A, noodles trimmed
- 3 whole stalks celery diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 pound white button mushrooms sliced
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaves
- 1 cup chicken or beef broth + more as needed
- 1 cup red wine I used Pinot Noir
- 1 large carrot or 2 medium carrots, peeled, Blade D, noodles trimmed
- to garnish: chopped parsley
- optional if you like heat: a pinch of red pepper flakes to garnish
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the bacon. Cook the bacon until crispy and then transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
- Meanwhile, season the beef cubes well with salt and pepper.
- In one layer (careful not to crowd), add beef cubes. Sear for 1-3 minutes, then flip, and sear another 1-3 minutes or until seared on all sides. Transfer to the slow cooker and repeat with the remaining beef, working in batches until all the meat is seared and placed into the slow cooker.
- Add the bacon, onion, celery, garlic, and mushrooms to the slow cooker. Tuck the sprigs of thyme and the bay leaves in between the vegetable-meat mixture. Add the broth and wine— the liquid should almost completely cover the mixture (about ¾ of the way), so add more as needed.
- Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours. After 4 hours, add the carrot noodles quickly and then cover. Cook for another 1 hour or until beef is tender and pulls apart.
- When done, give everything a big stir to combine and remove the bay leaves. Serve in bowls and garnish with parsley and red pepper flakes, if desired.