Pressure Cooker Beef Bourguignon
Beef bourguignon or bœuf bourguignon is a really incredible dish with a depth of flavor.
The dish is often thought of as the equivalent of the French beef stew.
Mushrooms, Beef, and Bourbon – what could taste better!
What is Beef Bourguignon?
Beef bourguignon is a beef stew braised in red wine, and beef stock, typically flavored with carrots, onions, garlic, garnished with shallots pearl onions, mushrooms, and bacon.
Beef bourguignon is usually served with potatoes or mashed potato, or even alone as the flavor is amazing. However, you can also serve it with rice or pasta. Normally to make a complex flavored stew like this takes hours. However, in a pressure cooker or Instant Pot, you can have an amazing plate of food in less than an hour!!.
This dish really is great and freezes really well, in fact, you may notice the flavors intensify the second time around – when you eat one that you have frozen.
Key Flavor Enhancers for Beef Bourguignon
Commonly a deep Burgundy is used, however, that is not necessary any red wine will do. My advice is however to use the best red wine you can as it will pay off in the flavor and taste of the final dish.
Below we show a photo of Speck – which is a type of bacon that we used – it lets you develop a better flavor and also slightly chunker bacon bits – which also help improve the flavor. Lardons can also be used. If these are not available then streaky bacon also works well.
When it comes to cooking with liquor, bourbon is one of the best in fact it is one of our favorites. Its smoky and caressing caramel with a hint of vanilla flavor adds a special nuance to this beef dish. Do not skip the bourbon it really enhances and lifts the whole dish.
- 2 lb beef cut into 1-1.5 inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons of plain flour
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 5 oz of bacon see above for notes on the types of bacon to use – and the photo below
- 5 shallots or baby onion
- 1 white onion sliced
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/4 cup of brandy or bourbon
- 3 cups of red wine
- 2 cups of beef stock
- 2 bay leaves 1 teaspoon powdered
- 2 sprigs of thyme 1/2 teaspoon powdered
- 2 sprigs of parsley 1 teaspoon powdered
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 pound of small mushrooms put in whole
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- Oil the bottom of the Instant Pot container – set the sauté to high and sauté the baby onions (or shallots) and the mushrooms – Then set these aside – they will be added back at the end.
- Season the beef with salt and pepper and roll lightly in the flour. On a 6-quart Instant Pot, select the sauté [high or more] setting. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in the Instant Pot. Add the beef and cook until well browned. When you first put in the beef – leave it for 3-4 minutes until you know it is brown, and then stir to turn. Try not to turn it too much – you are trying to sear in the flavor.
- Then add the bacon to the pot and cook until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Finally, add the sliced onions and cook till the onions change to a clear look.
- Now while still on sauté add the wine and deglaze the pot by stirring with a wooden spoon. Then press cancel to turn off the pot.
- Add the rest of the ingredients now.
- Stir in so that the beef is covered with the liquid.
- Put on the lid (check the pressure release valve is closed) Pressure cook on high pressure, setting the timer to 30 minutes. Note the timer will only begin counting down once the pressure is reached).
- After the pot finishes leave it under natural pressure release. Before opening press cancel and make sure all the pressure is gone by using the quick release method to release the pressure.
- If the mix is a little runny then you can mix 2 teaspoons of cornflour in half a cup of water so that all the lumps are gone. Select the sauté setting on the Instant Pot and stir in the flour mixture – keep stirring and cook for 4 minutes or until the mixture boils and thickens. Then all you have to do is season to taste. Finally – add back in the shallots and mushrooms you cooked in step 1. Now you are ready to serve.
Prepare all your ingredients first
It really does help to get organized by getting all your ingredients measured and organized first. Why – because when you have never made a recipe before – having all your ingredients ready means that you can firstly check them off against the recipe before you start so that nothing is missing. Secondly – as you are moving through the cooking steps it lets you focus on the dish preparation rather than jumping around looking for or preparing a missed item.
We have used Bourbon in this recipe and the result was amazing – the purists might say you must use Brandy – but the Bourbon worked just fine.
Dice the Beef to a similar size
Here we show all the beef diced to a similar or even size.
Having it all a similar size helps with the even cooking and dispersal of the flavor.
Saute and Brown the Beef
Oil the bottom of the instant pot slightly and set it on saute high.
Put in the beef and leave it on one side for about 3-5 minutes for it to go brown.
Resist the urge to stir or turn your beef too early.
What you are doing in addition to browning off the beef – is searing in the flavors by searing the sides beef, thus locking in the juices.
After that side is done – repeat for the other sides and again leave them to brown.
After the first two sides are done I do resort to a more general stir for the others – leave it standing.
Add in the bacon and the onion
I really like the depth of flavor that bacon can add. So giving it a good saute so the fat is rendered just helps the overall flavor. Typically this will take about another 5 minutes till you are finished.
It is then time to just add all the other ingredients to the instant pot.
First, add the wine and use it to deglaze any material stuck on the bottom of the instant pot during the browning beef. This is important as this deglazing releases a lot of flavors.
Then add the rest of the ingredients and give them a good stir so you also have all the meat covered. Then put on the lid and follow our recipe.
Beef Bourguignon Complete
This is what the final Beef bourguignon looks like after it has finished cooking in the instant pot.
You can see a nice shiny look, which is always a good sign of a deep rich sauce and flavor
Now get ready to plate up and eat.
It was a colder evening when we made this so we felt like having the Beef Bourguignon with mashed potato. This is how Rosie plated it up – it was delicious.
You can equally serve this with a side of Rice or Pasta – both would be great.