This recipe for Low-Carb Beef Bourguignon Stew can be made in an Instant Pot or a slow cooker. I’ve altered this traditional French stew recipe so it can be part of a low-carb, keto, Atkins, diabetic, Paleo, gluten-free, grain-free, or Banting Diet.
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Beef Bourguignon has always been one of my favorite recipes. One thing I love about this dish is that it’s hearty and warming. Additionally, the rich savory flavors make it a meal your whole family will love.
I based this recipe for Low-Carb Beef Bourguignon Stew on Julia Child’s version in her cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking. While pearl onions are traditional in this dish, I felt they would add too many carbs for my low-carb audience.
Because of this, I substituted a small amount of chopped onions to distribute the onion flavor throughout the stew with fewer carbs than loads of pearl onions.
Another change I made to the dish is to use celery instead of carrots. Celery gives the stew substance and flavor, but with fewer carbs than carrots.
In true French tradition, I used mushrooms to give the stew that earthy richness. Finally, bacon gives it that smokey goodness and tantalizing flavor that only bacon can deliver.
Another alteration I made to this stew is to use xanthan gum as a thickener. While xanthan gum works well as a thickener, keep in mind that it’s more powerful than most thickeners–A little goes a long way!
To keep the xanthan gum from clumping, I stir it in the with the oil left in the bottom of the pan before any liquid is added. For more information on xanthan gum, check out this article on xanthan gum uses and alternatives.
I have given instructions to make this stew in both an Instant Pot and a slow-cooker. I have tested both ways of cooking it and I love them both.
The Instant Pot delivers loads of flavor and tender meat in a short period of time, but the slow cooker gives a richness to the dish that only cooking at a low temperature can deliver. If you have them both, do what works for your schedule. If you only hove one, then, lucky you, you won’t need to make this difficult decision!
This Low-Carb Beef Bourguignon Stew can be made ahead and reheated. Like our Low-Carb Italian Sausage Soup-Instant Pot Recipe, and our Low-Carb Slow-Cooker Vegetable Beef Soup this soup can also be frozen and eaten later. I love serving it over riced cauliflower to make a whole meal. Enjoy!
Low-Carb Beef Bourguignon Stew
This recipe for Low-Carb Beef Bourguinon Stew can be made in an Instant Pot or a Slow Cooker. I've altered this traditional French stew recipe so it can be part of a low-carb, keto, Atkins, diabetic, Paleo, gluten-free, grain-free, or Banting Diet.
- 4 slices bacon Sliced crosswise
- 1 1/2 pound stew meat cut into 1 1/2 -2 inch cubes and dried with a paper towel
- 4 ounces white onion (about 1 small)
- 2 stalks celery sliced
- 8 ounces mushrooms thickly sliced
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1 cup dry burgundy wine
- 1 cup beef stock (or low-salt broth)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
Instant Pot instructions:
With cover off of the Instant Pot, choose the sauté setting. When the "hot" indications shows, add the bacon. Cook bacon, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Remove to a paper towel lined plate. Do not discard bacon grease.
Add half of the beef to the Instant Pot. Chunks should not be touching. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Allow the first side brown before turning. Brown all sides and remove to a plate. Repeat for the other half of the meat. If the Instant Pot turns off during this process, set it to Sauté once again.
Discard all but 1 tablespoon of drippings from the pot. (If there is less than 1 tablespoon, add about a tablespoon of butter or preferred oil to the Instant Pot) Continuing on the sauté setting, add onion and celery to the pot. Allow to cook until just starting to soften. Add mushrooms. Cook vegetables until mushrooms start to soften. Stir in garlic and cook for one minute. Transfer to a plate
If there isn't any oil left in the pot, add about a teaspoon. Add xanthan gum to the pot. Stir to distribute oil through the xanthan gum. Pour in burgundy and stir, scraping up browned bits. Bring to a simmer and simmer until wine starts to thicken. Add beef broth. Stir in tomato paste, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer until broth has thickened enough to coat a spoon. Return vegetables browned chunks of beef (along with the drippings), and bacon to the pot. Stir in salt and pepper.
Cover Instant Pot. Position steam release handle to "Sealing". Choose the Meat/Stew function and press +/- buttons to adjust time to 30 minutes. When stew is done, use the Quick Release method (consult Instant Pot instruction manual) to vent the Instant Pot. Press Cancel. Be sure the float valve is down before opening the lid.
Taste and adjust seasoning. Remove bay leaf and sprinkle with parsley before serving.
Slow cooker instructions: (add 5 hours and 30 minutes to cooking time)
Heat a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. When the pot is hot, add the bacon. Cook bacon, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain then transfer to the slow-cooker
Add half of the beef to the pot. Chunks should not be touching. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Allow the first side brown before turning. Brown all sides then transfer to the slow-cooker. Repeat for the other half of the meat.
Discard all but 1 tablespoon of drippings from the pot. If there is less than a tablespoon, add a bit of your choice of oil. Continuing over medium-high heat, add onion and celery to the pot. Allow to cook until just starting to soften. Add mushrooms. Cook vegetables until mushrooms start to soften. Stir in garlic and cook for one minute. Transfer vegetables to the crock pot.
If there is no oil left in the pot, add about a teaspoon of oil of your choice. Add xanthan gum to the pot. Stir to distribute in the oil. Pour in burgundy and stir, scraping up browned bits. Bring to a simmer and simmer until wine starts to thicken. Add beef broth. Stir in tomato paste, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer until broth has thickened enough to coat a spoon. Stir in salt and pepper. Transfer to the slow-cooker and stir together with the bacon, beef and the vegetables.
Cover the slow-cooker. Cook stew on low 6-8 hours or until meat is fall-apart tender.
Before serving, taste and adjust seasoning. Remove bay leaf and sprinkle with parsley before serving.
Serving size: 1/6th of the recipe
Fat (g): 18
Carbs (g): 6
Fiber (g): 1
Protein (g): 28
Net carbs (g): 5
Looks extraordinary! Can’t wait to try!
thank you so much for a delicious easy recipe. I made the instapot version and just started keto so I had mine on top of califlower mash. Did I mention it is delicious? Absolutely a keeper.
I might be missing it, but what do you have your veggies and beef sitting in? Looks kinda like rice, but pretty sure it’s not.
Your right, it’s not rice. It’s riced cauliflower. Rice cauliflower is just cauliflower that has been grated or popped in the food processor to chop it into little rice-like pieces. For this photo, I melted a tablespoon or so of butter in a skillet, then added frozen riced cauliflower I got from Trader Joes. I cooked it for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently, the sprinkled with salt and stirred in a bit of fresh parsley.
Hi! When you press the meat/stew button, do you adjust the pressure to high or low, or do you just leave it at normal?
I did not adjust the pressure and used the default pressure.
I think the recipe is mostly fine, with an important caveat. I would strongly, strongly, strongly recommend adding the xanthan gum AFTER cooking instead of before. Kept getting the burn warning just before it would come to pressure. Cleaned out the pot and tried again three more times always with the same results. Ended up using the slow cook setting on the instant pot for the first time ever. Xanthan gum has a tendency to clump so I normally dissolve it in a tiny amount of extra oil, and mix extensively, sometimes adding a little more oil if it seems necessary. Then slowly add teaspoons (or less) of the liquid into the xanthan/oil slurry and usually that works.
I’m not sure why you had this problem. I haven’t ever had this issue with my Instant Pot. I wonder if there was something wrong with your pot. I agree that xanthan gum will clump and that is why I stir it in with the oil-covered vegetables before adding liquid.
Hi! When you press the meat/stew button, donyou adjist to low or high pressure, or do you leave it at normal? Thanks!
How can I measure 1/6 of the recipe lol…can you tell me how many cups. I am counting macros so this
will help me measure correctly…thanks!
I didn’t measure it out when I made it, but what you could do is measure it after you make it and calculate how much 1/6th of the recipe is. You could also weigh it out and then calculate what 1/6th of the recipe is. Be sure to subtract the weight of the dish you have it in. Generally, I just “eyeball it”.
Can you make this by doubling the broth instead of wine? I dont have any wine on hand today and this looks toooo good not to make right now!
It won’t taste quite the same, but I suspect it will taste delicious as well by using broth instead of wine.
I used red wine vinegar 1/2 cup and 1/2 cup water
Made this a few weeks ago (Instant pot version) and it was delicious – coming back for another go. Thank you for an excellent recipe – gotta work fast to keep the fond from charing so having everything ready to go is a must, but it is worth the effort!
Glad you enjoyed it! It’s one of my favorites for fall and winter.
I never give recipes ratings. I always tell myself to, too. THIS. Only thing I did different was cook it in a Dutch oven, probably doubled the wine, even added a smidge before serving (it cooks down too much for us Italians) and subbed in fresh thyme.
Served over rice cauliflower and didn’t miss a potato or crusty bread.
This is going to be a mainstay in my household! Thank you!
Thanks so much! You can never add enough wine!
Did you leave all the bacon grease in the pan/pot?
The bacon grease is used to brown the beef. After the beef has been browned, I discard all but about a tablespoon or so of the grease in the pan. The remaining tablespoon is used to cook the veggies in.
Just made this tonight with half beef and half lamb stew meat. It was heavenly
Can you assemble it at night in the slow cooker, refrigerate and then cook the next morning so it’s nice and hot for dinner?
I haven’t tried that, but I suspect it would work just fine. Let me know how it goes!
Pinning this and trying it this week! I love the idea of serving it on cauli rice!
This is such a good, comforting food, when it’s cold outside.
So perfect for the holiday season and these cold days ahead. So full of flavor!
This is a total comfort food win! My family would love this!
What an absolutely delicious looking beef bourguignon!! We’re expecting our first snow of the season here tonight (ugh!), so this needs to go on the menu ASAP!
Can you use agar agar or tapioca starch instead of xantham gum? Just wondering. Don’t have any gum handy to try this tonight and not sure it would affect results or not.
That would probably work to thicken it. Im not sure of the amount to use.
Just made this for the first time. Added a coarsleu chopped zucchini and red pepper, a chopped jalapeño and a bag of trimmed and halved radishes. Used 1 t. coconut flour instead of the xantham gum since i don’t have it on hand. Used the instant pot version. It was thinner than I like so just put an immersion blender in the bottom for a few pulses and stirred. It was amazingly delicious! Will def make this again.
Glad you liked it! It’s one of my favorite stews!
Wow! Excellent recipe. Truly worthy of 5 stars. I had all ingredients on hand. Easy to throw together. Only change was I used a regular pressure cooker (same cook time). Perfect for my low carb family.
You are too kind! Thanks for making my day!
It was delicious! Mine even looked like the picture!
Yay! It’s one of my favorites!
This recipe called for stew meat. I used chuck roast and found it to be really tough, so I kept cooking it “low and slow”, however, now the broth tastes good , but the meat is dry and unappetizing. What cut of meat will work best.
I’m not sure what happened here. The meat I always use for this recipe is labeled stew meat. Generally slow-cooking tenderizes even tough pieces of meat. I wonder if you accidentally cooked it throughout when browning the outside. The other thing I can think of is that the meat was particularly tough for some reason.
I will try this great looking recipe- but since I’m allergic to tomatoes I will substitute pumpkin purée- which had worked great for me in the past
Let us know how it goes!
This is so tasty!! I will be mak8ng this again, soon!
So good! We made the crock pot version yesterday and the kitchen smelled wonderful all day. We served it over a double recipe of the mash topping from your Low-Carb Creamy Cottage Pie (with Kerrygold Skellig as the cheese), roasted asparagus and a green salad. Just perfect for a cold autumn day. This will definitely be a regular on our menu plans for the rest of the autumn and winter.
What a wonderful combination!
I don’t crockpot or instant. Have you ever made it the old fashioned way using a Dutch oven such as la creuset? If so, any recommendation on cook times and temp? Oven v stove?
Yes! You can cover it and put it in the oven at a temp that simmers it very slowly for 3-4 hours. I would start at 325 degrees Fahrenheit and go down from there.
I don’t keep any wine on hand and am wondering how much taste difference it would be without it. Is there anything else that can be used in place of wine? Maybe balsamic vinegar?
You could just use additional beef broth/stock instead. It will change the flavor, but still be good, just different.
Made recipe but substituted cornstarch for xanthan gum. It is delicious. I will put this into rotation.
I’m always happy when one of my recipes makes it in the regular rotation!
This recipe was exceptional! Definitely company worthy. Excellent blend of flavors, and not too difficult to make. Thank you so much!
Made this tonight and it was wonderful. Had to omit the bacon but everything else I had. Might just use half a cup of stock next time as it was a bit runny but tasted delicious.
Yep, bacon is a bit tough to get these days! Glad you enjoyed it!
This was delicious! I made it on the stove top and let it simmer for about 1.5 hours, I would’ve waited longer but I was starving and it was still so delicious.
Waiting is the hard part!
This is tied for first place in my list of keto dinner recipes! It is absolutely sublime and even my non-keto friends are big fans. It was the first recipe I have tried that uses xanthan gum, and I will be experimenting more with this ingredient because so many keto sauces I have made have ended up rather thin and watery owing to the lack of a roux. I used beef shin (which I think is called ‘shank’ in America) because it is my ‘go-to’ cut for any dish that is going to spend eight hours in a slow cooker – and I served it with cauliflower mash because that is such a great vehicle for the gravy! Oh, and I substituted a sachet of bouquet garni for the thyme and bay leaf, just because I happened to have some lying around.
* By the way – the recipe with which this is tied in first place is a gorgeous beef bulgogi by Jennifer Banz. I really can’t decide which one I prefer because they are both so good! Thanks for the recipe, Annissa!
** Also by the way – the cauliflower mash is really easy. Just break a cauliflower up into small florets and steam them for about 15-20 minutes until mushy, Then blitz them in a food processor with a couple of tablespoons each of butter and cream cheese and a little seasoning.
Thanks so much Tim! I really try to make recipes that even non-keto people enjoy. It is an honor to be tied for first place in your book.
Can I sub the burgundy wine for another red wine like a petite Syrah?
I have been on a keto diet for 7 weeks now, I made this last night , and it was the best thing that I have tasted in a long time! I made the instant pot version with a few changes (I didn’t have any celery or parsley). I put it over rice for my husband and I ate it without anything else.
Thanks so much for a great recipe
I’m so glad it worked out for you and you both enjoyed it!
Just made this tonight and it was very tasty, but the weirdest thing happened when I did the quick release venting on the Instapot – liquid also came spewing out – like a lot!!!! I have never had this happen before and also I do check to make sure the contents are not over the limit line in the Instapot. I read some trouble-shooting posts about this afterwards and it seems that if you do quick release venting sometimes this can cause the contents to rapid boil and spew upwards. Now I know… next time I think I will let it sit a few minutes before venting. Still very tasty. I also didn’t have wine, but with the other cup of beef broth put in about 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar which made it a little “winey”. Very good recipe. Thanks!
Hmmmm…I’ve never had that happen. Sounds scary! I’m going to change the recipe to let sit for 10 minutes before releasing. I don’t want it to happen to anyone else!
Followed the recipe exactly as written for the slow cooker. Served with cauliflower (and rice for my non-keto family members) and it was a huge hit! So easy to throw together and the aroma while cooking was amazing. I hope you’ll continue to add main dish recipes that have been made keto-friendly!
Lovely adaptation of the classic recipe. It was a great choice to minimize (but not remove) the onions and replace the carrots with celery. I made in it my slow cooker on low and used arrowroot starch to thicken (only one tbsp) which raised the carbs a little bit but is still Paleo. I subbed the wine with a little vinegar/stock combination since I no longer have wine (let alone grape juice) in the house for the other recommended burgundy subsitutions. One thing, wouldn’t it be “Beef Burgundy” in English and “Boeuf Bourguignon” in French? Maybe I’m old school but I thought you translated both words or left both alone.
Thanks for your comments. You are probably correct that I should have used the French spelling for beef as well. I used “beef” because I thought it would be easier for people to find it.
Hi, which wine did you use?
I don’t drink red wine and wouldn’t have a clue as to which one to use.
I use a dry burgundy in this recipe. It also works with a red cabernet or a merlot.
I have made Julia Child’s Beef Burgundy and it is very time intensive. How wonderful to find one that works with my keto diet. This recipe was just amazing; bursting with rich, deep flavors. It’s a favorite of ours for sure. Also this was my first time using Xanthum Gum. I’ve been so scared to use it and it worked PERFECTLY in this recipe! Thank you ladies, for making such a wonderful recipe for us!
Yay! Glad this version works for you!