There are few dishes packed with more comforting, deep umami, and succulent textures than a good beef stew.
And there’s no better beef stew than beef bourguignon, that French preparation of luscious chunks of meat lovingly braised in red wine, stock, herbs, and vegetables for layer upon layer of sensual goodness.
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As Julia Child said, it’s “certainly one of the most delicious beef dishes concocted by man.”
Preach it, Julia!
Each bite evokes the rain-dappled window of a Parisian bistro, a soft comforter on a cold day, and a magical dinner with friends.
It’s a dish that epitomizes the truth that food is about more than base sustenance, that the sense experience it gives us is about far more than simply filling our bellies.
Beef bourguignon teaches us that food can sustain both the body and the soul.
So, that said, the side dishes you choose either have a whole lot to live up to or they can just sit back and let the stew do all the heavy lifting.
Whichever way you answer the question of what to serve with beef bourguignon will lead your dinner down a different and delicious path.
Because truthfully, either approach can work.
A simple, humble dish of boiled and buttered potatoes, for example can strike just the right balance between adding to the meal without distracting from the star.
Or the more complex flavors of a radicchio, citrus, pomegranate salad with a sherry vinaigrette can add new, unexplored dimensions to the meal.
Vive la difference!
Beef Bourguignon Sides: Making Delish Even More Delish
So, break out that black beret, open up a good bottle of red, and start browning that beef chuck. Because it’s time to get our braise on and pick out some amazing side dishes for this classic stew.
1. Chive Mashed Potatoes
Chivey, chive, chives are the perfect add-in to creamy mashed potatoes. They’re like delicate onions and mild garlic. So, of course, russet potatoes welcome them with open arms.
And with the holidays making an appearance sooner rather than later, we’ve been thinking about switching it up.
And beef bourguignon would be an amazing Thanksgiving swap-in. Which got us thinking about stove space.
As in, no one ever has enough of it on Thanksgiving.
So, what if we threw potatoes and cream into a slow cooker?
Well, well, well.
We found a recipe that marries our love of chivey potatoes, along with our need for stove and oven space.
Grab the recipe from Courtney at Neighbor Food Blog.
2. Crusty Baguette
If you’ve ever asked yourself “what do the French serve with beef bourguignon?” – then this should be top of the list. A French classic meets a French classic.
And we couldn’t agree more. We love a good crusty baguette with our beef bourguignon.
You know the satisfaction you feel when you just rip into a good crunchy baguette and purposefully drag it through a rich sauce and pop it into your mouth?
We love that sensation too.
Oh, boy, do we love that sensation.
So, we went looking for an easy and delectable recipe and we found it from Allie at Baking a Moment.
3. Sautéed Green Beans
Bright, beautiful, green beans are the perfect side dish to beef bourguignon.
They snap, crackle, and crunch in the most satisfying way. And when they’re lightly tossed in a hearty amount of butter and garlic – well, that just means all is right in the world – and on the plate.
Using green beans the right way allows us to get these crisp little stunners on the table in mere minutes.
All hail the sautéed green bean!
4. Homemade Egg Noodles
We love toothsome noodles with our beef bourguignon.
And sure, we can reach for a package in the pantry. I mean, that’s why we keep packages of pasta in the pantry, right? To be used?
Well, sometimes it’s more fun to reach past those packages and grab the container of flour.
Rolling up your sleeves and lightly sprinkling flour on a work surface to create a weeknight version of homemade pasta is the perfect way to dress up an already incredible meal.
And we love Lauren’s recipe from Tastes Better From Scratch because it means that we can get this homemade pasta from the cutting board to the table in less than 20 minutes.
5. Winter Kale Salad
Tart and sweet.
Savory, nutty, and salty.
These are all things that we love on the plate next to beef bourguignon.
We love a salad that’s well tossed with lemon and cranberries and a little honey to boot.
Citrusy honeyed vinaigrettes pair incredibly well with hearty greens and fruit.
And – of course – the complex sauce enveloping your beef.
We found this recipe from Sandra over at Dash of Sanity that checks all the boxes for what we want in a big salad.
6. Parmesan Herb Popovers
We love all sorts of bread products with our beef bourguignon. As you can see from above, we love a good and flavorful baguette.
But our love isn’t limited to one type of bread.
We love a multitude of shapes and textures from our bread, and that’s what made us think of popovers. They have their own elegant towering profile which is breathtaking and enticing in its simplicity.
And while regular popovers are amazing, we wondered how delicious extra savory and cheesey popovers would be with our main dish.
Oh, yes. Parmesan and herb popovers are just the thing for a stunning side dish.
We love this recipe from Todd and Diane at White on Rice Couple.
7. Green Bean Potato Salad
Bright green beans love earthy potatoes, and potatoes return the favor.
And they both really love tangy Dijon and sweet balsamic vinegar.
So, when they’re all combined on a big platter next to a large bowl of beef bourguignon you know that the table is groaning in pure joy.
We found a recipe from April over at Girl Gone Gourmet for an elevated potato salad that is as delicious at room temperature as it is chilled.
8. Cauliflower and Thyme Puree
Cruciferous veggies for the win!
We love a good head of cauliflower combined with salty broth and copious amounts of butter.
When they’re combined into a single puree with earthy thyme…well, well, well, that makes a pretty spectacular base for a healthy ladleful of saucy beef bourguignon.
We really groove out to Jenn’s recipe for this delicious side dish over at Once Upon a Chef and we think you’ll find it lip smacking too.
9. Garlic Parmesan Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes
Elegant and rustic beef bourguignon deserves an equally elegant and rustic side dish.
And what could be more spoon worthy than a gratin of cheesy scalloped potatoes?
We found one with two – count them two – types of potatoes, and three – count them three – types of cheese.
Did we mention that there’s garlic? Yes, there’s garlic too.
Grab the recipe from Amanda at The Chunky Chef for all the potato-ey, cheesy, goodness.
10. Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Perfectly roasted Brussels sprouts make beef bourguignon sit up and take notice.
“Well, don’t you look perfectly browned and delectable?”
Why, yes. Yes, they do.
Savory Brussels sprouts marry perfectly with a wine-drenched beef bourguignon to really round out the plate.
And we love this recipe for its simplicity. It just really lets the veggies shine.
Grab the recipe from Joanne over at Fifteen Spatulas for all the roasted goodness.
11. No-Knead Rolls
We have one more bread recipe to round out our yeast love in this list.
In this case, it’s tangy, hearty, and perfectly baked no-knead dinner rolls.
You get to keep your hands clean, while bringing amazing perfectly browned rolls to the table.
Sop up all the sauce and feel like you’re the king or queen or princess of the kitchen.
Hear ye! Hear ye! These rolls rule the oven!
We love this recipe from Jenny Can Cook, and we think you will too.
12. Boiled Potatoes with Butter and Parsley
You know how when you’d wander into your grandmother’s kitchen as a kid, and there would be steamy condensation on all the windows, and the aroma of potatoes would enfold you?
We love that memory too.
And the thought of those buttery, rustic, and ridiculously delicious potatoes seem like an amazing pairing for beef bourguignon.
Julia Child would approve.
How to serve beef bourguignon, you ask? Beside these comforting, buttery potatoes is our unwavering reply.
We love Sandra’s recipe at Sandra’s Easy Cooking for all the window steaming goodness.
13. Arugula Salad with Blue Cheese and Cranberries
What could be more of a classical pairing with beef in a wine sauce than blue cheese?
The salty and tangy cheese really offsets the richness of the meat and sauce to create a dynamic duo on the plate.
But, to really up our side salad game, we like cranberries and walnuts to make the main dish shine even more.
And of course, if those flavors are married with peppery arugula, that just makes the salad all the better.
Grab Caroline’s recipe at Pickled Plum and get that salad bowl out of the cabinet. You have a new favorite salad to make.
What to Serve with Beef Bourguignon: How Fine the Wine?
We’ve just covered a whole range of beef bourguignon sides that can help bring out the best in your lovingly braised beef stew.
But there are plenty of other things to consider when pulling your meal together, not the least of which is the obvious: wine. It’s at the heart of beef bourguignon, both in making it and in serving it up.
A Pair of Pairing Approaches
It’s true what they say, don’t cook with a wine that you wouldn’t drink. But that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank here.
Remember this dish has peasant origins, and there are a growing number of really good mid-priced wines. So, choose a hearty red that you enjoy drinking.
Burgundy and pinot noir top the list. A red Burgundy is the traditional choice of wine with beef bourguignon. And pinot noir is the grape grown for red wines in the region.
So, if you have a pinot noir from other regions that you just love, roll with it.
But a Cotes du Rhone, a grenache, a merlot, or a cabernet Sauvignon can lend the depth of flavor to your stew that it craves.
An inexpensive malbec or Australian shiraz can also add just the right heartiness and deepness to stand up to the long cooking process too.
And consider buying a second – or third – bottle for drinking.
Sure, there are other approaches to pairing a wine with your beef bourguignon, but really the most straightforward approach is to drink the wine the you’re cooking with.
But what about other pairings for this wine-centric meal? Again, a red Burgundy – or a pinot noir – is the obvious choice and a nice Burgundy is exactly what Julia Child herself would probably suggest.
But so many other red wines, from Beaujolais to cabernet to merlot can be wonderful pairings as well. High tannin levels can play perfectly beside the tender beef and mingled complex flavors of the stew.
Salads and Light Fare
As for appetizers or other courses to serve with your hearty French stew, we suggest keeping things relatively light.
A platter of cheese gougeres or caramelized onion tartlets to pass around is a great way to get the meal going.
Because beef bourguignon is such a hearty meal, crisp, bright salads – sometimes with a bit of earthy bite – can also be a perfect starting course.
A simple green salad can be a simple option, but using other lettuces – with bitter notes and distinctly crisp textures – like endive and radicchio can be even more enticing to start off with.
Whatever wine you choose for cooking or for drinking, hopefully you now have an enticing menu waiting to be turned into a delightful and hearty meal.
Deciding what to serve with beef bourguignon can be just as enticing and classically comforting as the deep, rich stew itself.
Other French classic dishes:
- Chicken Cordon Bleu sides: It’s an entirely different kind of meal but another traditional French dish nonetheless.
- French Onion Soup sides: If you love beef bourguignon, then you love the enriching, deep flavors of this soup.