Beef Bourguignon Pot Pie

Beef bourguignon (beef burgundy) is a French stew in which the majority of liquid used is alcohol. I can’t think of a better stew to be covered in flaky pastry and roasted to golden perfection.

I use a couple of unusual techniques in this recipe. The primary thickening agent in this recipe is unflavored gelatin. The gelatin makes the sauce seriously lush. I also use MSG to give my bourguignon that nice umami mouthfeel.

MSG is my secret weapon, but it gets a bad rap. There's a lot of false information out there that stigmatizes MSG - it's literally garbage. You probably unknowingly consume MSG on an almost daily basis. MSG is naturally in things like tomatoes, mushrooms, and many kinds of cheese. It’s also the magic ingredient in this ridiculously good beef bourguignon pot pie. 

This is a very labor-intensive recipe, but it's so worth it. I love the Applewood smoked bacon in this dish. The American-styled bacon is sweet and smoky which really compliments the other flavors in this dish.  This is the perfect dish for a romantic night at home or for a small dinner party.


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces applewood smoked bacon thinly sliced
  • 2.5 lbs chuck roast cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 packets unflavored powdered gelatin
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 3 large carrots or 1 pound (Cut one carrot in half and set aside. Roughly chop the remaining carrots into 1-inch pieces.)
  • 1 large yellow onion halved and sliced
  • 4  large cloves of garlic crushed and roughly minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste concentrate
  • ½ cup cognac
  • 1 bottle dry red wine (use a decent red wine)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon MSG (MSG is good, people! Here’s an article explaining the junk science surrounding MSG)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted softened butter divided 3 tablespoons+ 3 tablespoons
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour  
  • 1, 12-ounce bag frozen pearl onions
  • 2 large portobello mushroom caps cut into approximately ½ inch pieces
  • 1 storebought or homemade pie crust dough
  • ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream (for brushing)
  • Flaky sea salt


You'll need a baking dish that holds about 6-8 cups (2 quarts). I baked my pot pie in a 9-inch pie dish and had a little bit of stew left over so I froze it. Beef bourguignon always freezes nicely. Additionally, this recipe requires at least a 7-quart enameled Dutch oven.

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Step 2

Pour the chicken broth into a bowl and sprinkle the unflavored gelatin 1 package at a time on top.

Step 3

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in the Dutch oven and add all the bacon. Fry the bacon on medium-high until it's nice and crispy (5-7 minutes).  Remove the bacon with a slotted spatula and place it on a plate. Leave all the remaining delicious bacon fat in the Dutch oven.

Now dry the chuck roast with a paper towel, and season with salt and pepper. Add a quarter of the beef to the Dutch oven and sear until it’s brown on every side (by searing the beef in batches you ensure darker browning). Place the browned beef on a half sheet pan or large platter.

Next, add the halved carrot and fry until brown. Using tongs, remove the carrot and set it to the side. Heat an additional tablespoon of olive oil and reduce the burner's temperature to medium. Add the sliced onions, season with salt and pepper, and fry for 3-5 minutes until softened. Once the onions soften, add the minced garlic and cook for about 2 minutes or until the garlic is fragrant.  Stir the tomato paste into the onion/garlic mixture and pour the cognac on top. Let the alcohol boil off (DO NOT FIRE THE COGNAC, there isn't enough in the pot to do this safely and the flames will get too high). Add the browned beef, onions, bacon, thyme, and stir it all together.

Next, add the bottle of wine, MSG, and the gelatin/broth mixture. Stir everything together and bring to a boil. Once heated on the stovetop, place on the lid and put into the oven. Cook for 1.5 hours. 

Step 4

In a small bowl mix 3 tablespoons of softened butter with 3 tablespoons of flour and set aside. Remove stew from the oven and place on a burner set to medium-low heat. In a nonstick skillet heat one tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon of olive oil (medium heat). Fry the carrots in the nonstick skillet until softened, season with salt and pepper.

Once softened, add the carrots to the dutch oven. Add additional butter to the skillet and saute the mushrooms until brown and season with salt and pepper. Add the browned mushrooms to the stew. Melt the last tablespoon of butter in the skillet and pour in the bag of frozen pearl onions. Cook for several minutes and season with salt pepper before combining with stew. Once again bring the stew to a boil, carefully replace the Dutch oven lid, and place it back into the oven for an additional 30 minutes.

Step 5

Take the stew out of the oven and adjust the oven temperature to 425 degrees. Carefully ladle the stew into a baking dish. Prepare a lightly floured nonstick surface for the pie crust. Roll out the dough on the floured surface until it's about 1/4 inch thick and is big enough to overhang the baking dish by about 2-3 inches (If you're using store-bought dough just unroll it flat on your prepared surface and make sure it's wide enough to overhang the baking dish by about 2-3 inches).

Place the pie dough over the filled baking dish. Fold the edges under and crimp the crust. Cut slits in the top of the crust with a sharp knife.  Using a wet pastry brush, apply the heavy cream to the crust.  Place the pot pie on a foiled lined baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes. The pot pie is ready when the crust is well browned. Keep an eye on the crust's edge, if it's getting too dark cover the edges lightly with foil.  Allow pie to rest for 20 minutes before serving.

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