Beans Bourguignon

The classic dish Beef Bourguignon gets a makeover to turn it into a vegetarian delight.

beans bourguignon 1

I am so fortunate to have a child who loves good food and is eager to try everything and anything. In fact, the more gourmet or exotic the better. After recently hearing a classmates speech on how animals are treated in the name of fast food, my daughter decided to become a vegetarian and is now discovering new foods and new food combinations.

One new recipe I tried had her smiling as the smell of simmering onions, carrots, mushrooms, thyme, and rosemary filled the house. I stumbled upon a recipe for beans bourguignon in the Vegetarian Cooking cookbook by the Culinary Institute of America and knew it was right up her alley. The recipe uses kidney beans in place of the traditional beef and so I decided to try it last week. The dish came together quickly, the flavours were rich, and it was a big hit at the dinner table.

The original recipe is cooked in a short time on the stove top and while I chose to start it that way, I switched it to the slow cooker for a few hours to allow the flavours extra time to fully develop. I also omitted the flour to make the recipe gluten-free (it wasn’t necessary in the end). As always, be sure to use high quality ingredients for the best results: select a good red wine and high quality tomatoes.

This recipe is a keeper for us.

The recipe posted below includes my modifications (removing the flour and the tempeh ) and has instructions for using the slow cooker. The original recipe can be found here.


  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 shallots, diced
  • 4 carrots, peeled, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 ounces cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 3 cups kidney beans, cooked
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the shallots, carrots, and garlic, and cook until the shallots are translucent, about 3–4 minutes.
  2. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook until they start to become tender, about 4–5 minutes more.
  3. Stir in the thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, tomatoes, broth, and half of the wine.
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20–25 minutes.
  5. Add the rest of the wine, beans, salt, and pepper. Continue to simmer until good flavor develops, about 10–15 minutes more. Remove and discard the herbs and bay leaf.

Recipe adapted from Culinary Institute of America.

*My slow cooker steps: follow the directions through steps 1-3, adding all the wine at step 3. Bring the ingredients to a boil then transfer to a slow cooker. Cook on low until the vegetables are tender, about 4-6 hours (depending on your slow cooker). Add the beans about 1 hour before serving and season to taste. Remove the herbs and bay leaf before serving.


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