Dear Didi and Daibi,
Do you know about Boeuf Bourguignon, a famous French recipe? The step-by-step documentation of this dish was first done by Auguste Escoffier who popularised and modernised the French cooking methods. His techniques were based on Marie-Antoine Carême who is regarded as the King of Chefs and the Chef of Kings. He was an early practitioner and codifier of French haute cuisine which empashised on meticulous preparation and elaborate presentation of food. Now keeping with the tradition of haute cusine, Boeuf Bourguignon takes about 10-14 hours to cook as a traditional chef would also make the bouillon or the beef stock right from the scratch which itself takes about 4-5 hrs of cooking (and people say Indian cooking is slow!!).
I first learnt about this dish from my friends from Germany, Paruedee and Marco who saw the movie Julie and Julia and followed the cooking frenzy shown in the movie. Unfortunately when they cooked it (and I tell you it took 14 hours for them), I was back home in India . So my Romanian friend, Gabi decided to cook the dish, but with lamb (coz I my tummy goes on vacation whenever I eat beef); and all I can say about it is…mmmmmmmmm…..
Yesterday I decided to make my version of the dish, a much simpler one though which still took me 3 hrs…but the satisfied look on Niloy’s face when he had it, made the 3 hrs worth! I added some ‘Dakhina Touches’ to the dish and would provide options if someone doesn’t eat Pork 🙂
Ingredients: Serves 3
250gms Ham (or shredded goat meat)
1 large Onion
2 big cloves of Garlic
1/2 stick Leek (or 1 onion+1 big clove of garlic)
1 Red Pepper
2-3 Celery sticks (or radhuni seeds for almost similar flavour)
1 cup Red Wine
My Bouquet Garni – A twig or two of thyme, rosemary, sage, 1 Bay leaf, few peppercorns
4 tbsp Butter
3/4 cup White Flour
1 heaped tsp Baking powder
Dried herbs like Dill or mixed herbs
4 tbsp Butter
150ml warm Milk
Salt and Pepper to taste
First wash and cut all the vegetables into dices. In a big pot saute the ham/meat in 2 tbsp of butter till they are crispy and caremalised. Transfer them in a plate and to the same pot (let the caramelised burnt oil stay) add 2 tbsp of butter and throw in the onions and garlic. Once the onions and garlic are brown, add the veggies, salt and pepper powder, and cover for 5-7 mins. Then add the ham/meat, bouquet garni and wine and let the stew cook on medium heat.
Take the flour and rub in the butter, herbs, salt and pepper. Add the milk and make a sticky dough (the sticker it is the softer the dumplings are). In boiling water, drop teaspoon-sized balls made from the dough (if the dough sticks too much, apply some oil in your palms). The dumplings will rise to the top when cooked. When the whole lot is done, transfer them to the stew pot.
Check seasonings and let the whole stew simmer for another 30-40 mins on slow heat. Serve hot with freshly-made loaf or baguette!
Let me know if you guys decide to make it.
Lots of love,