French Bœuf aux Quatre Épices
- 1.25 lb beef stew
- 7 oz bacon
- 5 carrots cut into 1-inch slices
- 10 small shallots peeled
- 2 cloves garlic peeled, crushed
- 5 cups beef or vegetable broth
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 4 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp flour
- potato croquettes or dumplings, boiled or mashed potatoes, gnocchi, or thick noodles of your choice
- lettuce or cucumber salad with a light lemon dressing
Culinary Spice Kit
- white pepper, cloves, ginger, nutmeg
- In a large POT, melt the butter. Add the onions whole and the bacon. Cook over medium-low heat until golden, stirring constantly. Scoop them out and set aside.
- In the same POT, cook the meat over high heat until it turns brown, stirring frequently.
- Add the carrots and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Sprinkle the meat with flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
- Add the broth, mix, and scrape the bottom. Return the bacon and onions.
- Add the tomato paste, garlic, and Quatre Épices spices. Season with salt to taste. Mix well.
- Bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat for 3 hours, stirring every 30 minutes.
- Step (1) - Add 1 lb mushrooms.
- Step (2) - Skip this step.
- Step (4) - 1 tbsp flour is enough for this version.
- Step (5) - Use not more than 2 cups of broth.
- Step (7) - Cooks fast in only 30 minutes
Optional/ Variations ▪ Substitute beef with lamb or rabbit. ▪ Substitute 1-2 cups of broth with red wine. ▪ In the end, stir 1/2 to 1 cup of heavy cream into the sauce, and bring it to a boil. Adjust salt. ▪ Instead of the heavy cream, top your plated meal with a dollop crème fraîche.