Boeuf aux Quatre Épices

Hearty Winter Stew

European cuisine has an interesting range of hearty stews to survive the cold season. Enjoy the deep flavor in French Bœuf aux Quatre Épices. Choose the main recipe for a beef stew  or one of its variations.

Quatre Épices

Quatre Épices or “four spices” is a French staple blend with white pepper in a prominent role. Quatre Épices is used to season hearty stews and soups, or braised root vegetables. 

The Star: White Pepper

Black and white pepper derive from the same plant but have different flavors and heat profiles. They are harvested at different stages. In the next step, to receive the white pepper, the skin is removed from the pepper berry.

White and black pepper
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 of crème fraîche.
Crème Fraîche
Recent find of Crème Fraîche at Trader Joe's. Any other brand works too.
Vegetarian Version

For a vegetarian version, make the following changes to the recipe:

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.

The Bœuf aux Quatre Épices Culinary Spice Kit includes the following spices:

White pepper, cloves, ginger, nutmeg

fresh carrots and boiling onions for winter stew

Fresh carrots and small onions cook for three hours in this stew. Use shallots or beautiful boiling onions.

Boeuf aux Quatre Épices

French Bœuf aux Quatre Épices

Cuisine French
Servings 3

Ingredients
  

Shopping List

  • 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
  • salt

Suggested sides

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.
  • Enjoy!

Vegetarian (optional)

  • 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

Notes

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.
Keyword white pepper