Recipes for stews to pamper the taste buds in winter!


In the heart of winter, simmered dishes all have one thing in common: they simmer for a long time over low heat to give the flavors time to develop and the ingredients to become tender and moist, like the pot-au -feu or hen in the pot which are part of the stews whose base is a broth.

A domestic and economical kitchen

This large family has illustrious recipes whose particularity has sometimes been forgotten. Like the mironton (or sometimes miroton), this old-fashioned dish, popular with home cooking and frugal, which is made with leftover meat from pot-au-feu or a roast, lots of onions, a few carrots, flour and broth to bind everything together.

Navarin is said to have been invented by Antonin Carême in reference to the eponymous naval battle, on the western coast of the Peloponnese, where the Turkish fleet was sunk by a Franco-Russian-English armada, in 1827. The famous cook is said to have played on words and the flavors by simmering a stew of lamb with turnips!

Dishes to “boost your appetite”

Let’s also mention the blanquette whose name was borrowed from Provençal blanqueto which means white. Traditionally made with veal or poultry, blanquette is a stew that cooks in a white stock and is bound at the end of cooking with an egg yolk and cream.

Among the stews, these stews made up of meat and vegetables cooked in a sauce that “ragoûtaient” (in French of old understand “to restore appetite”), his majesty the stew occupies a special place.

The stew, between one and three days

This dish whose etymology evokes the Italian term dobba which means “marinade” was once cooked in a daubière, an earthenware or copper dish with a rim to deposit ashes and thus cook the recipe with embers below and above the pot. Modern daubières are cast iron casserole dishes with this famous rim for pouring boiling water and thus obtaining very even cooking.

The principle of a stew is therefore to marinate pieces of meat in a marinade generally based on alcohol (red or white wine, beer, marc de Bourgogne) with an aromatic garnish consisting of a bouquet garni, onion studded with cloves, vegetables and spices. Depending on the meat (beef, pork, game, rooster, etc.), this stage varies from 24 hours to three days. Then the meats are drained, dried and lightly browned in a casserole before flouring and adding the aromatic garnish to launch a long and gentle cooking, over low heat or in the oven.

Countless regional variations

The French gastronomic terroir is a fabulous inventory of regional variations. The noble coq au vin from Gevrey-Chambertin, carbonnades from the North which give pride of place to beer; the Provencal daube combines lamb and orange zest, the Marseillaise is concocted with beef marinated in red wine, olives and anchovies. In Camargue stew called “gardiane”, the beef is replaced by bull. Wild boar stew is a tradition in the Var countryside at Christmas. Catalans swear by the famous boles de picolat (meatballs made up of three meats and cooked in a tomato sauce with green olives and porcini mushrooms).

In the Var, wild boar stew is served with fresh pasta or gnocchi In Béarnais country, stew includes raw ham; in Saintongeais a veal foot to bring even more softness and in Agenais prunes. As for the Alsatian stew, it includes potatoes that cook over low heat to bind the sauce. In the Aveyronnais, the peasant stew adopts the charming name of coufidou which says a lot about the comforting side of the recipe.

Among my favorite recipes, the Givordine, an old Lyonnais dish, that of the sailors of the Rhône who left this stew to simmer for a long time, during their travels in the South and incorporated into the casserole dish of beef chuck, anchovies in salt, parsley and butter when they arrived at their destination, like a celebration of the South!

In my library

Two books for mastering stews: French cuisine for all, by Laurent Mariotte, published by Solar (€22) and Butcher Supporter, by Hugo Desnoyer, published by First (€35).


The recipes

► Boles de picolat, Catalan stew

Recipes for stews to pamper the taste buds in winter!

For 6 persons

500 sausage meat

500 lean beef

500 veal meat

30g bread

10 cl of milk

5 garlic cloves

1 onion

1 bunch of parsley

40g flour

30 cl of white wine

400 g of tomato coulis

80g green olives

50g black olives


100g dried porcini mushrooms

1 bird pepper

Fine salt and ground pepper

In a large bowl, combine the sausage meat, the lean beef minced as large as the sausage meat and the ground veal meat of the same size. Add the bread soaked in milk, salt, pepper and the parsley (chopped parsley and garlic). Mix this preparation well and shape about fifteen beautiful meatballs the size of a small egg. Care must be taken not to pack the meat in the meatballs too much, because after cooking they will be too compact and a bit suffocating.

Roll the dumplings in flour. Brown them in a casserole with a little peanut oil, remove them and add an onion and a little flour to make a roux. Deglaze with the white wine, add the tomato coulis. Return the bowls of picolat to simmer and cover with a little water. Incorporate the dried porcini mushrooms previously rehydrated in hot water as well as the green and black olives as well as the small pepper. Cook over low heat for an hour and serve the bowls of picolat with steamed potatoes or mashed potatoes.

► Veal stew

Recipes for stews to pamper the taste buds in winter!

For 4 people

12 baby onions

2 carrots

300g veal shoulder

300g veal tendons

200g veal chop

1 drizzle of peanut oil

1 C. flour

20 cl of white wine

1 bouquet garni

2 pinches of nutmeg

200 g button mushrooms

50g butter

1 egg yolk

1 lemon juice

2 tbsp. heavy cream

Fine salt and white pepper from the mill

Peel the pearl onions, cut the peeled carrots into small dice. Cut the pieces of meat into large cubes. In a casserole dish, with the peanut oil and 30 g of butter, sear the pieces of meat without coloring too much. Add pearl onions, carrots and sprinkle with flour.

Mix well and pour in the white wine. Add water to the height, season with salt, white pepper, nutmeg and add the bouquet garni. Leave to simmer for one hour over low heat then add the button mushrooms previously sautéed in butter.

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