Grandmother’s Recipe, and an Updated Version


My Grandmother, Mary Delvoie (whom we all called Baba) was an extraodinary woman.  Not only did she raise my father in wartime London during the Blitz, but she also worked for the Special Operations Executive, where she briefed and debriefed spies. The SOE was responsible for making exploding cigars, some of which were found in  Hitler’s bunker at the end of the war.

Baba hated to cook, and her philosophy was: learn to make 2 or 3 dishes really well, and you will be set for life. One such dish was Boeuf Bourgignon, and another was Cervelle de Veau, which translates as Calves Brains. After much thought I’ve decided to put up for your consideration the first and a fast and pared down version that is put together in a slow cooker. Try the original, it is well worth the effort and I make it for company. Make it the day before, not only does it give you peace of mind on the day of your company, it also helps to blend the ingredients. The alcohol cooks out of the dish.

Boeuf Bourgignon

8 oz bacon, diced

2 C frozen pearl onions (thawed)

3 lbs of stewing meat, cubed

1 large carrot, diced

1 onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, pressed

1 1/2 t salt

1/2 t crushed thyme

1/4 t pepper

1 bayleaf

3 C Burgundy wine (Beaujolais or Pinot Noir)

1. Cook the bacon in a large Dutch oven, remove and reserve the drippings.

2. Add the oearl onions to the drippings and cook until well browned, remove and set aside.

3. Coat the meat the meat with flour, cook in batches, adding a bit of oil as the drippings get used up. Don’t over-crowd the pan with meat, as it will steam as opposed to brown. Patience is a virtue! Remove the meat as it browns.

4.Add the onion and carrot, and cook until softened. Return the meat to the pot, add the bacon, garlic, salt and pepper, thyme, bayleaf and wine. Bake in a 350* oven for 3 and a half hours.

5. One hour before serving add the pearl onions. Mix together 2 T butter (softened) and 2 T of flour, and add to the beef to thicken.

Beef Burgundy

1/3 C flour

salt and pepper

2 lbs stew meat, cubed

1 1/2 C baby carrots

1 onion, chopped

1 clove of garlic, crushed

1 bayleaf

10 oz beef consomme

1 1/2 C red wine

1. Combine the flour, salt and pepper to crockpot. Stir the beef into the flour mix until well coated. Add remaining ingredients.

2. Cover and cook on low 8 hours.


One Response to “Grandmother’s Recipe, and an Updated Version”

  1. AE Says:

    Grandmothers always have something yummy to eat. Amazing story to go with it!

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