Last Saturday, I had the privilege to watch (LIVE!) the cooking demo of Chef Xavier Btesh, at the Maya Kitchen Culinary Arts Center in Makati.
Chef Xavier was born and raised in Paris and spent the earlier part of his career training under renowned chefs before he went on to become a consultant chef for various businesses and eventually published his own cookbook Les Petits Diners de Xavier which sold more than 40,000 copies across Europe.
When you’re a French chef, people come to you and they tell you about 3-star, 4-star Michelin chefs, truffles, and foie gras. But I keep telling people, this is not the food we eat daily,” he says. “I know that Filipinos love their family-style and we’re the same in France, we have family-style as well. I want to show the way we eat at home.”
Now, I’m sharing with you one of the recipes he taught us during the cooking demo. It’s called:
According to Chef Xavier, this is similar to our “adobo” but a French version. Just switch the vinegar with wine and there you’ll have a French stew.
What you’ll need:
2 mugs beef chunks
1 pc onion
1 pc garlic clove, peeled
1 tsp tomato paste
4 pcs button mushrooms or 2 pcs Portobello mushrooms
2 pcs carrots, peeled and sliced
1 espresso cup bacon chunks
1 ½ mugs beef broth
2 tsps white flour
1 tsp dried/fresh thyme
1 pinch clove powder
2 mugs GOOD red wine
salt and pepper to taste
½ espresso cup butter, melted
Set a frying pan on med-high heat. Place in half your butter, and saute your onions and bacon. When onions turn translucent, transfer onion and bacon to a cast iron pan on high heat along with the rest of the butter. Add the chunks of the meat and toss well. Sprinkle flour, and stir, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the beef broth, wine, and all the other ingredients except the mushrooms. Mix well. Reduce to a very low heat and cook for 3 hours, stirring every once in a while so that your ingredients won’t stick to the bottom of the pan. After 2 ½ hours, add your mushrooms. If the sauce reduces too much, add a bit of wine or broth. After 3 hours, your iconic French stew will be ready!