France’s fleshy fungi taste “Magnifique!”

Escoffier’s Estouffade a la Provencale

What to do with those two cepe mushrooms I found on the roadside? Well, a French recipe is a must because I first ate the fleshy fungi in France. I find a perfect recipe in  Auguste Escoffier’s book 2,000 Favourite French recipes, which is the only one of his works written for the home cook. He wrote it a few years before his death and I find a simple Provencial Stew recipe Estouffade a la Provencale.


500 grams diced chuck steak; flour, 200 grams streaky bacon, butter or oil, 3-4 onions, salt, pepper, 1 bottle red wine. 2 ½ cups of stock or water, bouquet garni of 2 sprigs parsley, 1 bay leaf, 2 sprigs thyme; 1 clove garlic  and 500 grams of mushrooms. (I added 2 carrots for colour).


Sprinkle diced steak with flour. Dice the bacon; brown in butter or oil for a few minutes and remove to a plate.

Put the meat, quartered onions and sliced carrots into remaining fat, add salt and pepper and sauté for a few minutes. Add the wine and cook until reduced by half. Add the boiling stock or water, the bouquet garni and crushed garlic. Cover and simmer for 2 ½ hours.

Pour through a sieve and put the pieces of meat back into the pan with the bacon and the quartered mushrooms, which have been  sautéed in butter.

Skim the liquid, return to the pan and simmer a further 15 minutes.

Escoffier suggests 2-3 tablespoons tomato puree and a few black olives may be added at this point.

Serve with mashed potatoes, macaroni, noodles or gnocchi.

(This is a flavoursome dish, heavy  with the flavour of red wine and I don’t think it needs tomato puree, although I added a few olives for decoration and served it with mashed “Nadine’’ potatoes.



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