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{ HALAL } Bœuf Bourguignon | Beef Burgundy

بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِارَّحْمَنِ ارَّحِيم
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته
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Living in Algeria our diet is typical of the Mediterranean and is based on seasonal vegetables or beans. We don't eat much meat and that's OK! But when we do it's usuallly chicken and turkey, as these are the most economical here. We're also blessed to live near the sea so fish and seafood is also sometimes on the menu. Others like lamb, pheasant and rabbits also appear seasonal but mostly it's veg and beans that make our diet so varied. 

Beef doesn't appear that often on our table, as it's really expensive here in Algeria. But when it does there are only few dishes that my family finds "special enough". Kebabs or a stew. Kebabs are pretty simple no real innovative recipe but when it comes to stew ... my three beef stews are Hungarian style Marha Pörkölt, Algerian L'ham Chtitha and the French Bœuf Bourguignon (in English Beef Burgundy)

Before my reversion to Islam I used to  Beef Burgundy. While I wasn't ever a drinker I did enjoy a few dishes cooked with red wine. Well that's a no-no now as a (reverted) Muslim. Some years ago, I was craving beef stew or rather (halal) Beef Burgundy. Consulting Hadj Google I didn't find NOT ONE HALAL RECIPE out there. This was really troubling. I had to change that!  Looking around I gathered all the halal red wine substitutesI could get my hands on and started experimenting.

After experimenting with all the halal wine substitutes I could fine, it was vinegar that came in first place, while things like apple and grape juice just didn't make the cut. Vinegar is a condiment that was favored by the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him). As we know this from Hadiths like "Vinegar is a comfort for man” narrated by Muslim and “Allah has put blessing in vinegar, for truly it was used by the Prophets before me.” narrated by Aicha, Muslim and Ibn Maja. 

It has numerous health benefits and  works well with meat, fish, eggs, coconut oil, greens, and other nourishing foods. And aids the liver to dissolve the poisonous matters which were made in our bodies. In my recipe I've used halal balsamic vinegar instead of the red wine. Balsamic vinegar is a vinegar originating from Italy, increasingly popular throughout the world. The traditional balsamic vinegar, is made from a reduction of cooked white Trebbiano grape juice, and used as a condiment. 

There is some controversy over Balsamic Vinegar of Modena not being halal as it's made from wine vinegar with the addition of colourings and thickeners. But luckily there are halal balsamic vinegars out there NOT made from wine, like Trader Joe's, Mazzetti and Varda brand. 

You know this isn’t your mom’s beef stew — it’s a fancy French version — it's a kick-butt version and you’re going to love it believe me. I hate to even call this a stew, so let’s not.  Let’s call it a braise,  that just sounds posh and more refined. Braising is long, slow cooking, and that’s what you need for this Bœuf Bourguignon to get that tender, melt in your mouth texture.  The longer you cook it, the more tender the meat.  This was mouth-watering good. 

The marinade is pretty close to the traditional (with some exception) French Bœuf Bourguignon marinade. Acid for tenderizing would be traditionally wine, but as I mentioned I used a halal Varda balsamic vinegar but if you can't find one you easiy use a grape or date vinegar instead. I've used the center cut chuck blade cut. It's a cheaper cut of beed that's tougher and more suitable for slow braising. In French classical cooking this type of cut of meat was barded (meaning to attach a piece of pork fat to tough cut of meat to relief more moisture). Well I obviously left this step out here. A long marinade is enough to make the meat very tender and flavorsome. 

I've seen friends in France a product called Lardonettes, a type of smoked turkey bacon instead of the bacon in recipes. It's truly a jolie oxymoron to me! While I've never been a fan of turkey bacon (another faux food). But I'm sure beef bacon or even duck bacon would be wonderful here! As we don't have turkey bacon (or any other type of bacon) in Algeria  my recipe omits "bacon" altogether. 

Some years back you could only get canned mushrooms in Algeria or by foraging for them after a good ... lucky-lucky now you can find fresh local (from Birtouta) button mushrooms in larger superettes around Algiers. I bought these from Kheyr in Cheraga. Much like beef, mushrooms aren't apart of our normal diet, but it's nice to splurge sometimes on these things you love!

This prepwork for this dish is easy and can be done ahead making this dish  great for dinner parties or as something special for your midweek dinner. Few minutes to throw together to cut everything up and add into the marinade. Let it mellow for least 24 hours but up to 3days in the fridge. Then slowing braised in an Earthenwaren, tadjine or even a cast iron pot. And this dish even works well in the slow cooker. Your senses will get the scent of the hearty stew - you will know when it will be time to eat ((J)) 

Once the meat is tender and the sauce reduced  finish off with butter. I think the rich glossy sauce lends itself to be a proud centerpiece for any dinner.

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{ halal Bœuf Bourguignon / Beef Burgundy}

halal version of the tender and fragant french classic from the region of burgundy  

YIELD: serves 6
COOK TIME: 15 mins

CUTTING BOARD, KNIFE, dutch oven with lid, flat WOODEN SPOON


  • 3- 4 TBS olive or colza oil
  • 1 kg or about 2 pounds lean stew beef, cut into cubes
  • 1 large 
    onion, sliced       
  • tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • cups beef stock
  • tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • bay leaf, 
  • 6-8 small white onions
  • 5 large carrots
  • 1TBS tomato puree
  • ½ tablespoons butter
  • herb 
    bouquet (few sprigs of fresh parsley, one bay leaf, few sprigs of fresh thyme, tied in cheesecloth)
  • 250g - ½ pound fresh small mushrooms, quartered
  • salt/black pepper/oil

    CLEAN and cut the meat. Place the meat, garlic, bay leaves, salt black pepper, balsamic vinegar and dried thyme in a bowl to marinade for at least 6 hours to overnight. -- I usually put the marinade together the last night before.

    THE next day remove the meat from the marinade and pat dry with a paper towel/kitchen towel. Reserve the marinade for cooking. Brown off the dry meat in olive oil until well browned. Salt a pinch of salt while your browing the meat. Remove then set aside.

    SAUTE the onion and garlic in a large sauce pot in the pan until golden, 2 minutes. Season the onions as well with a pinch of salt. Add little more oil if needed. Add in the carrots to get a little color as well. 

    STIR the pot well with a flat wooden spoon scrapping the bottom of the pan to get the browned meat bits up. 

    TOSS the browned meat in flour and add back into the pot. Add in the meat marinade, beef stock, pearl onions, tomato puré, tomato paste, salt, black pepper and the herb bouquet. 

    COVER with the lid and simmer slowly for 60-90 minutes until the meat are perfectly tender, and the liquid has evaporated. Remove herb bouquet and set onions aside.

    SKIM off excess fat ifrom the top. Add the pearl onions and mushrooms.  Simmer sauce for 5-10 minutes, skimming off additional fat as it rises. You should have about 2 ½ cups of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly. If too thin, boil it down rapidly. If too thick, mix in a few tablespoons stock. Taste carefully for seasoning.

    ADD the butter to the sauce and allow to melt. It makes the sauce very rich and smooth tasting.

    Serve in wide serving casserole, or arrange stew on a platter surrounded with potatoes, noodles or rice, and decorated with parsley and bay leaves.

    This "stew" can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days or frozen up to one month. To use, place in a saucepot and slowly bring up to temperature. It actually gets better with time.

    You can optionally use date molasses or even grape molasses in the marinade if you can't find halal balsamic vinegar.

    For a more Provençal taste, add more olive in the marinade and use black olives instead of the mushrooms.

     CATEGORIES:  french, mediterranean, souP & stews, main dishes - meat, winter, fall, spring, 


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      1. Bourguignon is one of my favourite dishes and great idea to marinate it with balsamic vinegar.

      2. Salamu alaikum. I love your food blog, and I thoroughly enjoy your stories about life in Algeria. I am an avid silent reader :)

        I am curious though, where do you find fresh mushrooms in Algeria. We have only ever seen canned mushrooms from France, but I'm sure fresh ones must exist. I really don't want to bring mushrooms with me on my next trip ;)

      3. I made this dish last night and it was fabulous! So easy to do and the whole family enjoyed it- thanks for sharing.
        Emma x

      4. Thanks everyone for the comments!

        Ivy, yes we donnot drink wine but that doesn't mean we can enjoy good food- just takes some creativity!

        Well most ppl here used the canned but if you know about mushrooms after a good rain you can find a nice crop of mushromms in the forests. We usually go forging for them, when we can ... but alot of work which for us I guess is worth it (doing it with children is like science adventure) ... but still nothing like just going to market and picking up a kg or two LOL!

        Emma, I am very pleased that you tried this recipe and enjoyed it ... that is the best comment dear!

      5. salam... can't wait to try this one. We have some beef in the freezer that I want to use for stew and this is the perfect recipe!

      6. Wasalaam, we like it too.. twist on regular old stew ... so rich and vevelty from the long cooking and enriched with butter! Plz try it and let me know how it went enchallah!

      7. Salaams... made this yesterday. Didn't quite do it exactly as you said (time constraints and lack of mushrooms!) but it was really tasty!

      8. Forgot to give you the link!


      9. Salam looks devine will definitely make this one when I have beef. A question im italian and was also wondering what substitutes to use instead of wine in savory cooking & liquor in sweets ?

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      11. What's up to all, the contents present at this web site are
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      12. can we use caned mushrooms instead?


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