From Paris to our table

So I hope everyone has seen Julie & Julia (if you have not — please see it  or read  the book –  the book is even better!).  Julie becomes inspired to learn to cook and uses Julia Child’s revolutionary Mastering the Art of French Cooking as her guide.  Julie is particularly drawn to Boeuf Bourguignon – she remembers her mom making this recipe for a very important dinner while she was growing up.

Anyway, Jason and I had just seen this movie when we began planning our honeymoon.  We knew right away that we wanted to go to Paris.  While we were there, Jason set forth on a mission to try an authentic version of bouef bourguignon.  He tried the original meat version at a few restaurants – and honestly wasn’t too impressed. Then on our last day in Paris – we made our way to Le Potager Du Marais.

This was a very highly recommended VEGAN restaurant (looks like a hole in the wall but it was incredible – very authentic in the Marais district).  We went a bit late to miss the lunch rush – and found a few other patrons sitting at one long table -about 20 people could comfortably sit in the restraurant.

The food was amazing!  We each started off with a soup of the day and then ordered some wine and entrees.  I had a quinoa veggie burger (very tasty) and Jason ordered SEITAN BOURGUIGNON. Now this dish was definitely the highlight of our meal – and much better than the meat versions.  I’ve been itching to recreate it since we left Paris.  So below is my version of Seitan Bourguignon (based off a recipe from The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen by Peter Berley).

After making the seitan (or you can used purchased seitan), I began preparing the marinade.  I began by chopping some garlic (about 6 cloves) and sauteing it in 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil – to make a garlic infused oil.

I let the garlic saute for about 5 minutes then seperated the garlic and the oil and set each aside to use later.  Next comes the marinade’s key ingrediant – RED WINE!

When selecting a wine – I usually just use whatever we have around the house. This has been our wine of choice recently (it’s great – not too dry and hints of black cherry and walnuts).  In a mixing bowl – pour two cups of wine.  Next add some thyme, sage, and parsley (I used dry but fresh would be great – I would suggest making a bouquet garni if using fresh), a few tablespoons of soy sauce (about 4), 2 tablespoons of sugar, and some fresh ground salt and pepper.  Whisk all this together and then add a few bay leaves and some orange zest (i used about 4 strips).

Add the seitan – make sure all the seitan is covered.  If you need some more liquid – add water or vegetable stock.

Cover the bowl with a plate and set aside to marinate for one hour at room tempature.  While the seitan marinates, I prepped the veggies.  I used two carrots, two celery ribs, one large onion, two potatoes, and one package of baby bella mushrooms.

Chop the onion and set aside. Next peel the carrots and potatoes, and chop the carrots, potatoes, and celery – set these aside.  Prep the mushrooms – clean them, get ride of their stems, and quarter or half the caps depending on their size and set these aside.   Add a few tablespoons of the garlic oil to a deep casserole dish or stock pan, after the oil heats up add the onion and saute until it begins to soften (about 5 minutes).

Then add the carrots, potatoes, and celery.

After letting the veggies saute together for a few minutes – add a few tablespoons of tomato paste and a tablespoon of white flour.  Cook for a few more minutes – stir often to prevent sticking to the bottom.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Around this time – the seitan should have marinated for the full hour.  Remove the seitan from the marinade and arrange them in a large baking dish.

Remove the bay leaves and orange zest from the marinade (and bouquet garni if you had one).  Pour all but 1/4 cup of the marinade over the sauteing veggies.  I also added two cups of veggie stock – I wanted all the veggies to be submerged in liquid.

Stir the dish well and bring the stew up to a boil.  Once boiling, stir well, lower the heat – to low or whatever works on your stove for a simmer – cover the dish and let simmer for 45 minutes.

With the left over marinade (the 1/4 cup), toss in the mushrooms and a few more tablespoons of the garlic oil.  Next, pour the mushrooms and marinade over the seitan in the baking dish – make sure the marinade spreads evenly in the dish – add more oil if additional liquid is needed.  Make sure the seitan and mushrooms are in one layer.  Roast the mixture in the oven for 30 minutes.  Make sure to stir this occasionally – I did not and my seitan formed together in parts of the dish.

Remove the dish from the oven and add the seitan and mushroom mixture to the veggies and marinade on the stove.  Stir to combine the two parts of the dish.  I also added the rest of the garlic oil at this point.

Now – just let this bad boy simmer for another 10 – 15 minutes and enjoy!



2 responses to “From Paris to our table

  1. Thanks for the tip and comment on my blog! I’ll definitely have to try this place =) The Marais is one of my favorite areas of town, especially on Sundays!

    • We stayed just north of the Marais and walked through the area each morning as we set out for the day’s adventures. The other great restaurant we went too was in the Place de Vosges – Ma Bourgogn – it was a little pricey but a wonderful little restaurant for a nicer dinner. Enjoy your time there! Yoga will be here when you get back.

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