Beet Bourguignon, a November Reflexion

Beet Bourguignon

I have really enjoyed November this year, savouring its days, seasonal and dark, I took a Baudelaire or even Verlaine approach to the descent into the inevitable darkness… Or was it Boris Vian? November is special to me, I decided to cherish it, it suits my mood as I have always been a winter child, excited by storms and snow showers, scouting by the Velux window of our old home for something to happen… November is a month of anniversaries, Ireland is now the place where I have spent most of my life; hard to even write – or rather read that- as I am typing. Like few, I have been blessed with two lives, that is the way I see it, a gift. November is also a month for the departed, the month my mother quite suddenly passed away. Before her time, at 49, I heard the news on a cold Monday morning, 09:30, my sister crying on the phone. Twenty years ago now, I left Galway, crossed the country in a diagonal to Rosslare Harbour, boarded a cargo ship for Cherbourg. Twenty hours at sea to reflect, while the British navy and its warplanes were exercising in the channel, Common Dolphins escorting us in the strangest of ballets… When I arrived, the custom officer couldn’t believe his eyes! A lonely pedestrian walking out of a boat in the middle of the night! When he saw me hugging my sister and my Dad, he knew it was best leaving it alone… I was too late. The last time I saw her, was eight month earlier, crying as she waved goodbye from the platform of Vannes’ s station, a train taking me back to another boat bound for Ireland. That was the last image, and I know now that she knew it was “adieu”. Like Leo Ferré said: ” Train stations are stupid” ( “Les gares, c’est con”) and Jacques Brel has a wonderful song about “Orly”. But you know what? I still love November, I transformed pain into cherishing these incredible moments. I don’t know if it made me stronger, but it taught me a lesson or two, about love and humility. This recipe – and since I am now on a veggie diet- is dedicated to her; Marie Lou, who used to make the best Beef Bourguignon… Ever!

Early days…
Choice 2
Common Dolphins in the Irish sea

Beet Bourguignon: You’ll Need

  • 2 organic carrots
  • 2 organic onions
  • 1 whole organic garlic
  • 5 small organic beetroots
  • 6 chestnut mushrooms
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 1 bottle of light red wine ( Pinot Noir, Merlot, Primitivo…)
  • Sea salt
  • Cracked black pepper
  • a pinch of Dukkah mix
  • Extra virgin olive oil
Few ingredients …

How to:

Peel the carrots, beetroots and onions, wash the mushrooms. Turn on the oven at 200 c and cut the base of the garlic bulb. Roast in olive oil for 20 minutes…

Garlic to be roasted

Chop the onions finely, the carrots in slices and the mushrooms in 1/4 ‘s. It is important that you leave the small beetroots whole as you want to slice them in halves before serving. Peel the roasted garlic ( or just squeeze it out), add the rosemary, salt, pepper and dukkah, and let it fry in good olive oil for a few minutes to release the flavours. Pour the bottle of wine then, and let it simmer and reduce on a low heat for an hour or two…

Roasting the veggies

You can serve this dish with rice, boiled or roasted potatoes… Et voilá! I hope you have enjoyed November as much as I did, and since temperatures are not going to rise in the land of Hibernia, this recipe should see you right…

Beetroot Bourguignon, ready to serve
Beet Bourguignon

Keep well and eat happy,

Slán Tamall




22 thoughts on “Beet Bourguignon, a November Reflexion

  1. You’ve made me cry. Such a touching and poignant homage to a woman gone to soon … non French speakers may not get the importance of the word ‘Adieu’ …. so final. But you know what, you my friend who loves the dark and the cold and storms and snow and frost and all things wintry as much as I do, you make your Mamma proud as she dances with the common dolphins or perches effortlessly on a branch watching you watch her, or simply shines from the sky irradiating the sea with her beauteous light. You make her proud and I am going to make this divine concoction in her honour this very day. Because although I will never know her I have always known, since I first stumbled across you, that she is a woman I love. Love, you see has this quite extraordinary capacity, if we allow it, to include even those we never meet on our own little journey and yet by allowing them in they enrich us. ❤️

  2. Love this post, I lost my Mum too soon also. You write beautifully about such a sad time. Just a quick question…and I hope it’s not sacrilege…as a non drinker I advoid alcohol in all forms, not hard line with cooking but genuinely interested …is there ANYTHING you could use instead of the wine here? I’ve a feeling that there isn’t but just throwing it out there🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s