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Caribourguignon (Fancy Talk for Stew with Booze)

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October 06, 2010

Caribourguignon (Fancy Talk for Stew with Booze)

By David Draper

On my first caribou hunt, an Alaskan do-it-yourself affair with some buddies back in 2005, we weren’t able to bring any meat home, or more directly, couldn’t afford to. (Bill Heavey wrote about the hunt in "Caribou Heaven, Caribou Hell." Buy me a round and I’ll tell you the real version.) We ate caribou (and hot dogs) in camp, skewered on green willows and roasted over an open fire. The caribou we didn’t eat, we gave to the natives of Kotzebue where the people live a subsistence existence. But those warm-fuzzies didn’t really make up for coming home with just a set of inedible antlers and incredible memories. I hunt for meat.

So, on my recent caribou hunt in Quebec, I was determined to bring some meat home, Delta’s extra baggage fees be damned. Luckily, our outfitter Sammy Cantafio made this a seamless process. His recommended butcher picked up my meat at the Montreal airport and had it cut and in a cooler before my flight early the next morning. All I had to do was pick up the two boxes of vacuum-sealed meat and check them on my flight to the tune of $325 for two extra pieces of luggage. Add that to the $100 charged by Himbeault Family butchers along with the associated hunt costs and the price of caribou meat rivals Wagyu beef, or whatever the trendy steak places are serving Yuppies now.

The charge on my Visa account, and the general experience of the hunt, required I honor this animal with my first meal at home. It was supposed to be a lazy Sunday and I was thinking something that required little effort, like a chili or stew – was in order. But when I pulled the package out of the freezer, such a simple recipe didn’t seem worthy of meat labeled cubes bourguignon or, translated into English bourguignon cubes. So, with the voice of Julia Child (or was it the Swedish chef) in my head, I attempted my first bourguignon, which, much to my surprise, was pretty damn good. - David Draper

Ingredients:
1 lb. caribou stew meat
3 strips salt pork, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 medium onion, sliced
1 small onion, quartered
½ lb. sliced mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, minced
Flour
Splash of brandy
4 cups red wine, broth or water
Cornstarch
Butter
Salt and pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°. Heat olive oil in Dutch oven over med, med-high heat. Add salt pork, sauté until fat renders and remove, reserving. Dry meat with papers towels. Brown meat in small batches, removing to drain on paper towels. Cook sliced onion, celery and carrots in drippings until soft, 7-10 minutes. Add minced garlic. Deglaze pan with brandy. Flambé to burn off alcohol. Lightly dust caribou with flour and return to pot. Return reserved salt pork to the pot. Add salt, pepper and spice. (Remember, the sauce will reduce, so don’t go overboard on the salt.) Add enough wine and/or stock (or water) to come to the level of the meat. Cover and place in oven. Turn oven down to 300° and simmer bourguignon for two hours. Near the end of the two hours, melt 2 tbsp. butter in pan and sauté quartered onion. Add to the stew. Sauté mushrooms in 2 tbsp. of butter. Add to pot. Stir paste of 2 tbsp. melted butter and 2 tbsp. of cornstarch into bourguignon. Cook 10 more minutes and serve.

Comments (10)

Top Rated
All Comments
from timhansford wrote 3 years 28 weeks ago

Before I read this I wanted to go on a caribou hunt, now I'm just hungry.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Coachcl wrote 3 years 28 weeks ago

Sounds and looks great.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Plotner wrote 3 years 28 weeks ago

ohhh

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ingebrigtsen wrote 3 years 27 weeks ago

Not to unlike a traditional saphmi caribou stew called Bidos :)

http://matavisen.no/oppskrifter/bidos/163

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from mutt wrote 3 years 27 weeks ago

Definitely a must save

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jersey pig wrote 3 years 27 weeks ago

now i'm hungry.....

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Double D wrote 3 years 27 weeks ago

ingebrigtsen - That bidos looks delicious. Is there any way to get the recipe in English?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ingebrigtsen wrote 3 years 27 weeks ago

Bidos

This is a Sami tradition meal which is also used as a feast. simmer the meat tender with onions and vegetables. From ancient bidos contains only meat, onion and potato. We have a slightly more modern version with carrot and green onion. A wonderful dish with lots of power which takes a maximum of 40 minutes to make.

Ingredients
Serves 5

1 kg boneless meat of reindeer steak
1 liter of water
½ onion pieces
4 pieces potato
1 bunch green onions
2 carrots
½ teaspoon salt
1 / 4 teaspoon pepper
How-
1. Cut meat into large cubes. Boil water and add the meat. Bring to a boil again and skim from. Add onion and let the Bidos simmer on low heat for half an hour. Add potatoes, split into 4 and carrots into rings / dice.

2. Let the pot simmer approx. 20 minutes til meat and vegetables are tender. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with green onion or chives finely before serving.

Bidos served in bowls and eaten with a spoon. Common accessories are bread.
There ya go DD :)

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Woodstock wrote 3 years 27 weeks ago

Thanks for the recipe - I also enjoy bourguignon, usually with venison.

But I'm distracted by the first part of your post. After your successful Alaska hunt, you LEFT THE MEAT, but paid to TAKE THE ANTLERS?? WTF?? "I hunt for meat" - yeah, right.

Touchy subject with us Alaskans, man. I honestly can't understand that mentality; it's 180 degrees from me and my hunting companions. If you want to add to your collection, follow our tracks over the years, and you'll find literally dozens - probably closer to a hundred - sets of antlers left in the woods right where we field dressed the animals.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Double D wrote 3 years 27 weeks ago

Ingebrigtsen - Thanks for the recipe. I'm going to try that.

Woodstock - I appreciate your sentiment and it's not unwarranted. It's the one regret I have of that trip of a lifetime and would do things differently today.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from ingebrigtsen wrote 3 years 27 weeks ago

np DD. i allways give double D`s what they want :D:D:D
(dont tell my gf :P:)) )

+2 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Double D wrote 3 years 27 weeks ago

Ingebrigtsen - Thanks for the recipe. I'm going to try that.

Woodstock - I appreciate your sentiment and it's not unwarranted. It's the one regret I have of that trip of a lifetime and would do things differently today.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from ingebrigtsen wrote 3 years 27 weeks ago

Bidos

This is a Sami tradition meal which is also used as a feast. simmer the meat tender with onions and vegetables. From ancient bidos contains only meat, onion and potato. We have a slightly more modern version with carrot and green onion. A wonderful dish with lots of power which takes a maximum of 40 minutes to make.

Ingredients
Serves 5

1 kg boneless meat of reindeer steak
1 liter of water
½ onion pieces
4 pieces potato
1 bunch green onions
2 carrots
½ teaspoon salt
1 / 4 teaspoon pepper
How-
1. Cut meat into large cubes. Boil water and add the meat. Bring to a boil again and skim from. Add onion and let the Bidos simmer on low heat for half an hour. Add potatoes, split into 4 and carrots into rings / dice.

2. Let the pot simmer approx. 20 minutes til meat and vegetables are tender. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with green onion or chives finely before serving.

Bidos served in bowls and eaten with a spoon. Common accessories are bread.
There ya go DD :)

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ingebrigtsen wrote 3 years 27 weeks ago

np DD. i allways give double D`s what they want :D:D:D
(dont tell my gf :P:)) )

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from timhansford wrote 3 years 28 weeks ago

Before I read this I wanted to go on a caribou hunt, now I'm just hungry.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Coachcl wrote 3 years 28 weeks ago

Sounds and looks great.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Plotner wrote 3 years 28 weeks ago

ohhh

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ingebrigtsen wrote 3 years 27 weeks ago

Not to unlike a traditional saphmi caribou stew called Bidos :)

http://matavisen.no/oppskrifter/bidos/163

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from mutt wrote 3 years 27 weeks ago

Definitely a must save

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jersey pig wrote 3 years 27 weeks ago

now i'm hungry.....

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Double D wrote 3 years 27 weeks ago

ingebrigtsen - That bidos looks delicious. Is there any way to get the recipe in English?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Woodstock wrote 3 years 27 weeks ago

Thanks for the recipe - I also enjoy bourguignon, usually with venison.

But I'm distracted by the first part of your post. After your successful Alaska hunt, you LEFT THE MEAT, but paid to TAKE THE ANTLERS?? WTF?? "I hunt for meat" - yeah, right.

Touchy subject with us Alaskans, man. I honestly can't understand that mentality; it's 180 degrees from me and my hunting companions. If you want to add to your collection, follow our tracks over the years, and you'll find literally dozens - probably closer to a hundred - sets of antlers left in the woods right where we field dressed the animals.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment