What Happens When an Indian Chef Makes Beef Bourguignon

Julia Bainbridge
Food Editor
May 13, 2014

Photo credit: All, Francois Duhamel

In “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” out August 8th, Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal) and his family are displaced from their native India. They settle a small French town to open a restaurant, but once the ice-queen proprietress of the French restaurant across the street, Madame Mallory, catches cumin-infused wind of it, she (Helen Mirren) gives them hell. That is, until they overcome their obstacles and end up one big, happy, Franco-Indian family.

“Food can cross cultural barriers and bring people together,” says Juliet Blake, one of the producers of the movie, along with Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey. “I so believe that.”

Are French and Indian cuisines really so at odds? “If you go to Paris and you say, ‘Take me to a great Indian restaurant!’ they are very far and few between,” says Blake. She felt it filming in the south of France, too: Om Puri, who plays the head of the Kadam household, “is the most wonderful cook,” says Blake, but “he would have to travel to Toulouse to buy his spices!”

Actors Dayal, though, and Charlotte Le Bon had lessons. “Before we started shooting, they spent a considerable amount of time going to restaurants and observing and learning in kitchens,” says Blake. “Manish was very diligent about learning to chop an onion correctly.” To sign off on the food featured in the film, Blake consulted Indian-born chef Floyd Cardoz, who knows a thing or two about “fusing together two cultures through cooking.”

That’s exemplified in the recipe we share from the movie below. Beef Bourguignon, a classic French dish, gets a makeover from Hassan once “he feels he’s learning and making an impact” working at Madame Mallory’s restaurant. “He decides introduce his own elements, adding some spice to things that are very traditionally French. It’s an important turning point.”

See Yahoo Movies’ exclusive trailer below.

Beef Bourguignon à la Hassan
by Chef Floyd Cardoz 
Serves 6-8

2 ½ lbs. boneless beef short ribs cut into 1”-2” inch cubes 
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup flour
4 Tbsp. canola oil
6 oz. applewood-smoked bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4” strips
18 small pearl onions, peeled
18 baby carrots, peeled, larger ones halved
18 baby turnips, peeled and halved
½ lb. chanterelle mushrooms, halved
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
4 cloves
2 bay leaves
2 onions, diced 
1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and chopped 
1½ Tbsp. ginger, peeled and minced
1 Tbsp. freshly ground cumin
1 Tbsp. ground brown mustard seed 
½ tsp. Aleppo pepper 
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 750-ml bottle red Burgundy wine 
1 quart beef stock
4 sprigs thyme 
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
¼ cup parsley leaves
¼ cup chervil leaves

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Season beef with salt and pepper and lightly coat with flour, reserving the extra. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large stew pot, heat canola oil over moderate heat. Add bacon and cook until fat is rendered, about 5-10 minutes. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

In the same pot, sear the short ribs until lightly browned on all sides. Remove the beef and reserve. Add pearl onions cook for 2-3 minutes, until translucent and warmed through. Remove the onions and reserve. Repeat this process with the carrots and turnips. Add the chanterelles and sauté for 1 minute, then remove and reserve.

Add butter, cloves, and bay leaves and cook for 1 minute. Add minced onion, garlic and ginger cook for 4-5 minutes. Add cumin. mustard seed, and Aleppo pepper and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the leftover flour and the tomato paste and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes.

Add the wine and bring to a boil, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the ban. Add the beef stock and bring that to a boil, also.

Add the bacon and the short ribs to the pan, bring the liquid to a boil, and then reduce the heat. Add thyme, cover the pot, and place it in the oven. Cook for approximately 2 hours. Add the carrots, turnips and pearl onions and cook in the oven for 30 minutes more.

Remove the cloves and bay leaves. Add the chanterelles and brown sugar. Season with salt. Garnish with fresh parsley and chervil.