Foods of the World Forum Homepage
Forum Home Forum Home > Europe > France
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - An Introduction to Bacheofe (Baeckeoffe)
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

This site is completely supported by donations; there are no corporate sponsors. We would be honoured if you would consider a small donation, to be used exclusively for forum expenses.



Thank you, from the Foods of the World Forums!

An Introduction to Bacheofe (Baeckeoffe)

 Post Reply Post Reply
Author
Message
TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar

Joined: 25 January 2010
Location: Chinook, MT
Status: Offline
Points: 8912
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: An Introduction to Bacheofe (Baeckeoffe)
    Posted: 07 December 2017 at 15:24
From Saveur's Online Magazine:

Quote Deep Dish: Classic Alsatian Stew

By Sophie Brickman


Photo by Todd Coleman for Saveur Magazine

"Sophie!" chef André Soltner put the accent on the second syllable as he greeted me at the door of my alma mater, the International Culinary Center in Manhattan. I had come there so he could teach me how to make Bacheofe, a medley of pork, beef, lamb, and vegetables simmered in wine in a ceramic pot that's sealed with a band of dough to prevent juices from escaping.

I had recently moved back to New York from warmer climes. The city felt cold; there was a chill in the air that made me long for comfort: a warming stew, a day with a beloved mentor. I figured I might as well combine the two. I had heard about, but never eaten, Bacheofe, a delicious-sounding stew that Soltner, the school's Alsatian-born dean, has been making since he was a child in Thann in northeastern France. So I asked him if could apprentice myself to him for a day. After informing me that I'd have to supply the proper crockery, as well as marinated meats, which he insisted include pigs' feet and "at least one tail," he accepted.

And so, ever the student, I dutifully lugged a heavy terrine and a bag of marinated meats through the streets and met my old dean. Soltner, the former chef-owner of the legendary Manhattan restaurant, Lutèce, ushered me inside to a corner of a kitchen where students were prepping for class. I plunked down my parcels, and we headed to the fridge, where he spooned out something thick and white. I arched an eyebrow.

He grinned, "Goose fat!" A coating for the pot and lid, the fat was purely for flavor, a lavish yet elemental touch typifying the cooking of Alsace. The region was passed between Germany and France four times since the fall of the Holy Roman Empire; its food is an amalgam of the two countries: Teutonic practicality mixed with a dash of Gallic refinement, expressed in dishes like Choucroute, that famed braise of sauerkraut, sausages, and pork that looks plain but tastes magnificent.

In that respect, Bacheofe (also spelled Baeckeoffe, Backenoff, or Baekaoffa, according to dialect) is Alsatian through and through. It's an improvised meal of odds and ends that cooks for hours at low heat while you go about your business and emerges from the oven with enormous flavor.

According to the French culinary bible, Larousse Gastronomique, on Monday washdays in Alsace, women would take a filled terrine to the baker, who would cook the Bacheofe in the residual heat of the oven — the dish's name means, literally, "baker's oven" — to be retrieved post-laundry. When I mentioned this to another Alsatian-born chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, he told me of a variation on the tradition: In Illkirch-Graffenstaden where he grew up, he would drop off his mother's Bacheofe on Sundays before church and retrieve it after services. As I was instructed by Soltner to do, Mere Vongerichten marinated her meats overnight in a crisp Alsatian wine, which flavored and tenderized the cuts.

In the ICC kitchen, the dish proved easy enough to construct. After I sliced potatoes, onions, and carrots, Soltner greased the pot with the fat and layered potatoes on the bottom. He piled the meat and vegetables on top, then plunged the pigs' feet and tail in, so that their cartilage would melt and, deliciously, thicken the stew. Another layer of potatoes sandwiched the meat. Then he added a final flourish: slices of bacon latticed over the top.

"This isn't traditional," the chef said with a wink, "but why not?"

He covered everything with a dry white wine, sealed the lid with a dough rope rolled from a quick flour-water paste, then placed the stew in the oven where it would cook for three hours, its savory, aromatic flavors melding inside the heavy terrine. That pot, which I ordered online to approximate one from the town of Soufflenheim, may be the most Alsatian aspect of the dish. Soufflenheim has been connected to pottery since the Bronze Age, and workshops there continue the tradition by making Bacheofe terrines. Like the dish itself, the glazed and ornately painted covered casseroles are unique to the region.

"Bacheofe is even more Alsatian than Choucroute," Soltner told me. "There is nothing like Bacheofe in other places, but versions of sauerkraut you find all over."

If Bacheofe remains lesser known than the iconic Choucroute, that may be due to its relative youth. As cookbook author Sue Style notes in A Taste of Alsace, potatoes didn't become a regular part of the regional diet until the early 1800s, so Bacheofe doesn't appear in the earliest Alsatian cookbook, La Cuisiniere du Haut-Rhin, published in 1842. When I reached Style at her home in Alsace, she speculated that the dish came of age only in the mid-19th century.

Soltner and I retreated to his office to watch a YouTube clip from a 1994 episode of Julia Child's television series, Cooking with Master Chefs, in which Soltner cooked Bacheofe. The chef, smiling, nodded in agreement as his screen self cut through the dough seal and, inhaling, remarked, "It smells beautiful."

Back in the classroom, students were circling like vultures, lured by that same aroma. Soltner pulled the terrine from the oven and popped off the lid. His Bacheofe was homey, stick-to-your-ribs food, the broth thick, the taste deeply savory, the fragrance heavy with wine and rich meat. I had to try making it at home. But since finding pigs' tails had proved difficult to begin with, I called Vongerichten and another chef from Alsace, Hubert Keller of the San Francisco restaurant Fleur de Lys, and asked them for their recipes, hoping for something simpler. Keller told me that his stew includes the trotters but not the tails, and its flavor is sharpened with juniper berries. The differences between his rendition and Soltner's call to question the notion of tradition when making a dish that is derived from whatever a matriarch had in the larder in the not-too-distant past.

"You can be really flexible with this dish," Keller assured me.

I decided to riff off a version Vongerichten suggested: just diced lamb and vegetables simmered in wine until tender. At the last minute I wanted to add some bacon as a nod to Soltner, but all I had in the fridge were a few slices of Prosciutto, so I shingled them on top. As the dish cooked, instead of summoning my inner Alsatian and doing much-needed laundry, I took a nap. When I woke, the house was filled with the inviting smell of wine and stewing onions, an aroma that has filled Alsatian houses for centuries. I scooped out a steaming bowlful. The lamb was tender, the potatoes buttery, the broth potent, and the prosciutto crisp and salty. Just like that, I had added my own version of Bacheofe to my repertoire of winter stews.

https://www.saveur.com/article/Kitchen/Deep-Dish-Bacheofe


In this outstandng, must-see video, Chef André Soltner prepares a traditional, Asaltian Bacheofe:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1egftp

And here is the recipe, provided by Saveur:

Quote Bacheofe
Alsatian Meat and Vegetable Stew

This wine-simmered dish of meat and vegetables cooked in a dough-sealed pot is Alsatian through and through. It's an improvised meal of odds and ends that cooks for hours at low heat while you go about your business and emerges from the oven with enormous flavor.

To serve 6:

1 pound boneless beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 1 1⁄2" pieces
1 pound boneless pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1 1⁄2" pieces
1 pound boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1 1⁄2" pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 cups dry white wine
1⁄4 cup parsley leaves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons juniper berries
5 cloves garlic, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
2 small leeks, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 sprigs thyme
1⁄4 cup duck or goose fat
3 pounds Yukon Gold (or similar) potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 pound thick-cut bacon
1 cup flour, plus more for dusting

Place beef, pork, and lamb in a bowl; season with salt and pepper. Add wine, parsley, juniper berries, garlic, bay, carrots, onions, leeks, and thyme; mix together, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Rub a 10-qt. Dutch oven with duck fat, if using. Layer potatoes, marinated meat, and vegetables in the pot, seasoning between each layer with salt and pepper, ending with a layer of potatoes. Pour in remaining marinade and arrange the bacon, overlapping the slices slightly, over the top.

Mix flour and 5 tbsp. water in a bowl; transfer to a floured surface and knead briefly. Roll dough into a rope and transfer to rim of pot; press to adhere and cover with lid. Bake 3.5 hours.

Using a paring knife, carefully break the seal and remove lid to serve.

http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Bacheofe-Alsatian-Stew
If you are a visitor and like what you see, please click here and join the discussions in our community!
Back to Top
Sponsored Links


Back to Top
TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar

Joined: 25 January 2010
Location: Chinook, MT
Status: Offline
Points: 8912
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 December 2017 at 15:46
Some further reading, from Mimi Sheridan's 1000 Foods to Eat Before You Die:

Quote Baeckeoffee

Can’t decide between lamb, pork, or beef? With this dish, you don’t have to; all three are baked together in a large earthenware casserole known as a “baker’s oven,” a term that applies to both the container and its contents. Like many other long-cooking, one-pot meals deriving from earlier days when home ovens were uncommon (see cholent),the Baeckeoffe was traditionally taken to the baker to be placed in his big stone oven.

As with choucroute, the dish is a by-product of Alsace’s long, sparkling winter season, when hearty meals cooked at a leisurely pace warm kitchens and, eventually, bodies and souls. The ingredients are simple: Wine-and herb-marinated meats — including pigs’ feet, which add viscosity to the sauce — are slow-baked with carrots, onions, celery, potatoes, leeks, and goose fat. To retain heat and flavor, the casserole’s lid is sealed with a flour-and-water paste and the whole is placed in the oven. Three hours later, when that seal finally is broken and the lid removed, the resultant aroma — heady scents of rich meats, thyme, bay leaf, garlic, and wine — will almost be sustenance enough. Take a few bites anyway, and then see if you can stop.

Don’t forget to add mustard, and enjoy it with a cold beer or a dry Alsatian white wine, a clean-tasting Riesling, or a piquant Gewüztraminer. Complete the meal with a green salad and a crusty loaf of bread.

FURTHER INFORMATION AND RECIPES: The Lutèce Cookbook, by André Soltner with Seymour Britchky (1995); The Cuisine of Alsace, by Pierre Gaertner and Robert Frederick (1981); epicurious.com (search Baeckeoffe).


If you are a visitor and like what you see, please click here and join the discussions in our community!
Back to Top
TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar

Joined: 25 January 2010
Location: Chinook, MT
Status: Offline
Points: 8912
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 December 2017 at 16:14
Here is another article, along with an alternate recipe by Hubert Keller (which, apparently, contributed to the recipe in the opening post):

Quote Baeckeoffe - Laundry Day Stew of Beef, Pork, and Lamb

This is the stew that made such an impression on the final episode of the first season of Top Chef Masters. Each of us had been asked to create a meal that would be an autobiography told through the dishes we would present to the judges. I immediately thought of baeckeoffe ("baker's oven"). The name refers back to the time when bakers used wood-fired ovens. After the bread was done, this dish would be baked long and slow in the falling temperatures of the cooling oven. Since everyone in town would see the baker every day for the family's daily loaf, each would often bring a casserole to be baked in the oven. It was traditional, particularly on Mondays, when the women went to the river to do their laundry. They would have marinated their meats and vegetables overnight, dropped their casseroles off in the morning on their way, and then picked them up—plus a loaf of bread—on their way home. Even though my father was not the bread baker and had a modern, gasfired oven, people still took their casseroles to him. They liked to drop in because he always had some joke or story to tell. Before the village baker also invested in a modern oven and was still using wood, when my father turned over a fresh loaf of bread to give it the traditional blessing, he would sometimes see pieces of charcoal embedded in the crust. That would send my dad wild, muttering that "he [the baker] did not thoroughly clean his oven!"

I make this dish often, both at home and at the restaurant. But these days we tend to increase the vegetables and use less meat, and sometimes we use only vegetables and leave out the meat entirely. While there is never a mushroom in the classic recipe, you can add them or make a vegetarian version with mushrooms and a rich vegetable stock. I've also made this stew as the centerpiece for Christmas dinner, adding plenty of sliced black truffles. The classic dish uses a mix of meats including a pig's foot, which gives a rich, gelatinous texture to the stew. You may be able to special-order a pig's foot. Ask the butcher to slice it crosswise into three pieces. But even at the restaurant I sometimes have trouble ordering them, and your stew will still be delicious without one. You can also use just one or two kinds of meat instead of all three.

To serve 10:

2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped
2 small leeks, white and pale green parts, finely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped•2 or 3 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon whole juniper berries
1.5 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flatleaf parsley
3 cups (one 750-milliliter bottle) dry white wine, such as an Alsatian pinot gris, plus more, if needed, for the pot
1 pound boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 1¼-inch chunks
1 pound boneless pork butt, trimmed and cut into 1¼-inch chunks
1 pound boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1¼ inch cubes
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled

In a large bowl or very large plastic bag with a secure seal, mix together the onions, leeks, carrot, garlic, bay leaves, juniper berries, thyme, parsley, wine, beef, pork, lamb, 1.5 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Mix well, seal, and refrigerate for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours. Mix the meats and marinade occasionally; if they are in a bag, just turn it over once or twice.

When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Smear the olive oil all over the bottom of a 6- or 8-quart Dutch oven.

Peel the potatoes if you like; using a mandoline, slice them thinly and season well with salt and pepper. Do not wash the potatoes after slicing. The potato starch thickens the broth. Cover the bottom of the pot with half of them. Strain the solids and meat from the marinade, reserving both separately. Spread the meats and vegetables on top of the potatoes and then top with the remaining potatoes. Carefully pour the reserved marinade over the potatoes. If the liquid does not cover the top of the potatoes, add more wine or water until they are just covered.
Cover the pot and bring the stew to a gentle simmer on top of the stove. Place the pot in the oven and bake until the meats are very tender, about 3.5 hours. Serve, directly from the casserole, in warm, generously sized soup plates.

From Hubert Keller's Souvenirs: Stories & Recipes from My Life, by Hubert Keller, ©2012, Andrews McMeel Publishing

https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/baeckeoffe-laundry-day-stew-of-beef-pork-and-lamb-51125400
If you are a visitor and like what you see, please click here and join the discussions in our community!
Back to Top
TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar

Joined: 25 January 2010
Location: Chinook, MT
Status: Offline
Points: 8912
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 December 2017 at 16:25
Wikipedia also had a contribution to the collective knowledge of this Alsatian dish:

Quote Baeckeoffe



Baeckeoffe (English: "bake oven") is a French casserole dish that is typical in the French region of Alsace, situated on the border with Germany.

In the Alsatian dialect, Baeckeoffe means "baker's oven". It is a mix of sliced potatoes, sliced onions, cubed mutton, beef, and pork which have been marinated overnight in Alsatian white wine and juniper berries and slow-cooked in a bread-dough sealed ceramic casserole dish. Leeks, thyme, parsley, garlic, carrots and marjoram are other commonly added ingredients for flavor and color.

Alsatian people often eat that dish for a special occasion, like Christmas.

The Baekeoffe is a dish inspired from the Hamin, an Hebraic traditional dish of Shabbat. Because of the spiritual prohibition of using the fire from Friday night to Saturday night, the Jews had to prepare food for Saturday on Friday afternoon, and then would give the dish to the baker, who would keep it warm in his oven until Saturday noon.

Traditionally, the women would prepare this dish on Saturday evening and leave it with the baker to cook in his gradually cooling oven on Sunday while they attended the lengthy Lutheran church services once typical to the culture. The baker would take a "rope" of dough and line the rim of a large, heavy ceramic casserole, then place the lid upon it for an extremely tight seal. This kept the moisture in the container. On the way back from church, the women would pick up their casserole and a loaf of bread. This provided a meal to the Alsatians that respected the strict Lutheran rules of the Sabbath. Part of the ritual is breaking the crust formed by the rope of dough.

Another version of the story of the origin of this dish is that women in France would do laundry on Mondays and thus not have time to cook. They would drop the pots off at the baker on Monday morning and do the laundry. When the children returned home from school they would then pick up the pot at the baker and carry it home with them. This version of the story may be closer to reality as bakers were often closed on Sundays.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baeckeoffe
If you are a visitor and like what you see, please click here and join the discussions in our community!
Back to Top
TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar

Joined: 25 January 2010
Location: Chinook, MT
Status: Offline
Points: 8912
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 December 2017 at 19:43
As referenced in the opening post, here is the Julia Child video featuring Alsatian Chef Andrè Soltner as he prepares Bacheofe:

https://youtu.be/Jjg0f6HYwW0



If you are a visitor and like what you see, please click here and join the discussions in our community!
Back to Top
TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar

Joined: 25 January 2010
Location: Chinook, MT
Status: Offline
Points: 8912
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 December 2017 at 12:44
Here is another recipe to add to the "knowledge base," from The Cuisine of Alsace, by Pierre Gaertner and Robert Frédérick (1979):

Quote Baeckeofe, or Beckenoffe
Meat and Vegetable Pie



Baeckeofe, the name given to this dish in Alsace, is a German word meaning "baker's oven." In the od days, housewives gave this dish to the local baker to cook in his oven. It is an unusually tasty, aromatic and nourishing dish.

1 pound (500g) boneless lamb, preferably shoulder or neck
1 pound (500g) boneless pork, preferably neck
1 pound (500g) boneless beef, preferably shoulder or brisket
2 pigs' feet
3 large onions
3 leeks
3 large carrots
3 stalks celery
3.5 pounds (1.5kg) potatoes
6 tablespoons (80g) rendered goose fat or lard
Salt and black pepper
1 cup (100g) all-purpose flour

Marinade:

2 carrots
1 leek, white part only
1 clove garlic
1 shallot
3 stalks thyme
1/2 bay leaf
salt and pepper
1 bottle Sylvaner wine

Cut the meat and pigs' feet into pieces of 3 to 4 ounces (80 to 100g) each. Place into a large earthenware or glass container

Prepare the marinade. Peel, wash and cut into rounds of carrots, onion, leek, garlic and shallot. Sprinkle over meat. Add the thyme, bay leaf, salt, pepper and wine. Mix, and let the meats marinade overnight.

Peel the remaining vegetables. Cut the onions, leeks, carrots and celery into thin slices. Peel and wash the potatoes, then cut into slices about 1/4-inch (1/2cm) thick. Mix with vegetables.

Drain the meats and vegetables and reserve the marinade. Remove the bay leaf.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees c).

Grease the inside of a 4-quart (4l) earthenware casserole with goose fat. Make a layer of half the raw vegetables and potatoes. Follow with a layer of all the marinated meats and vegetables. Top with remaining vegetables and potatoes. Season each layer with salt and pepper, as you make it.

Pour in enough of the marinade to cover. If necessary to ensure covering, add a small amount of water to the marinade.

Make a paste of the flour mixed with some water.

Cover the pot and seal all around the lid with the pastry dough. This will prevent any steam from escaping. Bake in a hot oven for 2 hours, 30 minutes. Serve in the same pot.

Suggested wines: Sylvaner or Traminer
If you are a visitor and like what you see, please click here and join the discussions in our community!
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down



This page was generated in 0.063 seconds.