I Need French Food Without Onions and Garlic

ON THIS WEEK’S episode of Dinner SOS, test kitchen director and host Chris Morocco is joined by chef and cookbook author Tanya Holland to help caller Michelle recreate her favorite French dish of beef bourguignon with an added nuance—no garlic or onion allowed.

Michelle and her husband live in Miami, but they travel often to France to visit his family and to eat his father’s cooking. According to Michelle, her father-in-law makes perfect renditions of French classics like beef bourguignon, ratatouille, lamb tagine, and poulet farci. But as many times as Michelle has tried, she’s unable to recreate these dishes back home in the States. There’s also one important caveat: Michelle’s husband has an intolerance to alliums like garlic, onion, and shallots, which form the base of flavor in many French dishes.

Chris calls on Tanya Holland, a Bay Area-based chef who attended culinary school in Burgundy, to help Michelle translate this French classic to her American kitchen. Tanya suggests other ingredients like anchovies, mushrooms, and fresh herbs that can add depth of flavor without the alliums. Chris recommends Michelle try this recipe for Beef and Bacon Stew, which includes a stealthy addition of miso for extra umami depth. Because onions would typically add sweetness to the stew, Chris and Tanya agree that Michelle should add additional carrots and some sugar (or brown sugar, as Tanya suggests) in place of the onions to achieve a similar flavor.

Listen now to hear whether Michelle achieves her dream of exquisite beef bourguignon back home in Miami.