THE Miss Universe fever is down but not some bashers. The latest to hit the gossip hashtagverse (hashtag universe, if I may coin a term) is Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere’s sexual preference. The beautiful lady is constantly seen in photos with a pretty girl by her side, but the beauty queen dismissed the rumor, simply and with no apologies, which means she’s telling the truth.

GMA online identified the girl as Camille Cert, the bosom buddy of Iris. It was also reported that the new Miss U said she has a boyfriend called Matthieu Declercq. End of discussion?

What interests me still is the fact that Iris cooks, not for show but for real. During the pageant on Jan. 30, Iris mentioned cooking as a passion, with her specialty being boeuf bourguignon.

Boeuf bourguignon is a traditional French recipe, much like the Philippines’ adobo (stewed pork in a base of soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, whole peppercorns, sugar and bay leaf) and bistek Tagalog (beefsteak marinated in soy sauce, lemon and garlic; pan-fried with the marinade and onion rings).

Since the pronunciation of boeuf bourguignon is complicated, call it by its English equivalent, beef Burgundy. The name betrays its origin, which is the Burgundy region or if you want to flaunt your knowledge in French, Bourgogne. The eastern region is also famous for coq au vin (literally, chicken in wine or braised chicken in wine, mushrooms and garlic if you like); and escargot or kuhol locally (edible snail cooked with garlic butter and wine).

Burgundy is also the name of a dry red wine, made from Pinot noir grapes (black grapes) and white wine from Chardonnay (green) grapes.

“Uncle, how can wine be dry?” my nephew Pannon asked.

“It’s a term differentiating dry wine, which is not sweet, from sweet or semi-dry wine, which is semi-sweet.”

Since beef Burgundy has wine in it, expect a muscular flavor that at the same time does not overpower the senses. It’s a beautiful blend of ingredients slowly cooked so the beef absorbs all the heavenly flavors and becomes tender.

The type of beef you use matters a lot, so choose sirloin or some other tender cuts. To do this project, mix flour, salt and black pepper. Dredge the beef (sliced into cubes) in the flour mixture and brown in olive oil in a medium skillet.

Transfer the beef and the rest of the ingredients (sliced onion or pearl onions kept whole, sliced button mushrooms, fresh parsley to taste, three cloves minced garlic, two bay leaves, one cup Burgundy wine and 1/2 cup beef broth). Combine the ingredients well and cook slowly on low fire for four to six hours, or two to three hours on high. Adjust liquid as needed and check taste before serving.

The dish is a lesson in patience, something we all learned from Pia Wurtzbach who tried winning the Binibining Pilipinas three times in a row and then won the Miss U crown; and France which waited 64 years to create the ideal beauty for the universe in Iris.