Beef pear with trumpet of the death mushrooms
My butcher usually keeps two special cuts aside when he gets a new carcass — the poire and the merlan — and I have the right of first refusal. I hardy ever refuse.
These are very fine cuts, one is oblong and looks like a fish (merlan being a whiting) and the poire looks like a big pear. They come from near the topside, in English butchery terms. For French butchers, they are near the tranche. It is lean and delicate meat and not so well-known because there is just about a pound of it on an entire cow.
This kind of beef does not ask for sauces or mustard, just a bit of salt and pepper will do.
But you can prepare a nice side dish and as it is Autumn, and mushroom season, I went to a regional market on Sunday — at Espéraza — to look for ceps. But there was just one stand holder that had them and I did not like the look of that. However, elsewhere on the market there were two ladies selling chanterelles (cantarelles) and the black trumpets of the death.
Also local rousillious mushrooms; lactaire délicieux (delicious milk cap).
I opted for the black trumpets, freshly picked, not dried nor wet.
At home, I took the beef out of the fridge a few hours before the meal and cleaned the mushrooms with a paper towel and knife.
In hot butter I seared the two halves of poire for a few minutes to brown it on all sides, added some pepper and salt and then put in the the over at 180 °C for another 10 minutes.
Meanwhile I fried the cut-up mushrooms in another skillet with butter and combined the two elements just before serving.