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.
There is nothing better than a soup to chase the winter cold and this beef and lentils soup does the trick very well.
Beef and oyster pie is an old English recipe that stems from the times that oysters were so plentiful that they were cheap enough for the poor to eat. Beef was not cheap but the meat used was not a prime cut. Many recipes use a pint of British ale in the broth. Beef andRead More
This is a very pleasant and nutritious soup for when you are trying to lose weight after spending some nice holidays. I found some interesting beef shank at the supermarket – my butcher’s is closed for a few weeks – and started by making a beef broth. The next day I removed the (little) fatRead More
A long time ago, I left my parents house to study at university in the big city of Amsterdam. My mother gave me a book of recipes as I had already showed signs that I would not be eating pizzas and French fries all the time but actually do some cooking. In my first studentRead More
It is Monday and the butcher’s is closed because they open on Sunday morning. Go figure. I had abandoned buying meat at the supermarket because it is better from the butcher and, surprisingly, often even cheaper. However, when I saw a kilo of beef at the supermarket at 5 euros, with the mention “Limousin” forRead More
Here we have a culinary and national identity conundrum. Let’s start by saying that oxtail soup is a hearty winter dish using relatively cheap ingredients. Personally, I always associate oxtail soup with England, so my French version replaced the porto with a Banyuls and added some root vegetables that do not enter in the originalRead More
Sometimes you want something simple and pasta with meat sauce is a kind of comfort food for colder days. I do not like to buy pasta sauce in tins or jars and I did not want to go into the trouble of making a real Bolognese sauce because with the bacon (and mushrooms) it addsRead More
A hearty soup is a great dish for Autumn. This is a variation on a recipe for a clear beef soup with kale, principally because there was no kale available on the market. After making the broth, I was supposed to dispose of the beef. Instead, I used it for another preparation.
Mirepoix is a city in the southwest of France, in the Ariège region. It is also the name given to a certain style of finely chopping vegetables and herbs to go into a soup or stew. I have an old aunt living near that city and when I visit her I usually cook a dishRead More