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.

Pasta with clams, Saint Jacob scallops and squid

This weekend was the “Foire aux harengs et à la coquille de St Jacques” in the coastal town of Dieppe but we could not go to the Normandy port.

To mark this weekend of herring and scallops and encourage the hard-working small-boat fishermen there, I made a dish with scallops from my local fishmonger.

Pyrenees crawfish

Crawfish are a rare delicacy in France, especially as they are far less abundant than several decades ago when the red legs and white legs still populated many streams and lakes. But they are for sale, or can be caught, here in the season in the Pyrenees.