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Food notes 13

I January 2019

for 10 minutes. Char the onion on the burner until black, and e half-onion with cloves. d wash all the other vegetables. the carrots and celery, and tie s into a bundle. Add all the c garnish to the pot, with the on of the salt. Simmer gently for hours. Season with salt after 1 cooking time. Skim the scum off regularly. Finally, carefully he broth.

n the beef chuck in a pot with eanut oil. Add the aromatic sh (onions, carrots, celery, and ). Pour in the red wine and beef ommé. Add the herbs. Simmer y, with the lid on, for 3 hours. ove the beef chuck. Strain the d, and reduce the sauce until it ck and tasty. he beef into thick slices, and ge the truffle and Comté cheese on top of each piece of meat. under the grill for a few seconds. the asparagus in salted boiling for a few seconds. Refresh them; sauté them in the butter in a pan. he artichokes, and dip them in with the juice of 1 lemon. Cook in a pan with the olive oil. They d retain their crunch. Season salt and pepper. ate: Place a serving of beef the melted cheese on each plate. nge the asparagus and sautéed hokes on the side. Add a pool of auce.

Photo: Chinkerfly/Flickr

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The carnivore’s classic that evokes raw emotions In our series providing a sideways look at French food, we examine the ever-divisive, uncooked steak tartare

iven the inexorable spread of veganism and vegetarianism (France, perhaps surprisingly, is included in this unstoppable rise), it is likely that one day – perhaps sooner than we all think – meat-eaters will be in the minority. And when that comes to pass, one of the off-menu, naughty, morally dubious, seemingly rank, or plain odd-yet-delicious dishes that any self-respecting carnivore might seek out, is steak tartare. Its concept, with origins in Eastern Europe and later the USA, is certainly wacky, if straightforward. Like a deconstructed hamburger, it is a mix of seasoned and chopped steak with a few flavour-giving trimmings such as capers, Worcestershire sauce and onion mixed in, and topped with a raw egg yolk to be stirred through at the last minute, for added goo and goodness.

When the dish first appeared in the French foodie bible, Escoffier’s Le Guide Culinaire, in 1921 it was called steack à l’Americaine and served sans egg yolk. Its name referred to the tartar sauce (a gherkin mayonnaise) it was served with. By 1938’s edition this had morphed into the dish we know today, but ‘tartar’ stuck. Some people worry about steak tartare’s associated health risks and while properly kept raw meat is fine, those with weak immunity might want to steer clear. The advice is: if making your own, always try to buy the very freshest, high quality meat. Be it a moral or animal welfare stance that drives a vegetarian switch, or other environmental concerns about the impact of epic-scale cattle rearing, meat-free living is here to stay. Steak tartare, like the edible, Armagnac-soaked finch ortolan (illegal, of course) and foie gras (clinging to legality but still widely enjoyed in France) will become even dirtier words. What odds on Paris being home to blacked-out, sidestreet speak-easys for steak tartare aficionados in the year 2070?

Gadget inspector

Now available

Warm the heart with a raclette... by candlelight

Ale and hearty: new beer range suits British taste

In ski chalets across France, weary skiers are tucking into cheesy raclette suppers this winter, to replenish energy levels. But why not give the soirée a modern twist with this stylish, foldable ‘Yeti’ set from Cookut, a Lyon company founded by three young innovators. It uses tea lights to heat a small tray full of unctuous cheese – wait for it to melt then spoon over your meat and potatoes! Also available in baby blue and pink. €14.95 per tray from www.cookut.com.

The penchant for craft ales is booming in France (see Trending in our October edition), so much so that Casino supermarkets now have their own ‘cave à bières’ (beer cellar) instore. The firm has worked with two breweries and a ‘bièrologue’ to launch a range of artisanal beers (€2 for 33cl) called La Collective du Houblon. Featuring hoppy tipples which will be familiar to British beer drinkers, they even have English names, such as Amber Ale, IPA and Golden Ale.

Food notes

Vanilla Mille-Feuille, Ritz-Style Ingredients For the puff pastry: 100g plain flour 350g butter 100ml cold water 7g sel de Guérande 200g stoneground organic flour 25g melted butter Icing sugar

For the pastry cream: ½ vanilla bean, 100ml milk 10g butter, 1 egg yolk 20g granulated sugar 10g cornstarch 10g cake flour 10g gelatine 120ml whipping cream

Method for the puff pastry 1. A day ahead, prepare a beurre manié: use the dough hook of your mixer to combine the cake flour and the butter. Spread out the beurre manié to form a square. Cover with waxed paper, and chill. 2. To make the détrempe (the dough before the butter is incorporated): still using the dough hook, combine the water and salt, and then the stoneground flour with the melted butter. Do not overmix. Cover in plastic wrap, and chill. 3. The next day, envelope the détrempe (the second mixture) within the first (the beurre manié). Roll out, and fold over twice. Leave to rest. An hour and a half later, roll and fold two more times. An hour and a half later, repeat. An hour and a half later, roll out the dough to make an even sheet of puff pastry (less than 2mm thick). 4. Place this sheet of pastry between 2 sheets of waxed paper on a baking sheet. Set a wire rack over it, and bake at 175°C for about 45 minutes, until the pastry is a nice golden colour. 5. When done, cut out 12 rectangles, 15 x 3.5cm). Sprinkle with icing sugar through a small strainer, and bake at 240 °C for 2-to-3 minutes to caramelize the pastry. Remove from the oven, and leave to cool on a wire rack. Method for the pastry cream 1. Scrape out the vanilla seeds into the milk, and bring the milk and butter, with the vanilla seeds and bean, to a boil. Whip the egg yolk with the sugar until pale and thick. Add the cornstarch and flour. Mix again until smooth. Pour the boiling milk over the egg mixture; then return mixture to the saucepan, and cook for three minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat, and add the gelatine, whisking so that no lumps form. 2. Transfer the pastry cream to a pastry dish. Cover with plastic wrap flush with the surface, removing any air bubbles, and place in the refrigerator to cool completely. When the pastry cream is cool, transfer it to a bowl, and whip again until perfectly smooth. 3. Beat the whipping cream, and carefully fold it into the vanilla pastry cream. Chill until needed. To assemble the mille-feuille Spoon the pastry cream into a pastry bag fitted with a 12mm tip, and pipe out two lines onto a rectangle of caramelized pastry. Repeat the procedure a second time, and sandwich four layers together. Top with a layer of puff pastry.

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Profile for English Language Media Sarl

The Connexion 195 - January 2019  

France's English-Language Newspaper

The Connexion 195 - January 2019  

France's English-Language Newspaper