Boeuf Bourguignon/Lemmings

Nice to see you here as well!
Whoever wants to enjoy bourguignon without bourguignon should go to YARD rue de Mont-Louis and order the cromesquis de joue de bœuf with a glass or two of natural wine. They’re delicious and I order them every time I go there.
When I make a braised beef of any recipe, it’s always beef cheek.

2 Likes

Such a hard time chasing down cheeks over here, and I even know the people down the road with the cows! Allegedly, a chef pal has sourced some jour de porc for me. Remaining hopeful. I understand not being able to get Morteau here, (tho it still saddens me) but I wish these other cuts were more appreciated.

1 Like

My butcher told me that they are indeed appreciated here…by chefs…who corner the market so that little gets to the retail butcher. He said he could order me a 10 pound box perhaps but that sounded like a project to me. Parcel and freeze? And in what portions?

1 Like

Same with ox-tail and ox-tongue. Used to be so cheap. Now they cost an arm and a leg!!

1 Like

LOL. I last checked a beef tongue at a Kroger grocery that has many Hispanic essentials. $44.
When peasant food becomes chic, the market is squeezed.

4 Likes

At least the whole cut is edible except for the skin.

Oxtail is much worse! Usually, one pays for the fat ( deliberately poorly trimmed by the butcher to extract more $$$ from paying customers ) not to mention the bones!

2 Likes

Interestingly at my farmer’s market, lamb tongues, which are divine in a vinaigrette, are pretty cheap. Under $2 for a package of 4. They seldom have more than one or two packages, so when I find them I buy and freeze in order to accumulate a dinner party quantity.

1 Like

This thread has been an interesting journey, touching on subjects I wouldn’t have expected based on the title!

A couple of non-sequiturs on points that were raised a while back:

I had several chances to interact with Julia Child later in her life, as a Cambridge neighbor and fellow foodie. She was a keen follower of the Boston food scene, and friends with many local chefs. We were both fans of Gordon Hammersley, and on the evening of the final service at their original, small location on Tremont Street (before moving across the street to bigger digs), Hammersley’s Bistro had two seatings. Julia’s party was at the first seating occupying the same table that I had for the second seating. We chatted for close to 15 minutes at the “handover”, probably to the annoyance of other guests. She was remarkable for her equanimity, humility, and generosity, not only for her well known sense of humor and love of good food and cooking. Far from a snob, she loved discussions with anyone interested and interesting. You didn’t have to be famous to have her take genuine interest in what you had to say. She donated her papers and cookbook collection to the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe (Harvard), which makes an interesting stop for the food-curious.

On our most recent visit with friends living in a small village outside Besançon, they prepared Guinea hen with morels in cream and vin jaune. Ooh la la! D’Artangnan has Guinea hens, but they are not cheap, ~$50 for a 2.5-3 pound bird.

4 Likes

When I was working in London years ago, one of my favourite sandwich for lunch was from a nearby deli. Pure simple, spongy white bread sandwiched with tons of thinly sliced jellied ox-tongue, hot English mustard and sweet & tangy English sandwich spread…so simple yet so good!

2 Likes

A well bred chicken works as well. And we should note that many products that are considered ordinary or just a “cut above” in France are luxuries here. Like the bunny I eyed recently at my butcher for $44. Bunnies were what an inept hunter brought home or what was bred in backyard hutches,

So true! You see lapin hanging in shops all over Europe. It would freak people out in the US to see a bunny hanging in a shop, even if was behind a butcher counter!

Although I’m not one to talk. I gave up hunting after someone showed me a picture of me holding a large shotgun in one hand and tiny quail in the other. Though I do love roasted quail.

1 Like

Reading your exchanges. For my upcoming Paris trip, looks like I have to squeeze in a meal at ’ Auberge Bressane ’ just to try their Poulet with morels in cream and vin jaune?! So much to eat, so little time! Sigh!

4 Likes

I think you must :wink:

The food of the gods. We call it head cheese.

1 Like

Rabbits used to be cheap and not difficult to find in SF, too, until about 15-20 years ago.

Here in Toronto, most head cheese are found in ’ Eastern European Delicatessen ’ and as such are the ’ pork varietal ’ featuring parts of the head like the cheek, ears, tongue, snout…etc.

1 Like

Joining the cheerleading team for any stew/ braise made with beef cheeks instead of beef chunks.

Once again, I’m surprised that boeuf bourguignon is considered the quintessential French stew. I could be wrong because I’m not a cook but in my own family and in my travels around France, lamb stews/ braises/ fricassées seem to be more popular. It’s not so obvious in Paris because so many restaurants depend on the tourist trade and have menus that must offer the clichés that appeal to tourists. But time-warp and stubbornly old-fashioned Chez Denise in Les Halles still has a very good Haricot de Mouton (a sort of lamb and beans stew) on its menu… much recommended. For those who insist on beef, their daube de joue de boeuf/ beef cheeks stew is also very good.

For you home cooks, I suggest seeking out a good recipe for “daube d’agneau provençale”. My #1 French stew (or at least the version made by my grandmother). Hint: recipe must include mashing through a sieve the wine-based braising liquid and the cooked mirepoix vegetables.

1 Like

I love both of those dishes at Denise, as well as the Hachis Parmentier and the Chou Farci.

Help cover Hungry Onion's costs when you shop at Amazon!

Bessarabsky Market, Kyiv. Ukraine
Credit: Juan Antonio Segal, Flickr