Peyriac-en-Mer lunch menu

Peyriac-en-Mer Lunchtime Menu (Near to Narbonne)

We dropped in to Peyriac en Mer, down here in southern France, and went to la Veille Tonneaux.  I have to be honest and declare openly that this is where the menu came from.  I cannot take the credit for this at all.  This is experiential not inspirational.  And it was not at all expensive either.     Well…… were we lucky to experience this?  YES!

Three superb but simple courses.

  1.  Salad de thon et couscous (Tuna couscous salad)

This was a cold couscous base, done in a veg stock with fresh diced tomatoes, peppers, etc, with cooked carrot pieces, French beans, chopped, and tinned tuna chunks.  There was a lovely piquant dressing that seemed to involve lemon juice & olive oil.

  1. Filet mignon du porc  dans sauce moutard et legumes (pork fillet in a mustard sauce with veg)

This was pork fillet, sliced at an angle (to make them long) to 1cm thickness, cooked to perfection in a sauce of whole grain mustard and stock, finished off with a dollop of crème fraiche, with a mixture of aubergine & courgette sticks, cooked very well in a pork stock.  ……and chips….. but it would be lovely with a nice rice instead.

  1. Ananas sous un sorbet citron vert avec des feuilles de menthe (Pineapple under a lime sorbet with mint leaves).

As the title suggests, this was pineapple in small cubes, with a boule of lime sorbet on the top and mint leaves.  I knew that the mint would go with the sorbet but I was amazed how well it went with the pineapple.

All in all, a very good menu at a very reasonable price.  If you are in the area, try la Veille Tonneaux at Peyriac en Mer.

Red pepper & pine nut beefy-burgers

 

I wus quite chuffed wi’this!

Prep:          20 mins.

Cooking:      15 mins……

Course:        Lunch/supper/that sorta fing……

Serves:        2 (or 3 if you’re mean….depends on the size of the pack of mince)

Rating:         2.  Easy. You can do it…… YEAH!

Find:

  • Small pack of beef mince
  • 2 onions – I prefer red……. try blue?
  • Half of an old aubergine (optional, simply because it was there, languising in the fridge and would otherwise have been binned…..)
  • Pine nuts….. about a quarter of a packet I suppose….. WADJA MEAN HOW BIG’S A PACKET…. look on the label! (I can see I’m gonna have trouble wi’you….)
  • Half a red pepper.  I dunno how big!
  • 3 cloves of garlic (I used BIG ones….)
  • An egg.  Beaten. (Or at least defeated).
  • A small food processor.  Or a big one.  Mine’s little.  How big’s yours?  Oooooh!
  • A bowl in which you can mix’n’scrunch…..

Method:

  • You need to cut the onion, pine nuts, pepper and garlic (and I put the aubergine in there as well, as I’m a tightwad…) into chunks, so that the word….. so that the food processor can do its bit.
  • Put the mince, as broken up as possible, into the bowl.
  • Put the coarsely processed stuff into the bowl and mix with the mince .
  • Crack the egg into a cup, give it a quick beat and pour into the mince mixture.
  • Mix with a fork.
  • Get yer ‘ands in and scrunch it about for a few mins.
  • At this stage it is best to let it rest in the fridge for a couple of hours covered with cling film.
  • I didn’t, I just said that it’s best if.
  • Take big spoonfuls (or is it spoons full…..?) of the mixture and squeeeeeeeze it tight in your very clean hands, reserving the emitted fluid for the gravy/sauce in a container of some description.
  • Shape it into a thick burger/pattie shape.  You culd use one of these stainless steel cheffie rings, if you are that way inclined.  Me?  I’m a pleb.  Anyway, pop it onto an oiled plate/tray/surface/oven paper/whatever….
  • Repeat for the amount of mixture/scruncture that you have.  I want to see ‘scruncture’ in the Oxford English Dictionary……
  • Pan fry, slowly, allowing a skin/surface to form on the underside before you attempt to turn them…..cos they’ll fall apart an’ it’ll all end in tears an’ heartache otherwise.
  • Serve with a very rich beef stock (oxo), chopped tomato and blue cheese sauce.  Well, just serve with whatever you have….but it was LOVELY with a rich bee………
  • No; I’s NOT been on the beer.
  • It was lovely French pastis……

Toulouse sausage & chips…..

I did a lovely Toulouse sausage & chips last night.

Toulouse sausage is a particularly coarsely minced pork sausage.  I found a few bits on the net that would help you replicate it.  Personally, I think that the better ones come from Aldi.  However, here’s what was on the net….at least, of the more authentic ones:

For those interested

This recipe comes from The Professional Charcuterie Series by Marcel
Cottenceau, Jean-Francios Deport and Jean-Pierre Odeau (As you can see
somewhat French in content). This book is for a charcuterie course held at a
major establishment (CEPROC : Centre European de Promotion de la
Charcuterie)

*** start of text (verbatim)

Toulouse Sausage
Ingredients for 5 kg (11 lbs) of sausage
3.7 kg (8 lbs) very lean pork
1.3 kg (3 lbs) firm pork fat

Seasonings
90 g (3 oz) fine salt
10 g (1/3 oz) white pepper
5 g (1/6 oz) ground nutmeg
food colouring

Note: Whether the chef uses a grinder or chopper to prepare the stuffing,
the fat should be ground more finely than the lean to give the sausage a
meaty, lean appearance. In either case it is recommended to partially freeze
the fat so that it does not begin to melt during grinding or chopping.

Grinder Method
Grind the fat using a 5 mm (1/4 in) disk then pass the lean though a 10 mm
(3/8 in) disk. Place the ground meat and fat in a mixer. Add the seasonings
dissolved in a little cold water. Mix on low speed to obtain a homogenous
mixture without causing the fat to melt which stiffens the mixture (smear or
“farcissage”)

Chopper Method
First chop the chilled fat with the seasonings (dissolved in water) until
the pieces are about 5 mm (1/4 in). Add the cubes of lean and process until
the grain of the lean pork is about 10 mm (3/8 in). Transfer the ground
mixture to a mixer and blend until the ingredients are evenly distributed.
Do not mix too long or at too fast a speed which could warm the fat in the
mixture. The mixture should look very lean as shown.

Filling the Casings
The mixture is then stuffed into pork casings (30-40 mm (1 1/2 in)). The
opeartion is done slowly and steadily to avoid air pockets. If the mixture
is stuffed into the casings too fast it will be too tightly packed which
could warm the mixture and cause the fat to melt slightly. This warming
action, known in French as “farcissage” and smear in English causes the
sausage to discolor and the fat to melt out during cooking resulting in a
dry product. Air pockets that are visible in the stuffed sausage can be
released by pricking as shown. Smooth the surface to give the sausage an
even shape. The sausage can be left in a long coil and sold by weight or
twisted off into individual links of 10-12 cm (4-5 in).

Presentation
Individual links of Toulouse sausage are arranged for sale in neat rows on
serving dishes with a simple decoration of parsley sprigs. A long coil of
the sausages can be arranged on a platter or wrapped around a specially
designed stainless steel pyramid made for presenting blood sausages.

Storage
Toulouse sausages should be made fresh daily to ensure freshness. They are
popular with customers and are sold quickly. Store in the refrigerator 2-3
degrees C (35-37 degrees F) on a platter and cover with plastic wrap.

Scrummy Pulled Lamb Pot (or Piggie….)

‘Pulled’ meats are scrummy in general, but I was very chuffed with this one, I confess..

This method can be used for lamb or pork equally.  The reason for doing this was that we managed to buy a fore-quarter of a lamb at a reasonable price in Super U and when I split the box into bags and popped it in our miniscule freezer, I boned -out the shoulder so that it would take up less room, and then brought it out when our lad came over here (to France) to see us and I thought I’d use a good stock that we had instead of the pot-roast oil & water.

Quantities are not possible to quote, sorry.  It’s Approximation Cookery again! (There’ll be a Kindle book with that title on Amazon soon…. end of July 2016 I’d imagine….. that you might like to have a gander at).  So there’ll not be the normal rubric at the start of the recipe.  

You need:

Shoulder of lamb or pork

Breadcrumbs

Prunes, apricots…. some sort of fruit content (but it is optional)

Stock/gravy

String-type string (not plastic….. and no bailer twine if you’s country folk….)

Large saucepan and lid (or a plate to pretend that it’s a lid)

About 8 hours.

Just do this:

Ask the butcher to bone the shoulder of lamb/pork for you, or sharpen a knife and do it yourself.  It won’t matter if you make wrong cuts, it’s all gonna be pulled apart later, so….. go on, get on with it.  A longish knife with a narrowish blade is best.  A wide-bladed Chef’s knife is not so good for this; you need a narrowish blade.  You should have a go because it will help your knife skills improve.

Ok, so you have a boned-out shoulder of something (I wonder what alpacca tastes like? …. or camel? ) and it’s sitting in front of you on the chopping board.  Open it out and unfold it as much as you can, even making more cuts to open it up further if you wish.  You’re gonna stuff it.

Put breadcrumbs (indeterminate amount), something like chopped up prunes, apricots…. whatever in a bowl and season it well.  Lots of ground black pepper, whatever herbs you like.  Scrunch it all together with a well-washed hand.  You might want to put a splash of water in just to make it stick together better.Spread it all over the flesh side of the shoulder.

Roll it up.  Either that or fold it all towards the centre.

String it up.  No, don’t execute it from a gallows….. just tie one loop around the middle and tie it off, then cut off the straggly bits.  Tie one loop in the other direction.  Tie it off and cut.  Do this as many times as necessary to make a reasonably secure parcel of meat with the stuffing inside.

Put the stock/gravy/soup/sauce that you’ve found in the fridge into the saucepan on the stove and put the tinyest heat possible under it.(remember what you should do with fats….?  Put them into a cup and itothe fridge, and then when the fat has solidified on the top, discard it into a bag/tin/yogurt pot and tie it into a bag as much as poss, and use the jelly below the fat as your stock….yeah?  YEAH!  You remembered!)

Pop your parcel, all neatly tied, into the stock and put the lid on.  So long as it is the lowest of the low heat possible, it’ll be fine.  Now bugger off for four hours.

After about 4-5 hours, take the lid off and have a poke about.  Perhaps turn the package over.  Prise a bit away from it and have a taste.  Yummy, yes?  Yes.   A bit bouncy in texture, yes?  Good.  Now sod off for another three hours leaving the package to cook some more. You’ll  be fine  just so long as it’s a tight-fitting lid or plate.

Make some mash and a bit o’veg, and have it ready.  Take the lamb/pork out and pop it onto a plate.  Cut and discard the string.  Use two forks to pull it all apart, pour some gravy over it and serve.

Approximation Cookery, and YUMMY!