Friday, February 7, 2014

Boeuf à la ficelle

Per Nana~
This week's recipe of beef on a string is quite interesting. 
 I will admit that I took the easy way out and used broth from a container.
  Perhaps if the weather was a bit nicer I might have considered 
shopping for all the ingredients to prepare the bouillon, but I don't
 even know where to buy oxtails or veal bones on a good day.
I used  a total of two and a half containers of broth and cooked the veggies up.
 I did not find any celery root while shopping so I decided to use parsnips 
instead. This combination of vegetables added such a lovely flavor to the 
broth. I poached the beef tenderloin for 20 minutes and it was still too rare
 for us to eat. I sliced a few pieces to use for photos and then sliced the rest to
 cook a bit more in the broth. To garnish, I used horseradish and mustard, 
and served "Hélène's All White Salad" on the side. 

Per Tricia~
Luckily this week's recipe was quite a cinch compared to the Paris Brest 
pastry of last week. Even more so if you used ready made broth like 
Nana and I did. The aroma in the kitchen was out of this world as the
 tenderloin poached and my husband, who prefers his meat rare, 
was in his glory. I decided not to tell him how much I spent on the
 piece of meat he was raving about. Why be a kill-joy..... 
In addition to enjoying this "lost recipe" as Dorie refers to it, I very much
 enjoyed her tale of trying to get the cut of meat at the Grand Epicerie
 in Paris. This one really hit home as when Nana and I have stayed in
 Paris the last few times our preferred location is about a block away. 
We often would stop by La Grand Epicerie, which is really an
 amazing food hall/court/ grocery store that is part of a department
 store- Le Bon Marche. We would enjoy ogling the fine pastries, meats
 and French specialties - as much as chuckling when we saw "American" 
food (ketchup, oreos) on the very fancy shelves. At very fancy prices. 

I love to get tote bags as souvenirs and have been using  one
 from this very store for years now. It is by no means fancy
 but it does the job and puts a smile on my
 face as I bring lunch and supplies to work. 

And Nana was spot on with it not being weather to go hunting oxtails in.
 We have had severe weather in PA, with snow that was followed by an ice
 storm. We woke up earlier this week to our tree taking out a neighbor's car. 
All is well but this winter has been quite an adventure. 
And it is far from over.
Note my feathered friend in the river birch outside my window ~
Happy French Friday ~ 


  1. BRRRR! I don't know what I'll do if and when I move back to someplace snowy. Between Texas and Naples, the Navy has kept us mostly warm for the past five years. I wouldn't leave the house for oxtails or anything else, if I could avoid it. Glad you all enjoyed this recipe!

  2. Nana, I wish I could have introduced you to my butcher at the Pike Place Market when you were in Seattle. They always have oxtails, veal bones, and a great meat selection. Next time!
    Tricia, I also buy the market bags everywhere I go. I bought one in Amsterdam once, without knowing what was written on it, and one day, a lady stopped me in the street and said, "I use to be a midwife at that clinic!". Oh well, I still like the bag.

  3. I am glad both of you loved this!

  4. How fun to have that connection in Paris! This was not quite done enough for us either without the extra cooking time. It looks delicious though! :)

  5. Yay! A double hit. I was surprised to enjoy the beef this way, though I probably still like it better roasted or grilled. Nice job! I hope your weather improves soon. I'm so tired of winter.

  6. Both dishes look great ladies!

  7. I'm starting to understand why this recipe was lost… the cost. So glad to see others using store bought broth too.. I thought I was being bad, but it is practical. Both look lovely.

  8. Im glad you are both safe!!

    Mei & I loved that store in Paris! We would often go to the closest one for a little snack or more fancy, French baby food (Since the supply we brought for Mei apparently wasn't enough... go figure lol).

    Nana, you can find these bones/cuts at Mexican and Asian grocers really easily and for much cheaper :) or your local butcher in the grocery stores should have them - they might be in the freezer sections or you have to request them since they tend to get thrown out.

  9. I was wondering how you both made out in the storm - all of the salesmen that I talk to who live in that neck of the woods were having a heck of a time with the power outages, the ice build up and all of that misery. Ouch on the tree, but glad no one was hurt. We just had a foot + of snow and single to negative temperatures - which sounds easy in comparison to what you all had to live with.

    Both of your dishes look wonderful (I totally cheated and used the stock in a box...)

    Stay warm! Winter has to end sometime, right?

  10. I definitely am feeling sympathy with you on the East Coast and my family and high school buddies in the Midwest about the tough winter you're all suffering through. Not fun. As you know, Aspen is getting dumped on constantly. I understand the snow removal trucks don't know where to stash all the snow. But, for Coloradoans, we're thrilled and generally can handle it very well. The only word coming from Aspen is "Epic". That's what this ski season is. As for me, while I could do "Epic" in my 30's, 40's and 50's and early 60's, at 69, I'm totally over it. Sorry about the falling tree. Ouch. Both your meals look delicious. I like my beef rare to medium rare so they both look perfect to me. When I travel in Europe I always buy grocery bags to bring home as gifts. My friends love to have them and they are easy to pack. Nice memory every time I use one or see them using it. Nana, they do not have oxtails at the local Cambria grocery store, the Cookie Crockery. In fact, they looked at me like I was insane. Anyway, after learning that Cher is an oxen in Chinese New Years mumbo-jumbo, I couldn't cook an oxtail anyway.

  11. Nana, I bought my oxtail and marrow bones at my grocery store…I just asked the butcher. Love how delicious both of your dishes look! Tricia, I thought Bill was going to have a heart attack when he saw the price of that beef! I have to remember to leave him home when I go shopping!
    We got out of town just in time to miss that ice…so glad we did! Now it looks like Atlanta is up for more snow and ice this week and we all know how well Atlanta handles the snow!
    Tomorrow we head to Florida! Well Ladies, I hope you stay safe and warm!! Enjoy your week!
    I love your shopping bag from Paris!

  12. I am so sick of this snow too! Sorry to hear about your neighbor's car. Yikes! Your beef looks absolutely amazing though and parsnips would make an excellent addition! The butcher at Fairway had all the bones in packages already- so we were very lucky. I would not trudge out too far for them otherwise! Hope it gets warm soon!

  13. I haven't made this yet and I've been wavering on whether or not to do it. You two have about convinced me. Next week a friend will be here and I plan to make it for him. Being a single man he will enjoy beef and vegetables since he eats lots of packaged meals and carry out! And I will probably use packaged broth:) Tricia I have two bags I love. One from the Moderna Museet in Stockholm and one from The Bertinet Cookery School in Bath. I hope your weather isn't getting you ladies down! We are going stir crazy in Oklahoma! Its too damn cold!

  14. I think I'll just have to go back to Paris to browse La Grand Epicerie. Glad you both enjoyed...I wish I would have thought of using canned beef broth :) And I'm so glad Bill never sees how much I spend on food...LOL.

  15. The photo of the bird in the snow-flocked tree is so tranquil. Quite a bit different scene here in the California desert where we are already in the 90's.

    Beautiful dishes, and love that bag from La Grand Epicerie!

    Aurevoir until next weekend!

  16. Ooh, I love Le Grande Epicerie too. The only trouble with the store is that I am usually staying in a hotel while in Paris and can't buy most of the tasty looking foods. And Tricia, great minds think alike, I tend to buy such bags as souvenires as well. One of my favorites is from Borough Market in London. They make great grocery bags.