Chicken Fried Steak

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Chicken Fried Steak, a dish so American, you’d think it came from Germany.

With a milky gravy.

Here’s something to do with those steaks you have no idea what to do with.  With the “Gite a la noix” cut, which translated by google is “Cottage has nuts” … now my new favorite nickname for the Gite / Noix cut … you can do one of two things:

1) warm, fry and rest.  The flavor is there, but a bit chewy.  Perhaps with a nice sauce.

2) Pound the crap out of it – a la Chicken Fried Steak.

At a glance:

–  pound flour into beef with salt and pepper

– start some rice

–  chop onion

–  fry beef in hot duck fat

– while beef rests, gently cook onions

–  add flour for gravy

– add milk, make magic gravy

–  grab wine and serve

 

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Behold the Cottage Nuts cut:

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Pound in the flour.

I’ve pounded then floured many times.  This is the first time I’ve pounded the flour in.  I highly recommend this method.  It serves you well when you fry.

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My Ikea countertops can’t handle a pounding, so I use a step stool and a sturdy chopping board.

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Pound the flour into the meat.

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Salt and pepper after.

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Prepare the onions for the milky gravy.

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Take a moment to snap a photo of a cute three-year-old.

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Fry those babies hot hot.  Get the pan hot before the steak goes in.  Otherwise, it will get all melty man.

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After the steak has been fried, dump out most of the fat.  Add a lump of butter and add the onions.

When the onions go all soft, add some flour to make a roux.  Then add a cup and a bit of milk.

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Stir and thicken.

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Serve in strips or cubes or whole. Just don’t forget the gravy!

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My First Beef Sausage!

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I made some beef sausage last night.  I should have asked or read or followed somebody.  I had beef.  I had casings.  I had the drive.

I wasn’t quite sure what to do with the casings.  Brent passed by on his way to pick up Lucy, “Brent,” I say, “what do I do with this shit?”  “You soak them,” he says, like he has made sausage.  I actually don’t know.  Maybe he has made sausage.  Hopefully this won’t come up when we’re on The Newlywed Game ( T.V. game show ).

My first sausage:

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It was a bit fatter than I was expecting.  Things got a little heated and I had to stop.  I was doing it wrong.  Brent came back in from picking up Lucy from school.  “Here’s my sausage!” I say, “I think I did it wrong.”  “Stop.  I know where you went wrong,” he says in an even tone.  Evidently, I needed to roll the intestinal condom on the hoob-a-joob completely, then let the sausage unfold into slinky sausage magic.

I got the hang of it.  A bit tough juggling the raw meat, toddler, casing, sausage spooge and glass of wine, but I managed.  No toddler was used in the making of this sausage.  She screamed and cheered and wondered what the heck I was doing.

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We cooked it up for a taste.

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It was a bit crumbly at the fat end.  I might need to add an egg or something.  The skinny end ( we have a nickname for this, but I’ll hold it in ) was not as crumbly.

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A little Dijon and it tasted not bad.  There is a lot of work ahead arriving at the perfect beef sausage, but this one was edible and almost enjoyable.

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Two out of four Curtis children approved.  Zélie loved it and wanted more.  Though, maybe she would do anything to avoid going to bed.  A sausage good enough to delay bedtime.

Lucy:

  • Lucy: Mom, I need to give you …. Dad? what’s the friendly word for criticism?
  • Brent: Feedback
  • Lucy: Mom, I need to give you feedback.  It needs sauce.

Otto detested it.  He’s sick, so perhaps another go.

Minty:

  • Minty: Mom, I don’t like this sausage.
  • Me: Okay, Mint Mint.  Don’t eat it.  No worries.
  • [ sigh ] [ pause ] [ sigh ]
  • Mom, what’s for dinner?
  • Me: [ inner growl ]

Beef Curry

DSC_1319 I made four kilos of beef curry.  It took most of the day to cook, but a little part of the day to prepare.  It warmed the kitchen while cozying you up inside with a fantastic aroma.  I used a recipe given to me by a friend and fellow beef eater.  It’s Peter Kuruvita’s Sri Lankan Beef Curry.  I’ve made it so many times that I have a few variations to reduce labor, pots, pans and availability of ingredients.

First, some beef.  I used the “beef bourguignon” cuts from our meat box.  I cut the chunks a bit smaller as I have young kids with cute, little teeth.  It’s easier for them this way.

DSC_1104 I marinate over night in all the spices and the ginger.  For a 1 kilo batch, the spices are:

  • Sri Lankan Curry powder, 5 tsp
  • ground cumin, 2 tsp
  • ground coriander, 2tsp
  • chili powder
  • cloves, 8
  • fenugreek seeds, 1 tsp
  • cardamom pods, 4
  • cinnamon sticks – crumbled, 2
  • tumeric powder, 1tsp

Everyone gets acquainted in the fridge.

DSC_1152 When I’m ready to cook, I chop a pile of onions and a load of garlic.  That goes in “Big Red,” our big pot that rules them all.  The onions and garlic bubble gently in butter waiting for the meat.

DSC_1150 In a butter-lard fat mix, the beef gets colored.

DSC_1154 I don’t brown it.  There will be enough flavor with everything else joining the beef curry party.

DSC_1158 The meat goes in Big Red with the onions and garlic.

DSC_1159Then the tomato paste, a little can ( not the little, little can. The tall, little can ).  Add some pepper.

DSC_1162 Then some water.  It looks watery, but don’t worry.  After some patience, it will turn all curry like.

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On this day, award winning food blogger Anneli Faiers from Delicieux was around picking up some beef and met Big Red.  She gave him a stir and a sniff.

DSC_1175 This is her “hungry face.”  I think the curry was progressing nicely.

DSC_1169 A few hours later, beef curry magic.  I cooled it down and stuck it in the fridge for further infusion.  Curry the next day always seems to taste better.

DSC_1199 Some chutney, some Substance P perhaps some creme fraiche … lovely.  I thought my four kilo beef blast would last and I could pull some out of the freezer when I felt like an easy “chuck it in the pot” day.  It went.  All of it.  I managed to freeze a bit for later, but later came so soon.  It’s beef day today, maybe I’ll pull out Big Red and do it all again.

Rose Veal Tendron

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It’s veal day today.  Our boxes are locked and loaded for customers.  When we return from the butcher with a carcass freshly packaged that we’ve carefully raised on the farm, the fry pan goes on and we taste.  We tasted the T-Bone first because … well … it’s a perk of tuning our product.  And because T-bone tastes good.  Veal tastes good.

All I captured of the T-Bone was this empty plate.  We ate the meat.  The dog got the bone.

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Next up was the Tendron A Griller.  Tendron is veal poitrine.  Pointrine is belly or chest.  Tendron is called “Tenderoni” in this household.  Mostly, okay all-ly, by me.  Call it my eighties upbringing.  Call my enthusiastic dedication to the hot boy band New Edition.  Whatever it is, the word “Tendron” is written and all I see is “Tenderoni.”  She’s my only love.

I fry it in a moderate pan loaded with lard.
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It looks like a chunk of meat in the package, but when you take it out, you see it is more of a strip.

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After a fry, I pepper it then cooks me some eggs.  Great for breakfast or lunch.  I had some local Saint Mont that rounded everything out.  … I had it for lunch, though in the country, red wine in coffee for breakfast is not unheard of.  I’ve not quite earned my stripes for that.

 

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The usual suspects were right by my side helping me along with the taste test.  Nothing motivates our fluffy sedentary animals like some fresh veal fried in a pan.

 

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And if you find a tenderoni that is right for you, make it official, give her your love.  Once you had a ‘roni you will never give it up.

Spaghetti with Meatball, Says Minty

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Minty uses her Jedi mind tricks to do many things like buy Cadbury Dairy Milk, dried sausage and choose what we eat for dinner.  Well, technically, fettucini or linguine or very flat noodles with meatballs. No matter, you make, you boil, you eat with sauce and stuff, ’nuff said.

I didn’t think to write up Spag with Meatballs until I was well on my way. Mostly because I’m sick. I feel like resting as this old dog would do.

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or sun bathing like this young barn cat.

DSC_0983Yet people need food and our kitchen needs to keep on keeping on.

Noodles ready.  I made them with spelt.  In French it’s called “épeautre.”

  • 1 1/2 cups of spelt
  • two eggs

mix and knead. roll in a pasta roller

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Sauce on. Very simple. For kids, I try to avoid too many notes.

  • 1 small onion
  • a bit of garlic
  • tomato paste
  • big can of toms
  • duck fat
  • salt
  • pep

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Balls frying.

  • Ground beef
  • salt
  • pepper
  • dash of allspice
  • duck fat

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Start the sauce.  Defrost the beef.  Make the noodles.  Boil the water.

DSC_0978When things magically converge on a meal, boil the noodles.  You can warm your balls in a low oven.

DSC_0989 Wet your noodles with a bit of sauce and plate.  Scoop some sauce and on go the meaty balls.  Top with some parm.

DSC_0998Minty loved her Spaghetti with Meatball.  Zélie said, “NO!”  “NO! PEGGY MEAT BALL!!”  That’s how she rolls.

Bavette, Gets ’em Wet

DSC_0876A  simple cut for a fry pan.  I’ve sizzled up many a bavette and each time I wonder if maybe I could have finished up in a hot oven.  Yet each time, after a quick hot fry, it comes out juicy and tasty.

This is before:

DSC_0852It’s a Bavette.  100% grass-fed beef bavette from our farm.  In English, we call it a flank steak.

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Hot pan a go-go.  A minute or so on one side,

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Then introduce the other with the hot heat and some gros sel.

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The hot duck fat gets that beef to be yum with a few flips.

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After a rest, some pepper and a pat of butter, dig in.  I had no veg with this guy because I’m preparing Bambi.

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Bambi is soaking.  The kids had manchons de canard or Gascon Buffalo Wings as I like to call them.

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Kevin fell victim to the black seat of nap.

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Then we had cheese.  The kind of cheese that needs pink Champagne to make it real.  Though, lacking in pink bubbles, this bavette was big enough for the both of us and oh what cheese!

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Meatballs For The Pub

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If you’re at the pub and someone shows up with hot meatballs, a rush of happiness fills the air.  I love to make meatballs.  Pair that with the Irish pub in Jegun to watch a lovely evening unfold. It’s so easy and straightforward.  These babies are technically “Swedish Meatballs.”  Though, after chatting to the two Swedish people I know, I’m guessing there is room for some artistic Swedish creativity when it comes to making balls out of meat.

When the balls were ready, they looked like this.  I then rushed over to the pub for a giggle and some night life.

DSC_0489It is very simple.  You need:

  • Mince or ground beef for the American crew ( I hear those crazy kids at Grasspunk do some mean mince )
  • Allspice
  • Nutmeg
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Butter
  • Cream
  • Beef broth
  • Dash of flour

No chopping required.  Put some mince into a big bowl.

DSC_0373You could ball them up like so, but first, add some spice.

DSC_0434And an egg.  I added four eggs because I did a lot of meatballs.

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DSC_0409Then a dash of Allspice.  In France, they call it “quatre-épices.”  Everything sounds great in French.

DSC_0426And some nutmeg.

DSC_0430And some pepper.

DSC_0431Duck fat in.

DSC_0442Ball them babies up and start browning.

DSC_0444If you do a lot of meatballs and your pan looks sad, change out the oil and start anew.

DSC_0450You could chuck in some beef broth and cream to let it bubble in an average oven.  I’ve had bad luck with that, so I made a cream sauce instead.

Butter in.

DSC_0455A little flour to brown.

DSC_0463Then the beef stock.

DSC_0467Slowly. Nice and creamy.

DSC_0468Then the cream.

DSC_0471It’s a bit white at first, but when it snuggles in with the meatballs, it gets all browny browny.

DSC_0473The cream sauce is poured in with the browned balls.

DSC_0477In the oven for thirty minutes or so. Then, voila!  Yummy meatballs for the pub!

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Brown Note Sausage Strikes Again

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You can’t see it, but there is a faded Mauviel swoosh scar just to the left of this fresh Mauviel swoosh. Unbelievably, I’ve sizzled in the handle of my favorite Mauviel pot on my forearm for a second time. Brown Note Sausage is to blame. I’m supposed to detail Brown Note Sausage in a later post, but perhaps with all the danger involved, I’ve procrastinated. It’s really simple. Brown the sausage, pull it out, make a sauce with buttah, thyme and onions, stick the sausage back in and put in the oven. After it gets all browny and bubbly, pull it out … this is the tough part … beware! the handle is hot. I know the handle is hot, but for whatever reason ( I’ll blame the children ) I sizzled my forearm. Don’t sizzle your forearm. Someday I’ll write up Brown Note Sausage, but for now, I’ll give you a little inspiration for its name.

The Brown Noise

The dish is actually yummy and doesn’t elicit a similar response to that of the South Park Brown Noise.