Monday, January 25, 2010

Baeckeofe & Wine

Saturday, I wanted to cook a French meal, since my French is struggling. I called my husband at work to declare that he would arrive home to a plate of Baeckeofe.

"A plate of what?", he asked.


"Alright, here's the deal honey.....if you're going to get all French on me, we need to get on board together. Can you hire a tutor to come to the house and teach all of us the language, so you don't drive me insane with your new project?"

"I would love to," I squealed.

I have a wonderful group of friends and family that humor me with my crazy ideas, especially when food is involved.

I am reading a book called Au Revoir To All That by Michael Steinberger that investigates the down spiral of French cuisine, wine, cheeses, and the disappearance of bistros & brasseries. One of my fave French blogs called Paris Breakfasts mentions the book as well, so stop by and say Bonjour.

In the introduction, he reminisces about eating at Au Crocodile in the Alsace-Lorraine region of France where he has baeckeofe (a traditional Alsatian stew made of potatoes, onions, carrots, leeks, and several different meats). He was so impressed with Chef Jung's version of baeckeofe, that I found myself drooling on page one just reading about it.

"I must cook that", I thought.

I will Google the recipe. (Click on the recipe for the recipe). Please visit the metric conversions site for those of you, like me, that have no idea how many grams are in a pound.

It's a labor of love that begins a day before. First by marinating the ingredients in Alsatian Riesling ($14/bottle). It was painful to watch it all go in the pot and not have a glass myself. I squeezed a drop out of the bottle, felt much better after that. I definitely belong in France.....

After it marinates for 24 hours, you layer the bottom of a casserole dish with sliced potatoes. Then fill it in with the marinated vegetables and meats.

And finish it with one more layer of potatoes on top before covering it with a lid. I cooked it covered for 4 hours infusing my home with the heavenly smells of the garlic, onions, and herbs in this dish.

I served it with some "baguette" from Sam's Club (I realize that's blasphemy), a side of greens with Dijon vinaigrette, and a glass of Fat husband thought I was making a reference to him that night, but I assured him I wasn't.

The meat was so tender and the Alsatian Riesling was wonderful to dip your "baguette" into. We ate and ate until we popped.

My children were a bit taken back by the "pork feet" in the dish and all the onions.

"Mom, will you be cooking French a lot?" they despairingly inquired with their uni brows.

"Just once a week. Did you like it?"

"The meat was fine, but all that other stuff was weird."

They instantly fell in love with French cuisine when I placed the Chocolate Lava Cake with a scoop of ice cream on their plates.
After dinner, we talked about our future plans for Paris. Mostly about boutiques and restaurants.

I haven't given up on the language. I still practice my "word-of-the-day" and I know how to say "Where is the toilet?" a definite must!

Au revoir...'Til next time........


ParisBreakfasts said...

BRAVO for you Corine!!!
I love seeing the step-by-steps shots too...
Alsace is a wonderful place-I got to pick grapes there one October for a day....

Karin (an alien parisienne) said...

Fun, Corine! It is always nice to learn something new and expand horizons, huh. :) LOL @ Fat Bastard. I think I have had some of that before -- the wine, that is. :)

Be well!