Slow Cooked Beef Cheeks in a Whisky and Mustard Sauce

beefcheeks_lefermier

 

Ingredients:

  • 4 beef cheeks
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic clove, finely choopped
  • 1 bunch thyme, chopped
  • 1 litre beef stock
  • 3 tablespoon creme fraîche
  • 100 ml whisky
  • 4 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 bunch sage, chopped

Method:

  1. Preheat oven at 150 degrees celsius.
  2. Heat up a roasting tray with touch of olive oil, and sear the beef cheeks on all sides and set aside.
  3. Add the onion, garlic and herbs to the roasting trays and cook until softened.
  4. Return the cheeks to the tray, add beef stock and bring to the boil, cover with foil.
  5. Cook in the oven for 8 hours until almost falling apart.
  6. Take the cheeks out of the tray, add the whysky, flame it using a match.
  7. Add the creme fraîche and mustard, bring to a simmer and return the cheeks to the tray, simmer for 5 minutes.

 

Yellow Peach and Raspberries Charlotte

charlotte-lefermier

 

Ingredients:

  • 18-20 Sponge fingers
  • 3 Punnet Raspberries
  • 3 yellow peaches

Butter Cream :

  • 3 egg yolk
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 50 g water
  • 180 g room temperature butter

Instruction:

  • Mix water and sugar in a saucepan and cook to 118 degrees celsius or 244 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In the mean time whisk egg yolk in an electric blender, then poor the cooked sugar over it while mixing.
  • Whisk until cooled down completely, then add slowly add the butter and whisk until fully incorporated.
  • Keep aside

Italian Meringue:

  • 2 cl water
  • 80  g caster sugar
  • 2 egg white

Instructions :

  • Place sugar and water in a saucepan and cook to 118 degrees celsius or 244 degrees fahrenheit.
  • Whisk egg white to soft peak in an electric mixer then slowly add the cooked sugar while whisking.
  • Whisk until the meringue has cooled down.
  • Add a punnet of raspberries to the meringue and whisk.
  • Then gently fold the butter cream through the meringue and keep aside.

Building the cake:

  • Line a 22cm round springform cake tin with the sponge finger, side and bottom.
  • Place the butter cream mixture inside the lined cake tin and decorate the top with the remaining raspberries and sliced yellow peaches.

 

Wine Recommendation : charlotte2-lefermier

Oven Baked Camembert with a Nectarine, Pomegranate and thyme salsa

baked camembert-lefermier251118

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 camembert
  • 1/2 bunch thyme
  • 2 nectarine
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1 tablespoon honey

 

Method:

  • Preheat oven at 200 degrees celsius.
  • Place Camembert on a flat baking tray lined with baking paper, and bake for 14 minutes
  • Dice the nectarines, seed the pomegranate and pick the thyme, then mix them together with a touch of cherry vinegar.
  • Serve with a Chateau Mazerolles Benoit Cote de Blaye, available at www.airoldifinewines.com.au

Oysters with a Citrus and Champagne Granité.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 Dozen Oyster
  • 2 Blood Orange
  • 1 Pink Grapefruit
  • 1 Lemon
  • 2 Orange
  • 20 g Brown Sugar

 

Method:

  • Juice the Fruits and mix in the brown sugar.
  • Pour the juice in a shallow tray and place in the freeze
  • When it starts to freeze, stir the juice to create crystals.
  • Once frozen, scrap the granité with a fork and spoon it on top of the oysters.
  • Serve straight away with a glass of Champagne Le Brun de Neuville, available at www.airoldifinewines.com.au

 

Preserved Lemon

 

preservedlemons3_lefermier_210815

Canning food in glass was stumbled upon by Frenchman and confectioner, Nicolas Appert in the 1790’s. It’s a great way to capitalise on seasonal produce when it’s at its best and the process ensures that whatever your preserving remains fresh and sterile for months.

Although the zesty flavours of citrus fruits are reminiscent of summer, they are in fact winter fruits and are at their juiciest and sweetest in the colder months. I’m lucky enough to have a well-established lemon tree in my garden and as much as I enjoy incorporating fresh lemon into my winter dishes and drinks, there are just too many on the tree to consume! This is where preserving comes in handy.

Preserved lemon is nothing new; it’s a popular ingredient in Northern African cuisine like the tagine’s of Morocco and Cambodian cuisine too.

Preserved lemon has a secondary benefit as well – it makes great gifts!

 

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Ingredients:

  • Rock salt
  • Caster sugar
  • Fresh Bay leaves
  • Lemons
  • Boiling water
  • Pint size jar with screw lids

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Method:

  1. Wash and dry the jars well and wash the lemons.
  2. Put the kettle on to boil the water, you’ll need enough to fill up each jar about half way.
  3. Cut a little bit of both end of the lemons and then cut in quarters but not all the way down, just to about ¾ so they still hold together.
  4. Sprinkle the salt and sugar inside each lemon and put them in the jar cut side down, sprinkle a bit more salt between each lemon.
  5. Press the lemons down to release the juice, the lemon juice should fill half the jar. If you don’t have enough juice you can squeeze in some more, but don’t waste the lemon you can add it with the others!
  6. Put 3-4 fresh bay leaves in the jar and top up with boiling water. Screw the lid on straight away. The tip them upside down to mix the salt and sugar with the liquid. You’ll to repeat that process for the first three days.
  7. Leave the preserved lemons to rest in the fridge or a cool cupboard for at least 4 weeks before using.

Watch the how to video below or visit my Youtube channel  here for more

France Culinary Travel Diary – La Dordogne (Part 2)

Le Fermier

France Culinary Travel Diary – La Dordogne (Part 2)

There’s so much so say about this department of France that I simply couldn’t squeeze it all into one installment. If you’re not the market faring kind but want to sample the Dordogne’s bounty of famous produce, then visiting one of its countless restaurants is a must.

By no means do you need to dine in the most fancy establishments to eat well either, as when the produce is local and seasonal even the more humble restaurants can serve a quality meal without breaking your budget.

That being said, if you are in the Trémolat area and can justify treating yourself to a Michelin star meal (you only live once!), then I highly, highly recommend you making a booking at Le Vieux Logis. A boutique hotel and gourmet restaurant belonging to the acclaimed Relais-Châteaux group, you can enjoy a degustation dinner with matching wine for €115 or there’s an à la carte menu to choose from. The food is beautifully presented and tastes exquisite, and the service is faultless but personable.

20150502_200831   Confit Salmon in walnut oil

20150502_201833Green asparagus topped with Crab and Fennel

20150502_211922Quercy lamb with broad beans, “ail des ours”  and Pistou

20150502_204921Grilled Turbo, oyster “Meunière” and Foie Gras

20150502_222644“Gariguettes” strawberries, meringue and violette chantilly

20150502_225029Amuse Bouche with our coffees

As delicious as the dining is at Le Vieux Logis, my favourite place to eat in the Dordogne doesn’t have a Michelin star, nor is it fine dining. It’s a rustic, family run restaurant in the charming town of Cadouin, called Le Restaurant de L’Abbaye, and I know the food is great because this happens to be where I completed my cooking apprenticeship! Every meal starts with their house specialty Tourin à l’ail (garlic soup), their menu is full of country classics like magret de canard, foie gras, and salade perigourdine and their mousse au chocolat is a guilty pleasure I treat myself to every time I visit. If you’re travelling in the summer months, a booking is essential.

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As a special treat, the head chef of the Restaurant de L’Abbaye has kindly agreed to share the recipes for both his garlic soup and chocolate mousse. Look out for them on the blog in the coming days!

My top Dordogne picks:

  • Le Vieux Logis -Le Bourg 24510 Trémolat 1 Michelin star
  • Restaurant de L’Abbaye – Place de L’Abbaye 24480 Cadouin
  • Chez Julien 24510 Paunat
  • Chez le Gaulois 9 rue Tourny 24200 Sarlat-la-Canéda