My secret recipe for the French country kitchen fragrance – Le parfum

(En Français plus bas – Bien plus bas)IMG_6067_Snapseed

After my sight, my sense of smell is the one that moves me the most.

We all have our favorite smells and fragrances. They trigger memories of childhood or other significant periods of our lives. Just a sniff over mom’s Bourguignon can make me feel good and warm all over. And safe… and happy… and at peace…

There is a particular smell I’ve always loved: the smell of the traditional French kitchen. It is a smell you’ll only find in châteaux and some rare, family operated restaurants deep in the countryside of Périgords or the Pyrénées. My cousins’ château (Château Monbousquet) smelled like that. The kitchen of our family farm in the Dordogne smelled like that. The restaurants in the Landes forrest where we’d had Sunday lunches when my dad took us hunting smelled like that…

The following story explains how, by accident, I was able to recreate that most perfect smell in my own home.

I was really, REALLY, hungry yesterday. So I went to my butcher Michel and asked him for the juiciest and most tender piece of beef filet he had in the shop. Then, as I was cleaning up my freezer at home that same morning, I found a nice, thick piece of raw foie gras from last season. It all started to make sense in my head. Like a mad scientist, I was designing a recipe for what was to be one of the best meals I’ve had this year: Tournedos Rossini!yjyj

The proper recipe requires fresh black truffles, a thick piece of filet (at least 3cm), a thick slice of bread (pain de campagne) and foie gras. This is the way Rossini himself liked it served when he regularly ordered it at “La maison dorée”. The word “Tournedos” (back turned in French) means beef filet in France. It came from the fact that the Maître D at La Maison Dorée prepared the filet table side, turning his back to Rossini. But Rossini was a big foodie (like you and me) and wanted to observe the process. So he asked the Maître D to turn around and face him. To turn his back or “lui tourner le dos: tournedos. At least that is what the legend (and the Larousse Gastronomique) says…

So here I am yesterday, with a beautiful tournedos, nice fresh bread from the bakery, a gorgeous slice of foie gras and a dream :0) I also had chestnuts that I picked under my favorite tree in Fronsac last Sunday morning and a fistful of mixed mushrooms from the market. I know I should have used truffles, but I’m not a billionaire either…

Here is what you do:

  1. Toast a thick slice of bread and put it aside
  2. Sear the meat in a teflon pan and put it aside. The meat needs to be cooked rare! If you don’t like your meat rare, please try another recipe :0)
  3. In the same pan, sear a piece of raw foie gras (you can use good paté (porc or duck) if you don’t have foie gras. The pan needs to be really hot. It only takes about 15 to 20 seconds on each side for a 2cm thick slice of liver. Once cooked, it will have lost one third to half of it’s original size.
  4. Put the foie gras aside, but keep the fat from that ran from it in the pan. Add two fists worth of wild mushrooms to the pan + 1 chopped shallot + 1 fistful of roasted chestnuts (just the nuts themselves of course). Sauté everything for about a minute on high heat and deglaze with a BIG squirt of Port or Madere wine. Add salt and pepper as well as a little bit of veal or beef stock.
  5. Put the bread on a plate, the filet on top and the slice of foie gras on top of that. Pour the mushroom sauce all over everything and sprinkle with fresh parsley for color

The next day, your kitchen will smell like a château in France :0) Light a fire, pour a glass of Saint-Emilion,  and you’ll feel like you are here! I know it sounds weird, but it smells even better when it is really cold outside…

You see, Jennifer Lopez and Elizabeth Taylor had their fragrances. Stéphane’s fragrance is meat and foie gras with chestnuts and wild mushrooms. Not very romantic I know…IMG_6013

ljh

Après la vue, mon odorat est celui de mes sens qui me touche (et que j’utilise) le plus.

Nous avons tous nos odeurs et parfums préférés. Ils nous rappellent notre enfance ou d’autres périodes importantes de notre vie. La simple odeur du rôti de maman me rend heureux… calme… en paix avec le monde…

Il y a une odeur particulière que j’ai toujours aimé: l’odeur de la cuisine française traditionnelle. Vous la trouverez dans des châteaux et dans quelques rares  restaurants de campagne dans Périgord ou les Pyrénées… Le château de mes cousins ​​(Château Monbousquet) avait cette odeur. La cuisine de la ferme familiale en Dordogne avait cette odeur. Les restaurants où papa nous amenait déjeuner le dimanche dans les landes après la chasse avaient cette odeur…

L’histoire qui suit explique comment, par hasard, j’ai été capable de recréer ce délicieux parfum dans ma maison.

Hier, après avoir servi le petit déjeuner à mes clients aux chambres d’hôtes, je me suis senti venir une faim de loup. De loup garou! Alors je suis allé voir mon boucher Michel et lui ai demandé de me préparer le plus beau des tournedos. Plus tard, alors que je mettais de l’ordre dans mon congélateur, j’ai trouvé un magnifique morceau de foie gras cru de la saison dernière. Mon cerveau de cuisinier s’est mis en route, et, comme un savant fou, j’ai conçu une recette pour ce qui devait être l’un des meilleurs repas que j’ai eu cette année: un Tournedos Rossini!

La “vraie” recette requiert des truffes, un épais morceau de filet (au moins 3cm) , une tranche de pain de campagne et le foie gras. C’est comme cela semble-t-il que Rossini le commandait à “La Maison Dorée “. Le mot « Tournedos » viendrait du fait que le Maître D’hôtel à La Maison Dorée préparait le plat en salle, tournant le dos à Rossini. Mais Rossini était un gros gourmand (comme vous et moi) et voulait observer le processus. Il avait donc demandé au serveur de se tourner pour lui faire face: TOURNEDOS! C’est du moins ce que dit la légende (et le Larousse Gastronomique)…IMG_6085

Me voici donc hier, avec un tournedos de roi, du bon pain de campagne de chez Sylvain Marie, une magnifique tranche de foie gras et un rêve en tête :0) J’avais également des châtaignes ramassées dimanche dernier sur les coteaux de Fronsac et quelques champignons du marché. Je sais que j’aurais dû utiliser des truffes, mais je ne m’appelle pas Crésus :0)

Voici la recette:

  1. Faites griller une tranche épaisse de pain de campagne et réservez 
  2. Saisissez la viande dans une poêle en Téflon et réservez. La viande doit être cuite saignante! Si vous n’aimez pas votre viande saignante, faites une autre recette!
  3. Dans la même poêle, faites saisir une belle tranche de foie gras cru. La poêle doit être très chaude. Il suffit d’ environ 15 à 20 secondes de chaque côté pour une tranche de 2cm d’épaisseur. Une fois cuit, le foie aura perdu un tiers (voir la moitié) de son épaisseur d’origine.
  4. Mettre le foie gras de côté, mais garder la graisse dans le fond de la poêle  Ajoutez deux poignées de champignons sauvages + 1 échalote hachée + 1 poignée de châtaignes grillées ou bouillies. Faites sauter le tout pendant environ une minute à feu vif et déglacez avec une belle lampée de Porto ou de Madere . Salez, poivrez et liez avec un peu de fond de veau.
  5. Mettez le pain dans le fond de votre assiette, le tournedos et la tranche de foie par dessus. Versez la sauce aux champignons sur ​​le tout et saupoudrez de persil frais pour la couleur

Le lendemain, votre cuisine sentira comme celle d’un château ou du restaurant de Maïté :0) Allumez un feu, servez vous un verre de Saint- Emilion et mettez un morceau de Rossini sur votre Iphone… La vie est belle en France! Je sais que ça vous paraîtra bizarre, mais ça sent encore meilleur quand il fait vraiment froid dehors…

Jennifer Lopez et Elizabeth Taylor avaient leur parfum “signature”. Pour Stéphane ce sera tournedos, foie gras et sauce aux champignons. Sexy et romantique non?

ejuuzruru

62 Comments Add yours

  1. Dominique says:

    Tentation, tentation… je ne le commande qu’au retaurant, mais il va falloir que je m’y mette ! Je te le vole Stéphane ! Enfin, non, je te l’emprunte… ;o)))

    1. My French Heaven says:

      😉 🙂

  2. Delicious post and photos of a great pairing combo! Merci d’avoir visite mon blog!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      You are so welcome Kim. I really enjoyed reading some of your posts 😉

  3. lolarugula says:

    Oh my! I will take your fragrance over those of Jennifer’s and Elizabeth’s any day.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      😉☺️☺️☺️☺️

  4. This sounds sooooo tempting! I don’t even like foie gras (I know, what blasphemy right??) yet your descriptions make me want to try this…

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Maybe you could replace foie gras with paté or add a different variety of mushrooms on top…

  5. Dina says:

    Dear Stephan,
    Francesca and Stefano from Flora’s Table brought me to you, a warm hello from us all! 🙂
    What a truly great chateau you have, it looks more than inviting!

    I read gravlax … I have to take a closer look at that one, I come from the North and we love gravlax. 🙂

    Your Tournedos Rossini looks out of this world, wow – a wonderful combination of excellent cooking and great, tasty photography – I’m really impressed. I’ll be back for more, Stephan, I’m your new follower.
    Enjoy the evening
    best regards
    Dina

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Oh Dina, I am so glad you like my little blog. Francesca and Stefano were her last Spring. They are a remarkable couple. I hope you come visit yourself soon. All the very best to you and say hello to F&S when you see them.

  6. What I would do for a meal like that! We tend to forget that smells can be very evocative — conjuring up events, places, people, things we thought long forgotten. Yet suddenly a whiff of something brings the memory flooding back. With food, smell is essential. That tournedos — who would want to eat it if it smelled like rotten fish or blocked drains? The smell is allied to the taste.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      What a great comment Dorothy! I am so glad you agree 😉 Only true foodies can really understand this 😉

  7. Pauline says:

    This is such an excellent piece. I can almost smell that kitchen fragrance, as you described. To actually taste the dish is a dream!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      We will make it together if one day you come visit dear Pauline 😉

  8. haaaaaaaa! je meurs je mord !!!

  9. Well for me that fragrance would be a top seller! Yum!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      😊😉

  10. adinparadise says:

    This dish looks so scrumptious. I can almost smell the wonderful aroma. 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      It was amazing i must say… 🙂

  11. Tournedos Rossini is one of my favorite dishes! I like it so much that I shouldn’t eat it in public — I start making inappropriate noises. Great post with beautiful photos as usual.
    By the way, I am making gravlax based on your recipe 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I can’t wait to know how that goes! I love that recipe so much. Don’t forget to serve it with a nice dill sauce 🙂 as for the Rossini, one of my absolute favorite as well. A meat lover’s dream really. Only next time I will break my piggy bank and put black truffles on it. Truffle season is coming up so I might make it in January… Good luck with the salmon. I find that 2 days in salt and 1 day in the marinade works best. Of course a sharp carpaccio knife is essential, but I am 100% sure you already have one 🙂

  12. Tournedos… Miam, miam ! Tu viens de créer une bien jolie ambiance d’automne en tout cas, on a envie d’être dans cette pièce et de manger quelques chataîgnes 😉

    1. My French Heaven says:

      J’aime beaucoup cette saison. Elle me donne envie de me mettre au coin du feu avec un bon bouquin; de me retirer du monde…

  13. solaner says:

    it looks sooooo good. I can really see (feel) the smell.
    I’d take a dish!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      😉 I am so glad you like it!

  14. tuppershare says:

    This sounds wonderful … & right up my (French at heart) father’s alley! I think I’ll have to make this the next time I visit him.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      You know, I was thinking the exact same thing about this dish! It is the perfect dish to make your dad love you best 🙂 😉 (if you have a foodie for a dad like I do)

  15. D's Bistro says:

    Stephane, to be honest I give myself about a day and I will try this recipe. Anyway I loved this – ‘If you don’t like your meat rare, please try another recipe :0)’. You won me. i am trying it 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I’m so glad you like it D! I should stop being so harsh in my remarks though… Someday someone will ask me who I thiink I am saying such things… Yet, beeing 43, I think I’ve earned the right to share my opinions and be honest… I don’t know… 🙂

      1. D's Bistro says:

        I actually think u are 100% right, so keep being u 🙂 Imagine a lady making the recipe and end up with a medium one and say “Stephane, you lied to me, I cook exactly the way you said, but…” 🙂 🙂 🙂

        1. My French Heaven says:

          Someone recently told me that 40 was the “f… Off” age… It’s true that I care less and less about what people think. Free at last!!!! 🙂

          1. D's Bistro says:

            Life is incredible when you enjoy it. The less you care about what others think of your own life, the more you enjoy it 🙂

  16. Steve says:

    Thanks for the 20 second recommendation on the foie gras….unfortunately it comes a little too late. We were having a dinner party for an important client, and I had bought 5 thick slices of fresh foie gras. I didn’t know how long to cook them so I figured I would go “by eye”. Within 45 seconds all five slices had turned to a puddle of fat. I mixed it with the dog’s food and she had the most amazing meal of her life!

    I had also bought a very expensive (for us) bottle of bordeaux, around $120. When we opened it, it had an awful smell….it had gone bad in the bottle.

    A fun evening was had nonetheless……

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Same thing happened to me last Christmas. Never again! 🙂 How is the move going? Will you guys be in your new place by New year?

  17. ladyredspecs says:

    I can small the aroma through the screen, mmmmmm

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I’m glad Sandra! That was what I was shooting for 😉

  18. jlmilliganjr says:

    I must say that this was one of the most mouth-watering posts and indeed beautiful that I have seen in some time. Awe-inspiring. I can only wish that I was there. Maybe one day I will have my own chateau and I can generate those smells!!!!!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      You don’t need a château to create magic 🙂 Maybe you’ll come visit one day. Thanks for your lovely comment. I am going to bed now and reading you was the perfect end to my long day 😉

  19. LFFL says:

    Oh that looks SO good! You rock.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you! You are very kind 😉

  20. My goodness, Stephane! That is gorgeous. Shame on you for making me salivate 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you Tamara. It really was delicious. If it wasn’t so full of calories, i.d have it every day 🙂

  21. Such an elegant dish Stephane! I too love the comforting scents of cooking/baking to be present in our home – it gives a wonderfully reassuring feeling!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      It really does! I wish I was better at baking 🙂

  22. I was instantly warmed by this post. I can imagine the rich smells of a wonderful dish, and feel the warmth of the kitchen. Now to pour a stout red wine and picture myself there 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I am so glad Denise! This is the way to live 🙂 😉

  23. Joseph Michael says:

    You have outdone yourself!! Bravo!!!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Joseph!!!

  24. I do miss having a sense of smell for food. Your descriptions sound amazing.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you!!! 😉

  25. Sounds perfectly fabulous and romantic to me!! Yum!

    janet

    1. My French Heaven says:

      🙂 😉

  26. As usual Stephane your post inspires me so much. Your photographs are so gorgeous I can almost smell that romantic fragrance you got going there. Cheers.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks my friend! One of the best meals of the year 😉 Truly decadent 😉

  27. ohlidia says:

    Oh my! That is one gorgeous chink of meat! Mmmm… I can almost smell it!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      🙂 😉

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