Wednesday, February 03, 2010

An Afternoon in Paris

As I mentioned before, the theme for our first banquet was Paris. It seems that this was begrudgingly chosen. Oh well. Chef assigned people to dishes. He didn't call out my name so that meant I was on set up. I was just getting started when The Old Man came out and said I was working with him.

I had never seen The Old Man (TOM) before so of course I had never worked with him. He said we were making Boeuf Bourguignon. Sweet! I did not know that since my name was not called though I had suggested that when we were planning. I had brought my Julia Child with me so I was prepared. Since I had just made this at home this was not going to be that hard. I gave my book to TOM while I got prepped.

TOM started scaling the recipe and was running into problems because some of the amounts seemed excessive. Chef pulled me aside and showed me the meat we were going to use. Our class consumes a lot of teres major. I would not say this is a "new" cut of meat but it isn't something you see in the stores. It's a small shoulder muscle on the cow. It is quite tender and flavorful and if cut right you can fake a filet mignon easily with it. It seems impossible to over cook it too. You have to prep it though by removing the silver skin which I find to be a PITA. Give me rib eye any day! For some reason Chef can get it fairly cheap so we use a lot of it. We did have to explain to MILF why there were only two cuts per cow. She must have been lost in a daze.

The first step to this recipe is to render slivers of bacon. TOM was upset that I just chopped the bacon up with out weighing it. IT DOESN'T MATTER. While the bacon does get added back into the stew, the primary reason for this step is to brown the beef in the bacon fat. Unfortunately, our bacon got burned beyond usage. I had set it in a pan on the grill which was not being used. I came back later and the grill was on high and my bacon was in the pan burning black. I don't know who turned it on. It's possible that I accidentally bumped the knob with my fat ass, I don't know. But I was pissed. The bacon never made it into the Boef Bourguignon. Shhhhh, don't tell TOM, he never knew.

I bring the meat out and TOM and I start to prepping it. We chunk it up and I start to throw it in the biggest brazier I can find and then get the other half of the meat. TOM stops me and asks how much meat do we have, did I weigh it? Huh? We need to weigh it so we have our proportions right. Come on, man! This is nothing more than French stew. OK fine. I guess 15 pounds, he says better than twenty. I get a balance and it weighs in at 22 pounds. I start browning the meat while he begins chopping up the vegetables. We've got too much meat and I can't find another large brazier so I take two smaller ones and have three going at the same time.

I figure it's best to avoid TOM so I pretty much keep to watching the meat. TOM chops up the vegetables and asks my opinion on the quantity. IT'S FINE! At this point TOM is getting upset that we don't have the garlic in or any of the other spices and we only have an hour and a half left. IT'LL BE OK. Damn! I take the carrots and onions and start browning them. I grab the red wine and TOM tells me to use just a little. He says that Port is pretty strong stuff. Good to know. See you can learn something from anyone.

I turn around at this point and see TOM crushing bay leaves up. Huh? Dude, what are you doing? You can't crush those up! He says, "yes you can. If anyone asks, we'll just say the lawn got mowed today." Huh? You're going to put those in a sachet right? No. I look pleadingly at Chef. Now he asks what the hell TOM is doing. Chef scolds TOM explaining you can do that with fresh bay leaves but with dried you'll kill someone as they choke to death on one. Count how many you put in and take that same number out. Whew! My trust is TOM is now gone.

Sadly I'm forgetting a lot now, but all went well. The stew was phenomenal, maybe a little too salty but that was TOM's doing. And we forgot the mushrooms. Oh well.

Here is the Coq au Vin, which was my suggestion, made by Bar Code. Potatoes Lyonnaise, which were awful, made by Slo Mo, and a really bad version of crepes made by Hottie #3 and RK.

And here is the Boef Bourguignon!!!

1 comment:

Brook said...

looks yummy! Yours does-the other plate looks a little blah. Funny how people get so funny/weird.