Bordelaise Cooking

197
48
Joined Aug 20, 2010
Here's a public domain book on Bordelaise cooking:
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k9771759s.texteImage

You may freely download it, it seems to be a 1910 third edition. Here's a public domain book on French regional cooking in general:

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k323158z/f11.image.r=cuisine bourguignonne

Strange, I always thought of beef marrow as a defining element in sauce bordelaise. Here's how I like to make it:
1. Roast some beef bones in the oven, extract the marrow, reserve, strain the fat.
2. Sear the steak from both sides in the reserved fat (I love the flavour it imparts), reserve, add some chopped shallots to the pan, let it soften a bit, put back the steak, turn it in the shallots and fat, a splash of brandy, flamber, reserve the steak.
3. A glass of red wine, reduce, some demi glace, the reserved marrow, let it simmer and reduce, monter au beurre.

Perhaps a couple sprigs of thyme, too. All in all, I prefer to roast the bones, not poach the marrow.

Here's an idea: if you want to know what is traditionally served with a particular dish in a particular region, look up traditional family-run restaurants/taverns/bistrots/bouchons from that area (e.g. use google maps, read reviews, etc.), see if they have a Facebook page or a website, look at their menu. And maybe, actually call them or write them an email and just ask. It might be more first-hand than a cookbook.

I returned from Lyon a week ago, where I had several really nice meals at Chez Hugon, a small family-run restaurant. Just before leaving, I noticed a small book on the shelf behind the bar, it turned out it was a collection of their recipes (for those interested, look up Les recettes d'Arlette Hugon). The book is amazing! While not many recipes, they're all homey food, which is what I like. Maybe you can find something similar for the Bordelaise country.
 
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28
13
Joined Jul 15, 2020
Here's a public domain book on Bordelaise cooking:
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k9771759s.texteImage

You may freely download it, it seems to be a 1910 third edition. Here's a public domain book on French regional cooking in general:

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k323158z/f11.image.r=cuisine bourguignonne

Strange, I always thought of beef marrow as a defining element in sauce bordelaise. Here's how I like to make it:
1. Roast some beef bones in the oven, extract the marrow, reserve, strain the fat.
2. Sear the steak from both sides in the reserved fat (I love the flavour it imparts), reserve, add some chopped shallots to the pan, let it soften a bit, put back the steak, turn it in the shallots and fat, a splash of brandy, flamber, reserve the steak.
3. A glass of red wine, reduce, some demi glace, the reserved marrow, let it simmer and reduce, monter au beurre.

Perhaps a couple sprigs of thyme, too. All in all, I prefer to roast the bones, not poach the marrow.

Here's an idea: if you want to know what is traditionally served with a particular dish in a particular region, look up traditional family-run restaurants/taverns/bistrots/bouchons from that area (e.g. use google maps, read reviews, etc.), see if they have a Facebook page or a website, look at their menu. And maybe, actually call them or write them an email and just ask. It might be more first-hand than a cookbook.

I returned from Lyon a week ago, where I had several really nice meals at Chez Hugon, a small family-run restaurant. Just before leaving, I noticed a small book on the shelf behind the bar, it turned out it was a collection of their recipes (for those interested, look up Les recettes d'Arlette Hugon). The book is amazing! While not many recipes, they're all homey food, which is what I like. Maybe you can find something similar for the Bordelaise country.
Thanks so much! I've been looking for Bontou's book everywhere. The fact that it is in the public domain online is wonderful. I can put recipes into Google translate.

The rustic preparation of steak Bordelaise that I made a couple weeks back was Wolfert's quotation of Bontou's transcription of the "traditional" recipe.

I think you and french fries are correct and Thomas' citation of Escoffier is inaccurate. Based on Bontou, marrow has always been a key part of the dish. I have always understood that marrow is the key difference between a true sauce Bordelaise and sauce Marchand de Vin. Escoffier's recipe appears to be for the latter.

Although it is not "traditional", I swear by Thomas Keller's version of a Marchand de Vin sauce. Adding carrots and mushrooms to the red wine/shallot reduction gives it great depth and a wonderful umami. I further modify Keller's recipe by swapping in dried Cepes instead of button mushrooms. I guess this speaks to french fries' wonderful point about the evolution of dishes when they are passed down generation to generation. :)
 
197
48
Joined Aug 20, 2010
Another thing to keep in mind is that the execution/interpretation of a dish will be different based on whether it's made in a small village in its region of origin, somewhere in Paris by a home cook after it has become part of the general repertoire, or by a chef étoilé as part of a grand meal. It will also be different in 2020 as opposed to 1920.
 
5,606
482
Joined Sep 5, 2008
Thanks so much! I've been looking for Bontou's book everywhere. The fact that it is in the public domain online is wonderful. I can put recipes into Google translate.
Indeed quite awesome. Do let me know if there's a specific recipe you want me to translate or translate/check.
 
28
13
Joined Jul 15, 2020
Indeed quite awesome. Do let me know if there's a specific recipe you want me to translate or translate/check.
Thanks so much! That is extremely kind of you. I'm definitely going to be peeking at the lamb recipes in the near future. I just ordered a whole local lamb from my butcher for slaughter. (It feels good knowing that the entire animal is going to used and respected.)

Right now, in terms of cuts, I know I want racks, double loin/saddle chops, a sirloin, a short cut leg, and a long cut leg, shanks for braising. Need to figure out what to do with the shoulders, neck, and belly...
 
5,606
482
Joined Sep 5, 2008
The shoulder is a fantastic cut. You can marinate it and grill it, keeping it pink in the center. Or roast it in the oven, fast and high. Or you can slow cook it so it's meltingly tender, for example 10 hours at 200F.

With the neck, you could do a navarin.

The belly is a bit more challenging, but it's a cut I truly love. You can marinate and grill it, but it's a fatty cut, I would start slow as to render some of its fat. Or slow roast. I would even start in a cold oven and place the cut on a grill above a dish, to render some of the fat. Not all people like it because it's not exactly tender lean meat, but it's very flavorful.

My marinade for lamb is to toast whole coriander, peppercorn, coarse salt and cumin seeds, sometimes fennel seeds, then grind them with a mortar and pestle, add garlic and pound some more, mix in a little harissa, fresh lemon juice and olive oil, pound to a thin paste.
 
28
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Joined Jul 15, 2020
Rack of lamb à la Bordelaise:
Turn 1/2 lbs potatoes.
Color porcini mushrooms in olive oil.
Color a rack of lamb in oil and butter in a casserole dish.
Add potatoes and mushrooms to the lamb, cover and cook 1 Hr in a 350F oven.
A few minutes before serving, add a small crushed garlic clove and 3 or 4 tablespoons of "fond brun tomaté".

Leg of Pauillac Lamb
Breaded with breadcrumbs mixed with minced parsley, served with rissolé potatoes, sometimes sliced truffles.

Source: Le Grand Larousse Gastronomique.
I really want to try making the rack of lamb a la Bordelaise with the lamb I got last week in the near future, but fresh porcinis are not available where I live. Does anyone know a way to get fresh porcinis in Canada? If not, would rehydrated dried porcinis work or is there a more accessible variety of mushroom that would be an adequate substitution?

By the way, although it is not authentic, I just found a little vindication for my pairing of potatoes au gratin with steak bordelaise! I just got a copy of the Nouvelle Cuisine of Jean & Pierre Troisgros and guess what potatoes they suggest to serve with their ribeye with red wine sauce and marrow. :p
 
5,606
482
Joined Sep 5, 2008
Porcinis are actually in season around here, perhaps they are in Canada? If they are, look around, ask around, the best way is to gather them yourself. Even here they are prohibitively expensive in the market. I've seen prices like $60/kg and up!!!

Or you could just use dried porcinis and rehydrate them. Very far from fresh ones in texture, but great in flavor.
 
28
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Joined Jul 15, 2020
Porcinis are actually in season around here, perhaps they are in Canada? If they are, look around, ask around, the best way is to gather them yourself. Even here they are prohibitively expensive in the market. I've seen prices like $60/kg and up!!!

Or you could just use dried porcinis and rehydrate them. Very far from fresh ones in texture, but great in flavor.
I knew they were in season in Europe right now, but sadly they are not here. It seems they only grow on the West Coast of Canada and not around here. However, it seems another form of botelus, "Caesar's Mushroom", is in season in Canada now and I might be able to procure some.

Oh well, I guess I can't be too bitter since by fluke, I have black morels that grow in our flower garden by our front door in the middle of the suburbs. Discovered them totally by accident this Spring.

I love dried porcinis and use them a lot, such as in my variation on Thomas Keller's "Bordelaise Sauce". Speaking of that sauce and wild mushrooms, I made a pretty great recreation of "Yabba Dabba Do" from the French Laundry Cookbook featuring fresh Golden Chanterelles while on vacation last week: IMG_20200817_224622_1.jpg
 
28
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Joined Jul 15, 2020
Wow! That looks scrumptuous!!!! Well done.
Thanks so much!
The recipe for the "Bordelaise" sauce (more accurately a Marchand de Vin since no marrow), which I highly recommend is:
2 cups red wine (preferably Bordeaux or Cabernet)
2/3 cup sliced shallots
1 cup sliced carrots
1/2 cup/1 oz rinsed dried porcinis
2 large sprigs thyme
10 sprigs parsley
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons sliced garlic
6 peppercorns
2 cups veal stock (or 1 cup beef stock and 1 cup chicken stock if veal stock unavailable)

Combine the red wine, vegetables, and herbs in a pot and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the liquid is almost evaporated, add stock and peppercorns and simmer until about a cup of liquid is left. Season with salt to taste. Whisk in a couple cubes of chilled butter and serve.
 
28
13
Joined Jul 15, 2020
Porcinis are actually in season around here, perhaps they are in Canada? If they are, look around, ask around, the best way is to gather them yourself. Even here they are prohibitively expensive in the market. I've seen prices like $60/kg and up!!!

Or you could just use dried porcinis and rehydrate them. Very far from fresh ones in texture, but great in flavor.
My hunt for fresh porcinis has been unsuccessful and I feel like the rack of lamb a la bordelaise would be missing something if I tried to use dried porcinis. So I have been considering using it as a jumping off point for an idea of my own. The leg of Pauillac lamb recipe from Larousse seems to have a fairly classic persillade crust. Rack of lamb persillade is often served with a red wine sauce. What if I make a rack of lamb persillade, and combine it with my porcini version of Keller's Bordelaise sauce? I could even swap out the veal stock for "quick lamb sauce"? I have also seen versions of the persillade crust with ground dried porcini added....

Serve it with some tourneed roast potatoes and maybe some fresh seasonal green beans?
 
28
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Joined Jul 15, 2020
Last year I found a lot of porcini mushrooms (https://cheftalk.com/threads/walk-in-the-forest-i-found-some-nice-porcini-mushrooms.106537/) — but this year, nothing yet! :(:(
Those porcinis from last year look gorgeous. I wish porcinis grew around here. The only foraged mushrooms I have had access to are the black morels we discovered growing in our front flower beds this year, literally 5 feet from our front door:
IMG_20200517_104204.jpg IMG_20200516_145556.jpg
I didn't end up cooking them because I was not able to get them verified due to Covid, but I am looking forward to making asparagus and morels next spring.
 
5,606
482
Joined Sep 5, 2008
That's crazy! They do look like morels — although of course having them double-checked makes sense. But I hope you didn't throw them away? You can dry them and they're excellent dried. They get even more taste when they're dried. And you can get them double-checked even once they're dried. Or you can freeze them.

I found a lot of morilles just before the confinement this year: Screen Shot 2020-09-09 at 08.33.24.png
 
28
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Joined Jul 15, 2020
That's crazy! They do look like morels — although of course having them double-checked makes sense. But I hope you didn't throw them away? You can dry them and they're excellent dried. They get even more taste when they're dried. And you can get them double-checked even once they're dried. Or you can freeze them.

I found a lot of morilles just before the confinement this year: View attachment 68666
I ended up making my herb and dried porcini crusted rack of lamb idea with porcini bordelaise sauce and it turned ridiculously good. It is still a work in progress (need to tweak the crust a little for better adhesion) and the presentation needs some fine tuning, but the flavours were unreal! I am incredibly proud of the sauce. Definitely a fall favourite that I am proud to call my own! (Paired it with 2010 Segla, Margaux)
IMG_20200912_231952.jpg
 
28
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Joined Jul 15, 2020
That lamb looks PERFECTLY cooked. I'm sure the sauce was great too. You're killing me here. And a Chateau Margaux!!! Oh man.....
Thanks! Cooking the lamb was the easy part for me. The old rule of rule of 7-8/min per pound in a hot oven always does the trick with rack of lamb for me.

The hard part unusually was the crust. Gordon Ramsay's old recipe for basic persillade crust usually works well, but I found that the oil he adds as a binder does not work well with porcini dust. It was like coating the crumbs and porcini dust in teflon. It would come right off the mustard glue. Next time, I think I will leave the fat out and just let the dry breadcrumbs, porcinis, and herbs stick to the mustard. Live and Learn!

Oops, sorry, the wine was not a Chateau Margaux. I could never afford a bottle of that! I

It was Segla, the second wine from Chateau Rauzan-Segla in the Margaux appellation. I know the great Pauillac reds are supposed to be the perfect pairing for Pauillac lamb, but it's hard to find a decently priced Pauillac over here and I find the softness and subtlety of a Margaux better matches the delicacy of rack of lamb.
 

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