This post is dedicated to my “Sweet Babboo” on Valentine’s day – she is “… the butter to my bread, and the breath to my life.”
The pleasant years in Idaho were made even brighter in our memories by our frequent trips to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. We “three” would make the trip together during the slow periods between winter skiing and summer tourist seasons. Fine hotel rooms, equipped with kitchens, were readily available at reasonable rates.
I say “we three” and you may ask, “Who was the third?” Since you couldn’t see from the title or from our previous posts, the answer is – Julia Child and her book Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
On one of our trips, we attempted and, if one is being lenient in the interpretation of words, “mastered” Sauté de Boeuf à la Parisienne (Beef Sauté with Cream and Mushroom Sauce). The feat was performed in the most simple of hotel kitchens, using only the tools and implements at hand. It was no remarkable feat. All we needed were knives, cutting boards, a frying pan, and an adequate amount of patience and “love”.
This year, with Valentine’s Day just one day away, we decided to renew our acquaintance with that happy dish of flavorful beef. We once again referred to Julia’s recipe. (You can find it here.) We knew by experience that we could execute this recipe without too much effort and we also knew that it would be perfect for an intimate dinner.
So, we went out in the morning and purchased the necessary ingredients. We elected to use shallots rather than green onions. Otherwise, we stayed entirely on script with Julia’s recipe.
Why shallots and why no garlic? Well, shallots and garlic come from the same family, but in a recipe like this shallots add a little something special – their flavor is considered to be sweeter and richer. Never walk away from a shallot when it might add that extra needed “something” in your dish.
With the exception of a couple of hot oil splatters and the occasional collision of cooks in the soon to be famous Serendipity Farmhouse Test Kitchen, most everything went according to plan. Mr. Monte performed admirably in examining all ingredients for quality and purity.
There was one happy item of note while we were gathering the ingredients for initial preparation. We had enough of our own homemade butter to meet Julia’s absolutely essential requirement for butter. (See our post on making butter here.)
So, without further useless prattle here are some pictures of the preparation.
When finally completed, the dish was served as you can see in the feature picture at the beginning of this post. We set the table in a very simple style, similar to our hotel room in Jackson hole. One welcome addition was the romantic light of a paraffin lamp to set the mood.
Finally and most happily, the soon to be world famous Chef Monte prepared a special Valentine Pie for us. It was a superb work of art with flavor to match. That rascal cat is a master of endearment. (See his post on making the Valentine Pie here.)