Burgundy – food lover heaven
Burgundy is a major centre for wine and gastronomy and the Burgundy region will stimulate your senses.
The locale is renowned for its excellent local products, which make delicious dishes.
What’s on the menu?
Aperitif: Let’s start with a Kir, which is a burgundy sparkling with a touch of crème de cassis de Dijon - a sweet dark red liqueur made from blackcurrants.
Gougères (cheese puffs) or a local cured saucisson (dried cured sausage) are perfect accompaniments.
Starters: Why not try eggs "en meurette" (poached eggs with lardons (pork) and red wine), or for the most adventurous how about a generous dozen of garlic butter snails, or some famous frogs legs?
Burgundy is located close to the production centres of some of the finest beef in the world - Charolais cattle are the region’s hallmarks.
A fine supply of home-grown vegetables and orchards are located to the south in the Saône. Native Montbeliarde, Brune and Simmental cows provide excellent local dairy products.
Opulent meat stews (civets) enriched with wine and simmered slowly over a wood stove are common.
Both beef burgundy and coq au vin begin with meat marinated overnight in red wine, which is then braised to melting tenderness with bacon, garlic, parsley, thyme, carrots, onions and mushrooms.
A visit to the Louhans Market, referred to as a "Site remarquable du goût" (remarkable taste site label), is where you will discover an authentic poultry paradise, with the famous Bresse chicken, which I refer to as the “Rolls Royce” of chickens.
As for fish, the Saône River supplies all the ingredients needed to concoct one of the region’s specialties, Pauchouse.
This freshwater bouillabaisse-style stew is made with tench, perch, eel, carp, pike, white wine and garlic croutons. It is served with the famous quenelles de brochet, which are light and delicious pike dumplings.
“It is not a good meal without cheese,” according to a well-known French proverb.
Charolais, Époisses, Abbaye des Citeaux, Saint Marcellin and Soumaintrain are among the region’s cheeses.
The wine: The vineyards of Burgundy are precisely bounded on the slopes of the Côte de Nuits and the Côte de Beaune. Each of these parcels produces a unique cru ( group of vineyards), including some of the world’s most famous wines, including Romanée-Conti, Montrachet and Vosne-Romanée.
For dessert: How about a charlotte "rigodon" or a pear "tartouillat" from Dijon (poached in wine). A must-try is the Dijon gingerbread, which is made from wheat flour and honey. Nonnettes have similar ingredients, but are smaller and filled with jam.
Want a taste of Burgundy at home?
Follow my simple recipe and share with your friends.
Ham and parsley terrine
Four unsmoked ham hocks
Two small onions, peeled and each studded with three cloves
3⁄4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves, stems reserved
Three carrots, cut in half crosswise
Two ribs of celery, halved crosswise
Two bay leaves
Two fresh thyme sprigs
One (750-ml) bottle of dry white wine
One oz. gelatine
Kosher salt, to taste
One 3⁄4 lb. unsmoked cooked ham, cut into 3⁄4" cubes
Two shallots, finely chopped
One clove of garlic, finely chopped
Ten black peppercorns
1. Put onions, parsley stems, peppercorns, hocks, carrots, celery, bay leaves, thyme, wine, and nine cups of water into an 8qt. pot and boil. Lower heat to medium-low; simmer for 2 and a 1/2 hours.
2. Strain broth through a coffee filter–lined sieve into a 2-qt. pan; boil until reduced to four cups.
3. Chill one and a half cups of broth and sprinkle in gelatine; let rest 10 minutes without stirring. Whisk gelatine mixture into remaining broth and season with salt; chill until aspic just begins to set, 8–12 minutes.
4. Combine chopped parsley leaves, ham, shallots, and garlic in a bowl. Line a 1 1⁄2-qt. terrine mould with plastic wrap; add ham mixture. Pour in reserved aspic. Cover with plastic wrap; place a rectangular piece of cardboard, cut to fit inside rim, on top of terrine. Place a weight, such as cans on top; chill terrine until set for 1–2 days. To serve, uncover terrine and lift out of mould.
Invert onto a cutting board; slice and serve with Dijon mustard, bread, and cornichons, of course!
“Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.”
Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste, 1825
French gourmet and lawyer, native of Dijon (1755 - 1826)