Back now from wanderings for a while and I just want to share with you my time last week in beautiful Burgundy. We stayed with two of the most wonderful people ever to step foot in France and the whole 5 days were simply heavenly. I could have chosen so many pics to head this article, but this local dish of jambon persillé was never far from my plate – I simply adore the stuff – a ham hock terrine in a parsley jelly – it is divine. I will definitely be having a go at making this soon and will share the recipe when I do – if it works! The other daily indulgence was the local epoisses – a cheese that proves there is a god – a cow’s cheese that just takes the breath away with its unctuous cream texture. To quote Mr Wiki P –
‘Époisses de Bourgogne is a cheese made in the village Époisses, which is in the département of Côte-d’Or in France. It is located around halfway between Dijon and Auxerre.
Commonly referred to as Époisses, it is a pungent unpasteurized cows-milk cheese. Smear-ripened (washed in marc de Bourgogne, the local pomace brandy), it is circular at around either 10 centimetres (3.9 in) or 18 centimetres (7.1 in) in diameter, with a distinctive soft red-orange colour. It is sold in a circular wooden box.’
We had it the first night at our friends’ place on a cheese board to walk miles for.
Another favourite cheese of mine and my daughters is this beauty made with fresh cranberries – a seasonal cheese oddly which is only available around the summer months – it slips down the throat like velvet.
We celebrated my son’s 16th birthday whilst we were there – and spent the end of that evening trying to eject peacefully two bats that had decided to take up residence in his bed room – I did my best Christian Bale impression and it sort of worked! – and two days later my daughter’s 18th and the meal we had at a local restaurant was one of those experiences that will be engraved on my culinary memory slates from now until I’m eating with my ancestors in some celestial brasserie. My friends both started with eggs poached in Burgundian beef wine stock – wow!
I had a remarkable inventive starter of crème brûlée epoisses. Very, very good!
Then a simply sumptuous tournedos rossini.
My wife had this beautifully presented and flavoursome boeuf bourguignon, served in hollowed out tomatoes, courgettes and onions.
Magnificent. It was all washed down with a couple of bottles of this beauty….
– made from local Pinot Noir grapes. It was a night I could have happily remained in for hours more had I the power to slow down time!
And to finish off here are some more pics of our time in Burgundy. The first is of the charolais faux-filet that we had one evening with Mark’s superb Epoisses sauce – simply add an epoisses cheese to a pan with a large tub of creme fraîche and stir gently till the cheese has melted and combined with the cream. Stunning.
Always amazing fish counters…
The most extensive range of glorious garlic at Avallon market….
Sun flowers waking up on a bright Burgundian morn….
And last but not least – what life is all about – enjoying meals with fantastic friends……thank you Mark and Alex for everything!!!