Checking out the schedule for French Fridays with Dorie this week I was relieved to see that it was something I figured I’d be able to make in our makeshift kitchen in the South-West of France (for those of you wondering, yes, it’s our house and so I am a little more forgiving about the state of my favourite room right now because I know that soon it will actually have a kitchen in it, not just a sink, a table, a hotplate and a toaster oven. If this was an actual rental kitchen, I would not be so happy!). I was excited to find a tiny, tiny beef roast that I had planned on roasting one evening in preparation for lunch the following day in between (more) furniture building. I’d gathered all my ingredients and had everything ready to go.
We were just sitting down to an early-ish dinner when the lights started flickering. Our contractor had warned us that we would probably need the circuit breaker changed at some point but I was hoping for that to not need doing until we were gone and it was less important to actually have functioning electricity. And then the lights were not flickering anymore. Fortunately, Mr Neil made us bring a lot of flashlights etc… so we were good for light. We headed down to the basement to see if we couldn’t just flick the switch to restore power. Unfortunately not. I phoned EDF (Electricité de France) who sounded confused by my description of what the box looked like (turns out it was pretty old, so a bit of a collector’s item!) and who assured me that yes, they could help but not on a Sunday night. Call back tomorrow, they said.
So we opened another bottle of wine, listened to the radio, played Words with Friends, surfed furniture sites online (thankful for our fully charged iPads) and waited it out. But not before I had grabbed the beef and put it in the freezer, hoping it wouldn’t be too long before we had power again. I mean, really in the big scheme of things it wouldn’t have been a big deal to go and buy more beef but I was so chuffed with my tiny, perfect piece of beef that I would have been sad to throw it out.
It turns out I didn’t need to because once we phoned EDF the next day, they were at the house and had changed the box in under 2 hours. Efficiency where I certainly was not expecting it! But my “next day” beef plans had to change after all that. The beef needed cooking that night and we needed something to eat so it was more a case of “next hour” beef salad sandwiches with all the right condiments: mayonnaise, cornichons, tiny pickled onions and mustard.
(a little less pink than Mr Neil was hoping for but hey, you do what you can when you are roasting a piece of beef in a toaster oven in between putting together 4000 – only a slight exaggeration – pieces of furniture)
I always love a good roast beef sandwich and this was no exception. So, an adventure, a tasty dish and lots of new vocabulary learned (electricity-related but also, tende de tranche which was the excellent cut I chose). It was a good week!
Get Dorie Greenspan’s recipe for Next-Day Beef Salad on page 260 of Around my French Table.
French Fridays with Dorie participants do not publish the recipes on our blogs, we prefer if you purchase Around My French Table for yourselves which you can do here on Amazon or Amazon Canada. Or for free worldwide shipping, buy from The Book Depository. Go on, treat yourself then join us here!
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