French Fridays with Dorie: Next-day Beef Salad

Mini roast beef on eatlivetravelwrite.comHmmm… so, best-laid plans and all that…

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 (ElectricitĂ© 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.

Mini roast beef with mustard, mayonnaise and cornichons on eatlivetravelwrite.com(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.


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32 Responses to French Fridays with Dorie: Next-day Beef Salad

  1. Liz March 27, 2015 at 06:36 #

    Ugh, sorry about the disruption to your dinner plans! Bill loves his beef very rare, too, and he actually enjoyed his salad!

    • Mardi Michels March 28, 2015 at 08:37 #

      This is a great technique/ recipe to keep up your sleeve, huh?

  2. Mr. Neil March 27, 2015 at 08:40 #

    This was PERFECT sustenance in the middle of lots of working with things out of boxes, hex keys, and the lack of a power drill.

    Notwithstanding it was midday, a lovely red would have been ideal. Alas, as Mardi said, we finished two bottles the night before, so had none at hand! (I know: shocker.) So we made do with a can of 1664 between us…. 😉

    • Mardi Michels March 28, 2015 at 08:37 #

      Actually we ate this for an early dinner (clearly all that work has you confused!). But no, we didn’t drink wine with this!

  3. Cher March 27, 2015 at 12:33 #

    I thought I went rogue… you win!

    • Mardi Michels March 28, 2015 at 08:36 #

      Not at all – it was “next day” beef so….

  4. Coco in the Kitchen March 27, 2015 at 13:04 #

    Friday night dinner conumdrum solved!

    Leftovers transformed into a salad, especially in this heat, are an excellent idea.

    • Mardi Michels March 28, 2015 at 08:36 #

      LOL well our situation was not quite so warm, especially with no electricity!

  5. Trevor March 27, 2015 at 13:34 #

    Its hard to feel sorry for your disrupted dinner plans Mardi knowing where you are. But I’ll try. In the meantime you got to eat well as a consolation. I really enjoyed this one.

    • Mardi Michels March 28, 2015 at 08:36 #

      Well, while it’s lovely being in France, it will be lovelier when the house is finished! And yes, we eat well there!

  6. Diane Balch March 27, 2015 at 15:20 #

    A true next day beef… yes, your setting is hard to feel for… toaster oven beef, that’s a new one for me.

    • Mardi Michels March 28, 2015 at 08:35 #

      Well we’re “en pleine construction” so it was hardly a luxury vacation and we really didn’t see much apart from the insides of hardware stores!

  7. Mary Hirsch March 27, 2015 at 19:19 #

    Hey, no one can complain about a great roast beef sandwich. Glad to know that you are rolling with the punches whether it be house renovation, toaster oven challenges or being chuffed about your tiny meat purchase. I am not so sure about what “chuffed” means but love the word and will probably fit it into one of my future blogs if you give me permission. Love hearing about your house and am still very excited for you. .

  8. Nana March 27, 2015 at 19:59 #

    After all that aggravation, I’m glad you enjoyed it all.

    • Mardi Michels March 28, 2015 at 08:34 #

      Well not so much aggravations, just a little bit unexpected!

  9. Betsy March 27, 2015 at 20:50 #

    I had no idea that you could roast beef in a toaster oven. Good to know. I’m glad this recipe had a happy ending, power outage and all. And I like the sandwich idea. These ingredients all went so well together.

  10. Lisa March 28, 2015 at 05:52 #

    Hey, who doesn’t like wine for dinner? But it really sounds like you are rolling with the challenges! I am glad you got it done after all, it is a nice dish

    • Mardi Michels March 28, 2015 at 08:34 #

      We actually didn’t have wine for dinner – we had eaten dinner and I was going to cook the beef for the next day so when the power went out, we figured we might need another glass of wine to, you know, cope!

  11. Candy March 28, 2015 at 13:14 #

    Mardi, what a story!! I can completely understand how it wouldn’t be so bad when it’s your own home that you’re renovating!! You’ll have another delightful dinner-party story when you get back to North America!

    And while I agree that just a bit more pink would be ideal – that roast beef looks quite delicious! and great for you to make the adjustments based on circumstances!!!

    • Mardi Michels March 28, 2015 at 18:53 #

      Thanks – I did pretty well considering what I had to work with, I think!

  12. Rose March 29, 2015 at 11:57 #

    Well, as they say, necessity is the mother of invention. Sounds like you dealt with your kitchen limitations quite well.

    • Mardi Michels April 4, 2015 at 13:16 #

      Absolutely! No kitchen forces you to be very creative indeed!

  13. Alice March 29, 2015 at 21:30 #

    wow! thats great that you were able to get the electricity problem fixed so quickly! It took longer than that for us in England, almost two weeks when ours went out!

    Your salad looks great!

    • Mardi Michels April 4, 2015 at 13:15 #

      Actually we made sandwiches with these ingredients!

  14. Teresa March 31, 2015 at 16:58 #

    The salad had all of the components of a great roast beef sandwich, so I don’t think you went all that rogue, after all. 😉 So glad you were able to get your electricity dealt with so quickly.

    • Mardi Michels April 4, 2015 at 13:14 #

      Absolutely! It’s the intention and ingredients that count!

  15. Kathy March 31, 2015 at 17:50 #

    Your roast beef looks remarkably perfect for being cooked in a toaster oven, Mardi! I’m impressed that you got your electricity worked on so quickly! Enjoy your time in France!

    • Mardi Michels April 4, 2015 at 13:14 #

      Thanks, sadly have been home for a couple of weeks now 🙁

  16. Cakelaw April 1, 2015 at 07:52 #

    This salad would have been terrific as a sandwich. I am glad that they fixed your power quickly – it would have been a bummer otherwise.

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