French Lessons; it’s ‘SOO-BEEZ’

Maybe it’s the wake of the Tour de France, I’m not sure, but I can’t help but currently nod towards our Gallic friends and neighbours (OK, not currently). And more inspiration from Simon Hopkinson, very much the Englishman, whose ‘ Week in, Week Out’ I just can’t help but slaver over, and a man who respects classic French cuisine.

Some saltbush lamb in the freezer had my friend John’s name on it for some reason- no reason at all really, it just did. And ‘sauce Soubise’  hidden away in a chapter under ‘cheffy type sauces to keep handy’ was mentioned partnering lamb. There are versions with stock, and or a bechamel base, but I can’t imagine they could be better than the cholesterol hit described below. Maybe a lighter version would be better with a fattier cut of meat, say lamb chops?

Arm the spit roast, some driftwood/ charcoal from the beach on the Weber, and away we go.

  • 4 medium onions, chopped and slowly cooked 30mins in a knob of butter
  • A decent grind of white pepper

Then add

  • 50ml of vinegar (tarragon cider vinegar here), and reduce until no liquid,
  • 100ml white wine (reduce until almost no liquid), then
  • 300ml double cream  and
  • 1 bay leaf

Simmer for 20mins. Remove the bay leaf and whizz up in a blender, et voila.

Now, I must confess here that I completely under-cooked the lamb and had to resort to the highly risky option of microwaving (don’t do this at home kids, and if you must, don’t go above 50% power and check every couple of minutes).  There were four hungry children to feed so the pressure was on.

In the meantime the poor wee critters were so undernourished that my eldest started passing the naked shin bone (the only bit cooked), around with a straw into the marrow like some primeval childrens peace offering. A proud moment indeed. Roast potatoes in the pan underneath the meat, and glazed carrots with parsley.

It was a sheer delight watching the kids wolf this down followed by an apple and quince Tarte Tatin (with a smidgeon of cream). Oh joy.


About willeats1

Primarily gastronomic explorer. Occasional father, emergency physician and mountain biker. View all posts by willeats1

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