My astronomical birthday yesterday was great fun! I call it astronomical this year because in addition to the solstice, the universe gave me a full moon and a lunar eclipse to celebrate. Unfortunately, the skies were overcast and rainy, so I didn't get to enjoy them until I watched the news.
Ken and I spent the morning shopping. We had to get new tires on the car to pass the bi-annual inspection this year, so we took advantage of the wait time to hit the hardware store, the home decoration store, and the grocery store, all within a five-minute walk of the garage.
Lunch was the traditional steak au poivre. That's the meal I had on my birthday while in Nice, France, back in 1981. I've had the same meal on my birthday every year since then. When we made the dish back in the US, we'd often use a cut from the tenderloin, either filet, tournedos, or chateaubriand. Here in France the usual steak for the dish is rumsteak, a very lean and tender cut, which is what we got. I crushed a bunch of black peppercorns with the mortar and pestle and coated the steaks with it. They sat for about an hour like that.
Then we seared the steaks in a hot pan and set them on a platter to rest under foil. The pan was de-glazed with armagnac and the sauce made with a little beef bouillon and cream. And more armagnac. We served the steaks with French fries, as is our tradition. The steaks were perfectly done: crusty on the outside and very rare inside. Pure heaven on a plate!
By the way, Ken's photos of this year's meal are here.
La Salamandre : le bar
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