Thursday, December 22, 2016

Birthday lunch 2016

Another birthday has come and gone. We ate it well. This year we made the traditional steak au poivre with a cut of beef we don't usually indulge in: filet. In the US, we call that cut the tenderloin or filet mignon. In France, however, the word mignon is normally used to refer to same cut of pork, not beef. Since filet is one of the more costly cuts of beef, we often use faux-filet (sirloin) or rumsteak (rump or round) for this dish.

A dish of snails, six per serving, with garlicky parsley butter.

We each had a half-dozen escargots de Bourgogne as our entrée, prepared the traditional way with a garlic and parsley butter sauce. The steaks were dry-marinated in crushed black pepper before being seared in a hot pan. The sauce was made by de-glazing the pan with Armagnac and a little beef broth, then thickening it with crème fraiche. We served the steaks with french fries. We followed that with a green salad in vinaigrette.

Lunch is served! They look like hamburgers, but they're slices of filet coated with crushed pepper.

I drank Champagne with the entrée and Ken drank sauvignon blanc (he doesn't really enjoy the bubbles). We enjoyed a Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil (from a little further down the Loire Valley) with the main course.

Birthday tart.

Dessert was an apple tart. I used Delblush-Tentation apples. First I made a compote with some of the apples, a little sugar, and some cinnamon. I pre-baked my pie shell, then spread the cooled compote inside. I layered sliced apples on top and baked the tart until it was done. Finally, I glazed the top with some of Ken's home-made apple jelly. Tasty!


  1. Next October, you will have to get yourselves down here for "l'Art et l'Lard"....
    there is an apple tart competition as part of it... and seeing previous entries...
    you could be onto a winner with the one above!!
    Steak looks lovely... and I think I'll slice up some spuds to make some oven baked chips for supper.
    B-b-but the snails... each to their own!!
    You looked as though you dined well upon your pre-Christmas birthday feast!

  2. Everything looks appetizing, Walt . There is something strange going on with filet mignon at the super markets in MTL. I don't know where it is coming from but I am getting some good 4 oz filets and the price is very interesting. However, when I do go to the butcher shops , I could pay through my nose if i am not careful and they are not even Black Angus, which is priced exorbitantly since they fall under the 'speciality item".

  3. Terrific traditional birthday lunch!

  4. That is one gorgeous meal :) You must be especially proud of that tart!

  5. Steak au poivre is my favorite way to eat steak and yours looks very yummy this year. The tarte is perfect.

  6. A beautiful lunch.
    Belated happy birthday greetings, and I really like the Bertie solstice card.

  7. tim, I'm not sure I'm ready for competition...

    t.b., here, the price for the filet was about twice the price for faux-filet. We splurged and the meat was very tender and tasty.

    kiwi, it's a favorite of mine!

    chm, as always!

    judy, it was delicious (if I do say so myself)!

    evelyn, it's an annual treat, for sure. Sometimes we make it during the year, but with a different cut of beef. It's also good done with ground beef, like a hamburger.

    emm, thanks! I thought the card was cool, too.


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