15 January 2016

Isn't all food "comfort food"?

Our weather has turned chilly, with temperatures down near or even below freezing, so it's time for so-called "comfort foods" — aren't all enjoyable foods just that? — like beef stews. Here's a classic French one: Bœuf aux carottes. Beef braised with carrots. Also onions, potatoes, and herbs.White wine. I made it two or three days ago.


I've posted about it many times before and every time it comes out a little different. And every time it is delicious. This version was cooked in the slow-cooker with white wine, thyme, carrots, onions, garlic, and, at the last minute, some smoked pork bacon (lardons fumés) that I sauteed first. It was a kilogram of stew beef, called bœuf à bourguignon (or simply bourguignon) here in France. We have enough left over for another meal, and this is the kind of cooking that tastes even better the next day or the day after that.

Yesterday I made another dish of gratin d'endives au jambon. Can't get enough of that cheese sauce.

Walt just saw on a weather report that it's actually snowing in Le Mans, and predictions are for a few stray snowflakes in the Loire Valley. Today is January 15, after all.

12 comments:

  1. We are having a significant show shower as I type this. I just got back from a walk with the dog. There were places that were completely frosty and there was ice on some of the puddles along the road. Just as I got back to the house, the snow started coming down harder. It's sticking on the ground and road in places.

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  2. Both dishes look wonderful and, yes, comforting but my heart is set on making a big pot of rustic beef, barley and mushroom soup. No better cure for snow days.

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    1. Sounds good to me. We just finished a big batch of mushroom-barley soup in turkey broth.

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  3. Just when you thought winter wasn't coming! Enjoy your snow and your yummy stew and gratin.

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    1. We've eaten half of each so far. Tomorrow, we'll have to decide which leftovers sound better. By the way, the sun came out this afternoon and the little bit of snow we got in the morning melted away.

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  4. Hi Ken,

    Your dishes posted here look wonderful. As usual wish you could mail them. ;-)

    I am going to weigh in on the title of the post, though. The pictures you've posted are true comfort food: hearty, warm, homey, easy going.

    Foods that I would not place in the comfort food group would include fussy dishes: poisson en papillote, opera dessert, insolent citron et noisette, délicate gelée de tourteau et caviar gold....and other complicated things that call for a linen tablecloth and fine cutlery, lol.

    Hope you stay warm and comfy while it snows outside.

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    1. What you describe as the antithesis of comfort food is what I'd call professional food. It's expensive, and I'm sure it's comforting to people in many cases and for many reasons. I'm happier with and more interested in home cooking -- comfortable cooking and eaying. Sometimes home cooking can get fussy too, and a nice salad can be really comforting when you're in that mood. Slicing, dicing, peeling, poaching, making sauces -- all that is time-consuming and fairly fussy, but it's worth the trouble.

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  5. Lately my comfort food has a lot of sugar and cinnamon in it. But pasta does it for me if I need real food to comfort me :)

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    1. Comfort is in the taste buds of the eater.

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  6. All the photos of food which you post on your blog look comforting to me! And this time of year we need all the comfort we can get to counteract the gray days and the cold which we are having in Ohio at the moment...But the kids are happy for winter sports possibilities.

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  7. That beef stew looks soooooo good. And the vegetables cooked that way always seem to taste better, too.

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  8. I agree about all food being comfort food. That is what life is all about, non?

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