The show starts early

The butcher at the G20 accepts that I act out my order, and I just don’t pay any attention to the stares.  A girl has got to do what a girl has got to do to get the meat she wants.   I started with a gorgeous loin of pork, seasoned it with sea salt and seared it on all sides.  In a separate pan I very gently sauteed slices of leeks in butter with a sprig of thyme and a whole head of garlic, slashed into two pieces right through the middle, until they were completely softened.  I poured in a few cups of milk and a few cups of cream, brought it to a simmer and then added the loin.  After about an hour and 45 minutes it was the tiniest bit rosy, cooked through, tender and delicious.  As much as I love Le Creuset it didn’t work to use it for braising on top of the stove, because it holds too much heat right above the burner.  I finished it in the oven instead with a piece of parchment over the meat, and a lid set askew over the pot.  The carrots were simmered in water with butter added, a bay leaf, a sprig of thyme, a pinch of sugar, a peppercorn and salt.  When they were tender I strained them, reserving about a tablespoon of the liquid, added a bit more butter and sugar to the pot, and let them go a little golden over a medium heat.  The string beans in November are no where near as tender as the ones in April so you have to be generous with the cooking time and really let them relax in simmering water for a good twenty minutes.  More butter to finish, with a little shallot and parsley.

It’s cloudy now in Bourgueil, but round yellow leaves are still clinging to the trees outside the window and it’s still warm enough to get away with a thick sweater and no coat.   I would say it was almost nine this morning before the vendors were set up for the market this morning; we got a chance to watch the fish monger make a fish stew on a pan the size of a small dining room table with tomatoes, onions and a piece of just about everything he had on offer.  I bought scallops still in their shells, opening and closing like castonets, and huge shrimp waving their little legs above the ice and rosy filets of salmon.  It’s beurre blanc night.

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