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Saturday, June 22, 2019

Queue De Bœuf – Oxtail. A Tale of an Ox’s Tail in French Cuisine.


from
Behind the French Menu
by
Bryan G. Newman
behindthefrenchmenu@gmail.com

Oxtail soup

The first recipe for an oxtail soup or stew came to English menus when it was called a hochepot. That recipe was brought by the soldiers of William the Conqueror in 1066 when they came over from Norman-France and invaded and conquered England. Many of William's soldiers came from Flanders in northern France where hochepot was and still is a favorite dish.
                                      
Oxtail soup with its tasty, slowly cooked meat has a soft and silky texture flavored by its bone marrow that you can feel on your tongue; it would become a traditional British and Irish favorite.  With this and many other dishes, the cooks of William’s army brought the French connection to the English kitchen.

The word hochepot in English became hodgepodge, meaning “a jumble or mixture of any odds and ends and miscellaneous items;” and obviously, that was the original recipe for the soup. Anglo-Norman law under which England was ruled for four-hundred years after the invasion supported that premise when the word hochepot was given a legal meaning: “the blending or gathering together of properties;” just like the blending and gathering together of whatever was available in the kitchen.

The old province of Flanders, where hochepot originated is today mostly within the department of Nord on France’s English Channel (La Manche) and North Sea coast. (And, BTW, William the Conqueror is a great-great-great…of the present Queen of England).
   
A hodgepodge mixture of odds and ends
www.flickr.com/photos/sfllaw/70503683/

Until about fifty years ago, oxtail soups and stews in the UK were considered too bourgeois for most restaurant menus. Then, celebrity chefs discovered the tastes locked into the recipes that are now prepared for gourmets.
  
The Queue de Bœuf on French Menus:

Chiffonnade de Queue de Bœuf, Vinaigrette à la Moutarde à l'Ancienne – Strips of beef from the tail served with a vinaigrette sauce flavored with a coarse-grained, mild mustard sauce.  The word "chiffonade" in your French-English dictionary means "rags" but on your menu will indicate thin strips of vegetables lightly sautéed or as here thin strips of meat. Strips of smoked salmon, cured hams or other finely cut fish, or meats may also be described as a "chiffonade."  Moutarde à l'Ancienne means mustard in the old manner that is made by mixing the mustard seeds in water for a few days rather than crushing them.
  
Hochepot de Queue de Bœuf – This is the traditional oxtail stew made like a Pot a feu, a slowly cooked hearty stew prepared with vegetables, usually carrots, turnips, and onions.
   
Hotchpot de Queue de Bœuf

Parmentier de Queue de Bœuf au Vin Rouge de Touraine – Meat from the oxtail flavored with a red wine from the Touraine covered with mashed potatoes. The French pharmacist Antoine-Augustin Parmentier (1737 – 1813) who made the potato an important part of the French diet is honored with his name on this and many other potato dishes.

Touraine was a historical and cultural region and an  ancient French province set in the Val de Loire where it is home to many fine wines and cheeses including the Chinon and Vouvray wines and the Sainte-Maure-de-Touraine AOP cheese.  During the French Revolution, the province of Touraine was divided with its larger part becoming the department of Indre-et-Loire in the region of Centre-Val de Loire.

A few of the wines from the Touraine

Préssé de Queue de Bœuf et Salade   The meat from the oxtail interleaved with vegetables and pressed into a square or rectangular form from which it will be served; here it is accompanied by a salad.

Raviolis de Queue de Bœuf – Ravioli made with the tender meat of an ox-tail. The sauce with this dish will generally be a meat and red wine sauce.

Salade de Mesclun et Terrine de Queue de Boeuf Maison – A mesclun salad and a pate made with the meat from an oxtail. The terrine here is a pate that will have been made with vegetables and possibly other meats.  The ingredients of a salad mesclun will change with the season but will include five or six salad greens chosen for their contrasting tastes and textures.
   
A salade mesclun.
www.flickr.com/photos/bluehillranch/5277543600/
  
Soupe de Queue de Bœuf Oxtail soup.
   
In North America and the UK and there are many other stews with similar sounding names to hochepot or hodgepodge including many without oxtails or cows’ tails, which are just as tasty.  (BTW an ox is a castrated male and in North America also called a bullock or steer).

Bœuf (beef), and the letter Œ.
    
Œ – The two letters O and E linked together have a history much longer than the few grammar lessons that I participated in in school. You can blame the Romans and Greeks for this strange letter or ligature as it is properly called. When the letters are separate, they have their individual sounds, and so in English, you mostly hear the letters o and e sounded separately as in beachgoer for O and poet for E.  However, in French, when linked together o and e form their own unique sound “er” and so bœuf for beef, is pronounced berf and œuf for egg, is pronounced erf.

To type Œ in lowercase letters on a PC keyboard hold down the “Alt” key and type 0156 and the lower case œ will appear.  For the uppercase Œ type Alt and 0140.   (These are called

N.B. The letters only appear when you take your finger off the Alt key and also make sure the Num Lock is off before typing or nothing appears.

Alt 0156…. Voila œ

Alt 0140…..Voila Œ
  
For the other French ALT (ascii) codes with both lower and uppercase letters click here.

I am sorry that I cannot offer any suggestions for Mac keyboards.

-----------------------------------

Bryan G. Newman

Behind the French Menu
Copyright 2010, 2019.

For information on the unpublished book behind this blog write to Bryan Newman
at
behindthefrenchmenu@gmail.com

---------------------------

Searching for the meaning of words, names or phrases
on
French menus?

Just add the word, words, or phrase that you are searching for to the words "Behind the French Menu" (best when including the inverted commas), and search with Google or Bing,  Behind the French Menu’s links, include hundreds of words, names, and phrases that are seen on French menus. There are over 450 articles that include over 4,000 French dishes with English translations and explanations.

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Sunday, June 9, 2019

Lieu Noir - Pollock, Saithe, Coley. The Tasty, Inexpensive, Cod Family Member From the North Atlantic

from
Behind the French Menu
by
Bryan G. Newman
behindthefrenchmenu@gmail.com
   
Lieu Noir
Pollock, Saithe, Coley
    
Lieu Noir (Goberge in Canada) – Pollock, Saithe, and Coley are a large, tasty member of the cod family, and will be on many French menus.

Whole fish are anywhere from 30 cm (12”) to 60 cm (24”) long though they can reach twice that length. They are caught in the North Atlantic with some larger fish flown home as chilled whole fish and the rest being delivered as frozen fish fillets. In any case with even the smallest fish being large enough for two or more, you will only be served a filet.
   
A Lieu Noir- Pollock fish filet.
While Pollock is considered a white fish it has a darker section that can be seen here.
Lieu Noir, are more strongly flavored than the similarly named and equally popular Lieu Jaune.
     
Lieu Noir has other regional names French names that include Colin and Merluche. But it shares those names with Lieu Jaune – Pollack (with the a), and Callagh. The reasons behind these mostly harmless cross-channel confusions are related to earlier times, but there is no longer anyone around to blame.

Catch your own. 17lb 4oz – 8 kilos.

   
Lieu Noir, in the UK Pollock, Saithe, and Coley is a favorite for fish and chips. While the French have never bought into the UK art of deep batter fried fish and greasy chips the fish is very popular in France and will be on French menus with other flavors:

Lieu Noir on French Menus:
  
Dos de Lieu Noir en Croute de Sésame, Sauce Whisky et Purée de Patates Douces A thick cut of Pollock/Saithe cooked covered with sesame seeds and served in a Scotch Whisky sauce;  all accompanied by  a puree of sweet potatoes

Dos was the term used for a thick cut from the back of a large game fish or wild game; it is considered the tastiest portion.  Despite the origin’s of “dos” on the menu today it will mostly indicate a thick filet.
   
Dos de Lieu Noir à l'Estragon
A thick cut of pollock flavored with tarragon.
www.flickr.com/photos/marsupilami92/7073674435/

Lieu Noir en Cocotte de Palourdes et Coques  Pollock prepared in a  casserole with clams and cockles. When the menu notes en cocotte, it will usually be informing you that the bowl used for cooking is also the dish that will be used to serve you.

Filet de Lieu Noir, Perles de Couscous, Poireaux et Oignons Rouge – A filet of pollock accompanied by grains of coucous, leeks and red onions.
   
Clams and cockles.
www.flickr.com/photos/marsupilami92/33584640984/
    
Dos De Lieu Noir, Sauce Ciboulette et  Chou-Fleur – A thick cut of pollock prepared with chives and cauliflower.’’
 
Ceviche de Lieu Noir Aux Légumes Printaniers – Cold, marinated pollock accompanied by crunchy spring vegetables.

Ceviche
www.flickr.com/photos/cyclonebill/3599576717/
   
Dos de Lieu Noir, sur Mousseline de Panais et sa Crème au Coquillages – A thick cut of pollock served on a parsnip moose, accompanied by a creamy crustacean sauce.

Dos de Lieu Noir, Salicornes, Cresson et Emulsion Sariette – A thick cut of Pollock/Saithe served with Samphire/ Salicornia, watercress and a thick summer savory sauce.
 
Samphire is often, mistakenly, called an edible seaweed; it is not.  It is a coastal plant, with many family members, and grows in salt marshes and even in the sand along the coast.  The mildly salty and slightly bitter taste of Samphire along with its crunchy texture (when properly cooked) allows it to partner well in many salads when served cold or when served warm with fish or shellfish.

Fish, leeks, and tomatoes,
www.flickr.com/photos/laurelfan/2305920409/

Filet de Lieu Noir, Aubergines et Poivrons à la Sarriette et son Écrasé de Pomme de Terre – Filet of Pollock/Saithe prepared with aubergines and bell peppers and flavored with summer savory.  Accompanied by hand mashed potatoes.

   
 (Catalan – pollachius), (Dutch - koolvis ),  (German – blaufisch), (Italian - merluzzo nero), (Spanish – bacalao, saithe, palero carbonero, faneca plataeada, fogonero), (Latin - pollachius virens).

-----------------------------------

Bryan G. Newman

Behind the French Menu
Copyright 2010, 2019.

For information on the unpublished book behind this blog write to Bryan Newman
at
behindthefrenchmenu@gmail.com

---------------------------

Searching for the meaning of words, names or phrases
on
French menus?
 
Just add the word, words, or phrase that you are searching for to the words "Behind the French Menu" (best when including the inverted commas), and search with Google or Bing,  Behind the French Menu’s links, include hundreds of words, names, and phrases that are seen on French menus. There are over 450 articles that include over 4,000 French dishes with English translations and explanations.

----------------------------
Connected Posts: