2013/10/11

The beef on a string that was supposed to be a pot roast (French Fridays with Dorie)

There are times in life when I really get the feeling that there are mischievous spirits roaming the earth just waiting to turn things upside down.

I am having constant visions of Loki running around causing trickery here and there.

Like driving 150 miles (one-way) for a doctor's appointment to have the receptionist tell you there was "an issue" and they would have to reschedule (even though you had talked to them the day before).


Or making your French Friday's with Dorie meal and realizing that instead of making boeuf à la mode, the week's scheduled recipe, you come to the realization that you had just made boeuf à la ficelle.

Beef tenderloin on a string is not the same thing pot roast. (Just in case you didn't know that)

Yeah, my life has kind of been like that the past couple of weeks.

I am not so egotistical to truly believe that the universe has it in for me, but I have indulged in a few moments of self-pity and allowed those thoughts to run rampant.

Deep breath.

 
Anyhoo...while the rest of the group enjoyed "one great pot roast", I poached tenderloin in a beef broth.
 
This was a recipe that really didn't interest me until I heard Dorie talk about it during an interview with Lynn Rossetto Kaspar on The Splendid Table podcast. After that, I was totally intrigued...
 
Essentially, you make a beef broth, cook vegetables (leeks, carrots, potatoes, parsnips, shallots) in it, then poach hunks of beef tenderloin. If you cheat on making the broth (like I totally did), this is a pretty simple, company-worthy Sunday supper.
 
We served ours with this oh-so-easy garlic-cheese flatbread, which was perfect for sopping up the broth from the bowl.
 
It was delicious.
 
One note - I did have to sell off my eldest child in order to afford the beef for this dish. So, when this recipe does finally come around on the docket, you may want to mentally prepare for that part of it... The sacrifices we make...
 
Peace out.
 
P.S. Below are a few random shots from Seattle. (The big mountain on the second picture is Ranier, of course...)
 
P.P.S. Just in case anyone is wondering, no real children were sold in the making of this post. She is safe and sound at college... (Well, as safe and sound as one can be at college...)
 


 
This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie - where a group of home cooks are working their way through Dorie Greenspan's book Around My French Table. The recipe for Boeuf à la Ficelle can be found here.

32 comments:

  1. Oh Cher - it DOES look delicious though :)

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  2. ficelle, mode...just a few different alphabets.
    You sold your eldest child. Why eldest? Highest or lowest sale proceeds?:)

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  3. @Three-Cookies - now that I think about it, I may have offered up the wrong child.

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  4. I think you might have a title for a cookbook: Loki in the Kitchen. Well what you made looks really interesting. Love the techinque, don't love the price though. I'm sure your eldest child will be missed.

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  5. I actually believed you sold Child #1 so I appreciate your clearing that up for me at the end of your Post. Early on in my FFWD Journey, I made moules marinière instead of the correct mussels recipe. Surprisingly I didn't get chastised or thrown out nor did the world end. The Doristas are a forgiving bunch. That doctor-issues-thing even makes me mad for you and with you. This summer I drove 40 miles for a doctor's appointment and I had the wrong day. To add to that indignity, the doctor was on vacation. Now, that was entirely my fault and I am still out-of-sorts about it. Regarding the string recipe. I guess there's no substitute for the tenderloin, huh? Yours looks very tasty even though I will choose not to eat the strings. Thinking of you all.

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  6. LOL - beef on a string does sound intriguing. Yum!

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  7. It looks good and love those biscuits too!

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  8. There are times the world seems to be conspiring against us…and I agree with Mary…I would have been furious about the doctors appt. However, the roast looks like a wonderful mistake. I can’t wait to give it a try…I might start watching for sales on beef! There have been several very expensive meals made by this group…my veal chops were 18.99 a pound…yikes! They were so worth every penny! Since there are only 2 of us it was cheaper than a good meal out!
    Have a wonderful weekend, Cher! Glad to know that your eldest is safe in college!

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  9. It happens with recipes. At least you made a whole different recipe the right way; I take the right recipe and really read it halfway through the process...
    I couldn't confront a pot roast with 85º days here, or so I tell myself. Too much work and not enough play in the kitchen is how I see it! Have a great weekend Cher!

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  10. Oops... At least it was delicious. It would be worse if you didn't like this one and had to read the popular opinion of the actual choice. I have to work on my pot roast skills. My meat was underwhelming, yet the sauce and aroma were winners. I'll definitely be trying it again. Glad that your family is still intact, despite the high price tag on the beef...

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  11. I like the look of your dish and can't wait for this to be selected. How did you get such a clear picture of Mt. Ranier? Every time we looked out of our hotel
    window to take a shot it disappeared in the fog or rain. Have a great
    weekend.

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  12. wow I am impressed, I have never tried the string method, it's just not that common in the north where my mum grew up. Don't worry Cher, you taught me something today instead. ;)

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  13. How about the times you feel you are Loki?

    After looking at the picture of your 'steeped like a teabag' tenderloin, I want to buy an oval shaped Dutch oven.

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  14. That looks great! What a shocker to realize you shelled out for tenderloin when all you really needed was a chuck roast and a bottle of wine, though. I can't wait until this one come up in the rotation. I'll have to go look at the recipe, as I can't imagine why you tie it up with the strings and dangle them over the side of the pot. It looks like you're fishing for a great white.

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  15. I am still uncurling from the fetal position I got into when reading about the 150 miles ONE WAY. I would need grief counseling. You are a rock star for knocking out any recipe given that week and the pot roast will be a piece of crumb cake when you circle back. So intrigued about the beef on the string and thanks for including the chat link - I am checking that out next. Also thanks for the heads up on the beef price- I am still recovering from the swordfish......

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  16. Well, you'll be ahead of the game when this one hits the docket. It looks great!

    PS...I'd be raving mad after that appointment fiasco. So sorry :(

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  17. Thanks for previewing the beef on a string for us! :-D. Because of the cost of the meat, I always imagined it a special meal, like perhaps Christmas dinner. At least you got to enjoy a special meal in the midst of your rough weeks.

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  18. LOL ... dont we all have one of those weeks or several of those days sometimes?? Glad you enjoyed the beer - especially after selling off one of your kids! I sure hope it was tasty! (wink!)

    Love your pics of Seattle... do you miss it?? :)

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  19. I can totally relate to you. The past two months we have made weekly trips to the dr. that is 130 miles away with the same mishaps, only through in Sous Chef's 3 surgeries to those weekly appts.

    Hope all is settled again in your universe. Love the photos of Seattle - so pretty I wish I could take a weekend trip!

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  20. Hi Cher, was just checking to see what you did about the buillion because I so do not have time to make it. Brilliant - I shall be using Campbells beef stock.

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  21. I'm just not feeling this recipe. Boiling tenderloin just seems wrong, even after the fact. Love your pics of Seattle!

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  22. A short cut with the broth makes this a much more repeatable recipe...thanks for the tip :)

    PS..fun to see your Seattle photos again!

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  23. love the pics from Seattle. The scene was very different the other day when 700,000 people flooded the streams for the Seahawks Parade!

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  24. So as I was reading this I thought what is she talking about? This is the right recipe for the week! Then I looked at your date. I for one am so glad you made this early and told us the stock trick because I would have had to sell a child as well. ;)

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  25. Fun to see this one again. I did like this one more than the pot roast (which wasn't so successful for me). I want to go back to Seattle!

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  26. I actually wrote a very funny comment in October and I amused myself by re-reading it. Sometimes others don't find me as amusing as I think I am. I am going to make this beef/string thing next week along with my all-white salad. (Makes me think that those pictures next week are not going to pop out at you.) Thanks for letting me off the hook about making my own broth. After learning today that you're an Oxen, I sure as heck couldn't dream of throwing an ox-tail into the pot. I am reading "Blood & Thunder" now. It's about Kit Carson and the expansion of the West. Do you know that if it wasn't for Oxen and their pulling capacity, western expansion might not have happened? Just a feel-good factoid for you. .

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  27. Glad I made this with a cheap piece of meat… I think store bought broth with the added ingredients really makes a nice meal. So glad you warned us back in Oct about the cost of beef tenderloin.

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  28. that is really infuriating (with the dr, not selling the child - I can totally relate to that feeling...LOL) ... tell them the Doristas will take the office by storm next time and drop off the most fattening of treats! LOL ...

    Glad you enjoyed the meal, even though its not quite what you thought!

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  29. I remember this post fondly! Your photo of this dish is lovely! I had no time for props or picture taking…but it was delicious!

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  30. LOL - I remember this as well and very much enjoyed the walk down memory lane from the Seattle trip. It is starting to feel like a long time ago ;) Stay warm. After we survive the white salad we get rewarded with crepes.....

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  31. Oh wow! That sounds like something I would totally do! So this week, you didn't make the other dish? ;) I agree, it was delicious! Your flatbread sounds really good too-I will have to try that sometime! I ended up buying a whole tenderloin and cutting off a large piece for this and turning the rest into steaks, but I could definitely see doing this one again.

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  32. Because I'm having a moment and can't remember if I pressed push on my comment - your beef on string makes a lovely Valentine's Heart and your post is enjoyable the second time around!

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