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French Country Cooking

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Here Michel presented a classic collection of heritage recipes extoling french home cooking as passed down through generations.

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Sample Recipe:

Rognons de Veau Sautés (Sauté veal kidneys)

Serve this Breton dish with a cauliflower purée and a glass of good cider, and don’t forget to provide a round country loaf.

Preparation

The kidneys: remove the membrane surrounding the kidneys.  Finely dice the fat.  Halve the kidneys lengthways and cut out the central white cores with the point of a knife.  Cut the kidneys into 3cm cubes.

The belly of pork: place in a saucepan and cover with cold water.  Bring to the boil and blanch for 10 minutes, refresh and drain.  Cut off the rind with a knife, then cut the pork into large lardons and set aside.

The onions and peas: peel, wash and drain the onions and set aside.  Shell the peas, place in a saucepan, cover with water and blanch for 3 minutes.  Refresh, drain and set aside.

Cooking the kidneys

Put 3 tablespoons kidney fat in a sauté pan and set over high heat, stirring with a spatula.  Lightly season the kidneys and, when the fat is very hot, throw them into the pan and seal them on all sides.  Reduce the heat and cook the kidneys gently for 3 – 4 minutes, so that they are still pink. Drain and set aside.

In the same pan, heat the rest of the kidney fat. Put in the lardons and brown lightly, then add the onions and unpeeled garlic cloves.  Sprinkle with the eau-de-vie then the cider and put in the bouquet garni. Cover the pan and simmer for 8 minutes, then add the peas and cook for 2 – 3 minutes, until tender.  Take the pan off the heat and beat in the butter, a little at a time.  Season to taste and discard the bouquet garni.  Add the kidneys, return the pan to a very low heat and warm the kidneys in the sauce for 2 minutes.

Service

Put the kidneys and vegetable garnish in a deep heatproof china dish and serve at once

Ingredients

3 veal kidneys, 350g each, trimmed weight, plus 100g of the fat

350g semi-salted belly of pork

250g baby onions

300g peas, preferably fresh

8 unpeeled garlic cloves

2 tablespoons cider eau-de-vie or calvados

300ml medium dry cider

1 small bouquet garni

60g butter, cubed

Salt and freshly ground pepper