Once again this week, I took the road of least resistance. Instead of beouf à la ficelle (beef on a string), I made hachis Parmentier. I did this for two big reasons (and a third smaller one): it was less expensive, and Geordie and I could eat it all on our own. The third reason is that I could make a “quick” version of the hachis Parmentier by using store-bought beef stock, but then it was suggested by other Doristas that the beef on a string could also be made simpler by doing that. I do want to make the beef on a string, but not at the beginning of February. It would suit us better as a splurge meal, one for guests who can keep Hannah occupied while I’m making bouillon and who can also appreciate the effort and the awesomeness of a good cut of beef. So, Christmas, probably. I look forward to it!
But for the beginning of February, I would prefer something cheaper and less showy. Not that the hachis Parmentier was not lovely to look at. But its strong point is definitely its satisfying nature. It’s a dish that’s made for mid-winter. It is, after all, comprised almost entirely of meat and potatoes.
Sausage and beef are heated together on the stove (andouille sausage and ground beef for us). A little beef broth is added to moisten the meat, and then it’s simply placed in a greased casserole dish. This is covered with a generous layer of mashed potatoes decadently mixed with butter, cream, and Gruyère cheese. And into the oven it goes. When it comes back out, the Parmesan-topped potatoes are golden and slightly burnt (in an awesome, delicious way), and everything smells meaty and wonderful.
I mean, really. Is there anything else you could want from this?
Well, some vegetable matter would be good. While the hachis Parmentier baked, I sauteed some asparagus to serve with it. The greenery matched nicely with the heavier meat and potatoes, adding freshness in addition to some color. A nice, homey meal, all things considered.
We really liked how this turned out. Plenty of meat-and-potatoes for Geordie, plenty of flavor and satisfaction for me. I love these kinds of dishes, cozy comfort foods meant to warm a cold winter’s night. I’d be happy to make this a regular dish for February, a month which I am not overly fond of. Maybe meals like this will make it seem a little bit better. I’d like to try making the bouillon next time, because it does sound pretty awesome, and that kind of thing interests me.
So, even though I did not get to indulge with beef on a string (yet), it all worked out in the end, because this was definitely worth making. Will definitely be keeping this one in mind when I’m looking for a good winter meal!
To see how boeuf à la ficelle should be done, check out the Dorista links. Happy cooking!