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Tour de France Food and Wine Plans

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
When I can't be in France for the tour, I like to follow the race on TV and eat and drink what I'd be having if we were over there. The menus have developed into a bit of a family cookbook. Some years we have done Tour dinners nearly every night, tough when some of the recipes start out "three days before serving".

This year my sister, a much better cook than me, and no slouch at Tour trivia, put together a guide. I'll post some of it as we go. Now, off the find lobsters and a Savignon Blanc from the Loire!

Stage 1: Saturday, July 5, Brest > Plumelec, 195 km
The Grand Départ is in Brest for the third time. Last year’s prolog and Stage 1 start in London will be a hard act to follow. The two previous Brest years were good ones though, 1952 and 1974 races, which were won by Fausto Coppi and Eddie Merckx.
Most importantly, according to the official Tour website, this is the first year since 1967 that there has been no prolog. It seems to me that the website is wrong—there was no prolog in 2000, the year in which we first wrote a Tour guide. But that year also began with an individual time trial, albeit a little longer than the average prolog route. This year starts with a road race, designed to put a sprinter into yellow on Day 1.
Brest is a Breton town that was destroyed during World War II and rebuilt in that post-war concrete style that added insult to the bombs’ devastation. The finish town, Plumelec is a three-time stage town, with the most recent win going to Erik Zabel in 1997. (Not that we are keeping track, but Erik Zabel has admitted to taking EPO during the 1996 Tour. He says he did not repeat the doping because of side effects.) Plumelec sits in the shadow of the Côte de Cadoudal, a category 3 climb to an altitude of 160 meters that’s been called the "Breton Alpe-d’Huez."
The Romans called Brittany Armorica, a Latinized version of a Celtic word that meant "coastal region." Hence, the culinary question, "Is it homard à l’armoricaine named after Brittany or homard à l’américaine named after America? It’s a question for us Americans (and Canadians) to ponder over a bottle of dry white wine. Which could come from America, but not Armorica, as there’s no wine in Brittany—if we don’t go for America, we’ll have to get started on the wines from the Loire.
Homard à l’Américaine/Armoricaine
2 lobsters
For the cooking liquid:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 shallots, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
¾ cup Cognac
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup fish stock
1 bouquet garni
1 small bunch tarragon, leaves separated from stems
1 pinch cayenne pepper
salt and pepper
For the sauce:
1 pound tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons crème fraîche
1 pinch cayenne pepper
Cut the lobsters into pieces, and crack the claws. Reserve any liquid. Remove and reserve the tomalley and coral.
Heat the oil in a pan over high heat and sauté the lobster pieces, a few at a time, until they turn red. Remove, and lower the heat to medium.
Add the onions, shallots, and garlic, and sauté until soft but not brown. Return the lobster pieces to the pan, add the Cognac, and flambé. Add the wine, the reserved liquid from cutting up the lobsters, fish stock, bouquet garni, tarragon stems, and cayenne pepper, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer until the lobster meat is done (no longer translucent and starting to pull away from the shell).
Remove the claws and tails from the liquid, separate the meat from the shells, and reserve the meat. Remove the legs, and set them aside to use as garnish.
Crush the shells, and return them to the cooking liquid. Simmer until the liquid is reduced and the maximum flavor has been extracted from the shells, about 10 minutes.
Strain the liquid and return it to the pan. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste. Simmer until well reduced, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, crush the butter, and work in the tomalley and coral. Coarsely chop the tarragon leaves.
To finish, add the lobster tail meat into the sauce. Gently heat for one minute. Stir in the chopped tarragon and crème fraîche, then the flavored butter so that it blends with the sauce. Off the heat, taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, adding cayenne pepper if more flavor is needed.
Serve over rice, garnished with claws and legs.
From The Country Cooking of France by Anne Willan
post #2 of 19
Newfy, I love how you celebrate in style!
post #3 of 19
Read this post, then saw a bit of the Tour on the tube, and made the association - my stomach rumbled!
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
Wow! What a burst of speed from Valverde!

It will be interesting to see how hard they try to defend it.

Here's what we'll be eating:

Stage 2: Sunday, July 6, Auray > Saint-Brieuc, 165 km
The picturesque port town of Auray has never been included in the Tour, but it is a popular tourist destination, known for its salted caramel lollipops. The seaside resort Saint-Brieuc has been included 10 times, most recently in 2004, when Filippo Pozzato took Stage 7 and the young Frenchman Thomas Voekler was in yellow. He managed to keep that jersey for 10 days.
The traditional fish stew of Brittany is called a cotriade. Or is it traditional? We’re only into Stage 2, but we’re mired in controversy: the cynics believe that the cotriade is a recent invention, aimed at doing for Brittany what bouillabaisse has done for Marseille.
Here’s the cotriade recipe from our 2002 Tour Guide. There continues to be no local wine, but we will continue to make do.
La Cotriade d’Amor

2 kilos various fish (conger, mackerel, mullet, smelt, seabass, hake)
1 kilos crustaceans and shelfish (langoustines, mussels, clams, shrimps, lobsters)
200 grams sliced stale bread
50 grams butter, 3 onions, 1 leek, white part sliced
3 peeled and seeded tomatoes
1 branch celery, 1 bouquet garni
2 kilos potatoes, 300 grams carrots, 800 grams turnips, 3 garlic cloves
Cayenne pepper, saffron, salt, pepper
Clean up the fish and cut it in slices or in fillets. Keep the rubbish (heads, bones, etc.) aside. Put the fish meat in the fridge.
In a large pot, sauté the minced onions in butter, then add the leek, tomatoes, celery and bouquet garni. Put the fish rubbish in a net and drop it in the pot (you actually wrap the bones so that they'll be removed more easily when you are finished).
Start with 5 liters water. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boiling point and cook for 30 minutes. Skim frequently. Remove the rubbish net. Add the whole carrots and turnips to the broth.
Fifteen minutes later, add the potatoes. After another 15 minutes, add the seafood. Cook for another 10-15 minutes.
Remove the fish, shells, crustaceans and vegetables and keep them warm.
Pass the broth through a thin sieve and season with cayenne pepper and saffron.Serve the cotriade hot, on slices of garlic bread with the seafood and vegetables.
post #5 of 19

Today's digestif

Has to be in honour of Juan Mauricio Soler.

Aguardiente with a bean or two of Colombian coffee.
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Nice effort by Hushovd, long sprint into the wind. It looks like he has the form to take the green jersey.

I've got to check out our supply of Calvados. Even in a region with no local wine the French can come up with good things to drink.

Here's the plans for Stage 3:

Stage 3: Monday, July 7, Saint-Malo > Nantes, 195 km
Saint-Malo is another Breton seaside resort town, while Nantes is the prefecture city of the Loire-Atlantic. Nantes has been a stage town 30 times, most recently in 2003, when David Millar won a 49-km individual time trial. In early 2004, Millar confessed to using EPO and was banned of a couple of years. But now he’s with the anti-doping gang at Slipstream and an outspoken advocate for clean riding.
During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the Port of Nantes, at the mouth of the Loire, was important to the China trade. The effects of the trade linger, as many local dishes include spices. In 2003, we ate a duck, Canette Nantaise aux Petit Pois. We could do that again, but I was thinking of sticking with seafood before we leave Brittany.
Or is it really Brittany? Yes, one more controversy that has nothing to do with drugs: whether or not Nantes is in Brittany is a matter of some discussion. Historically, it was the Breton capital. But some 30 years ago, a bureaucratic maneuver took it out of Brittany and grafted it onto the Pays de la Loire. For the most part, the people of Nantes have accepted this switch, but the Bretons have not.
Muscadet, one of the famous products of Nantes, is probably one of the reasons that Brittany has been reluctant to give up the city—there’s certainly no wine in the rest of Brittany. Muscadet Sèvre et Maine is a great match for seafood, especially shellfish, and we ate it with the duck in 2003. The Sèvre et Maine is one of the most intensely planted areas of France and the wine is readily available at low prices.
Coquilles Saint-Jacques Nantaise
1½ pounds sea scallops
¼ cup flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
2 teaspoons curry powder (or more)
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
2/3 cup dry white wine
1 pound tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons Cognac
2 to 3 tablespoons browned bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
6 scallop dishes (actual scallops or dishes shaped like them)
If the scallops (the real ones, not the dishes) are large, slice them into two round disks.
Combine the seasoned flour, curry powder, and cayenne pepper. Add the scallops and toss to mix.
Melt three tablespoons of the butter in a sauté pan over high heat. Add the scallops and sauté until brown. Turn them and brown the other side. Remove them, and divide them among the scallop dishes.
Add the remaining butter to the pan. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onion, and sauté until soft. Pour in the wine and simmer until reduced by about half. Stir in the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the tomatoes are pulpy. Stir in the Cognac, and adjust the seasoning, adding more curry powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper.
Spoon the sauce over the scallops. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and melted butter. Broil until very hot and browned.
From The Country Cooking of France by Anne Willan
post #7 of 19
Um, guess I won't need to ride to the pub to watch the prime time recast.
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Unless you want to see all the fantastic countryside and some of the best riders on earth race through it it.

Should I avoid spoilers here? When is it safe to discuss the stage? (my opening page on yahoo has the results up front, so I couldn't save it for evening if I wanted to.)
post #9 of 19
I was kidding. I won't open the thread if I'm planning to watch the race later in the day. It does say TdF in the title, which should be sufficient warning.
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Ok, nice race today. Anyone who just watched the last two minutes of that one missed some action.

Tomorrow we have a TT...important day. I'm glad Chris put the Fete de Moule here. That's the party we went to before the final TT in 1999. The two bottles of vin table refers to the cheap wine I suffered from the next day. I got up at 5:30 and raced the TT course, which was already set up and closed. I thought I did pretty well, 50 km at 40 km/hr. Armstrong averaged over 50 and beat me by 20 minutes. Those guys can ride

Stage 4: Tuesday, July 8, Cholet > Cholet, 29-km
Individual Time Trial
Cholet is an industrial town that was included in the Tour in 1936 and 1998, the year in which the entire Festina team was kicked out for a team car loaded with drugs. Jeroen Blijlevens took the stage. This year’s time-trial course is described as "short and intense, but also smooth, so solitary specialists should take the first spots, without creating any significant time lead." To me, this statement signifies that the Tour organizers don’t want us to think we know who will win. But after 2006 and 2007, how can they possibly think that we would be so bold as to predict a winner during Stage 4?
This stage would be a good one for an Anjou, such as a Coteaux du Layon. When we were writing our first Tour Guide in 2000, Doug thought a Coteaux du Layon would be good for the Louden-Nantes stage, which was won by Belgian Tom Steels, who as of the end of 2007 says that he will retire at the end of 2008. He (Doug, not Tom Steels) wrote:
"I saw a $33 Coteaux du Layons at Costco but was afraid to buy it until I confirmed it was the right area. Then I found a bottle of it in our refrigerator, left by someone who came for dinner or a party. Now, I want to know who is leaving bottles of wine like that around, and I encourage whoever you are to keep it up."
As far as I know, the big spender was never identified.
Before we get too far from the Atlantic coast, we should have a moule fête. Here’s Doug’s usual recipe, which we included in our 2000 Tour Guide, the last time the Tour went without a prolog (to my reckoning if not that of the Tour officials), and instead had a Stage 1, 16-km individual time trial, which was won by David Millar. That was before he was a known doper and therefore way before he was an anti-doping zealot.
Moules à la Marinère à la Doug
1 pound mussels per person
finely chopped shallots
finely chopped garlic
finely chopped parsley
1/3 cup dry white wine per pound of mussels
butter or olive oil
lemon slices
Cajun seasoning
black pepper
Optional: chopped bacon, cream, liquid smoke, other seasonings
Clean and rinse the mussels thoroughly, removing beards and sand and discarding any mussels that are open.
Sauté bacon, if desired, and set aside. In a large, deep frying pan, sauté half the shallots, garlic, and parsley in butter or olive oil until the shallots are transparent. Add the mussels, wine, and lemon, and cover. Cook for 3-5 minutes, shaking and stirring until all the mussels have opened.
Remove mussels with a slotted spoon, and set them aside in a serving bowl. Reduce the cooking liquid for several minutes, and, if desired, add a bit more wine and/or the cream and other seasonings. Just before the mixture is thick, add the remaining shallots and garlic. Reduce until desired thickness and pour over the mussels. Sprinkle parsley and bacon on top. Mix well but not so energetically that too many mussels fall out of their shell.
Serve immediately with good French bread, pommes frites, and two bottles of
vin table per person.
post #11 of 19
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post
I was kidding. I won't open the thread if I'm planning to watch the race later in the day. It does say TdF in the title, which should be sufficient warning.
Yeah, or just skip the report and go right for the recipes

Really I just wanted to pop in to say that I'm enjoying this thread
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hmmm, I would have expected more from Valverde, having time trialed well at the Dauphine'. He has been wasting energy, winning the Dauphine' (something Armstrong finally concluded took too much effort), winning his national title, winning stage 1. Let's see how he does in the mountains. The TT he won in the Dauphine' was mostly climbing.

There's one more long flat TT. Current advantage:Evans

Here's tomorrows food project:
ps...the Touraine area has some of the best Savignon Blancs

Stage 5: Wednesday, July 9, Cholet > Châtearoux
Mario Cippolini won the only year that Châteauroux has been a stage town, in 1998. Mario, who retired several times before making it permanent in 2005, hated mountains but loved speed in the flat stages, women, and extravagant clothing—he was once fined for wearing an all-yellow kit during the Tour. Antics like that did not make him popular among the organizers, and he was specifically not invited to the Tour during most of the years in which we wrote guides. Châteauroux’s other claim to fame is that it is the birthplace of Gerard Depardieu, who probably also likes extravagant clothing.
The stage is our last chance for Loire Valley wines until the route swings back to the general area after the Alps and just before Paris. The exact route has not been announced as this guide is being written, but it will go through or at least near Touraine, known for its delicious black chicken, known as the Géline de Touraine.
Géline de Touraine
1 Géline de Touraine, about 2 kilograms
For the stuffing:
150 grams blanched calves’ sweetbreads
100 grams finely chopped shallots
100 grams blanched peas
100 grams shelled and blanched broad beans
100 grams chopped pork lard
100 grams cooked tagliatelle
150 grams mushrooms, quartered
2 eggs
1 tablespoon chopped French tarragon
80 centiliters oil
For the sauce:
75 grams shallots
100 grams mushrooms, in small cubes
25 centiliters Touraine white wine (such as Montlouis or Vouvray)
25 grams veal stock in 1 liter water
Mix together the sweetbreads, shallots, peas, broad beans, lard, cold tagliatelle, and mushrooms, and sauté in butter. Drain through a cloth. Season the mixture, add the eggs, and mix in the tarragon.
Stuff the chicken, tie it, and brush it with butter and oil. Cook in an oven at 180°C (350°F)or about 1 hour, 10 minutes.
Once the chicken is cooked, take about one quarter of the fat from the pan, add the shallots and the mushrooms, and sweat them. Add the wine and veal stock, and reduce the mixture to a syrupy consistency. Adjust the seasoning, and serve.
From www.tourism-touraine.com
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
And then there is the unique diet of Bernard Hinault:

For those of you who weren't watching the awards ceromony yesterday:
Bernard Hinault Tackles, Eats Protestor
------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -
LEMERDE, FRANCE (July 7): Five-time Tour de France champion Bernard Hinault
is in custody this evening after he captured and then ate a political
protester seeking to disrupt the podium ceremony at the end of yesterday's
208 km stage between Saint-Malo and Nantes. Mr. Hinault, who has a history
of attacking protestors during the Tour de France, leapt like a tiger from
the stage during the trophy presentation and, sinking his teeth into the
nape of his victim's neck, subdued his prey after a brief struggle. With his
lifeless victim firmly clamped between his jaws, Mr. Hinault disappeared
beneath the stage where he then proceeded to noisily devour the protestor.
The victim, identified as Marcel Poulet age 28, from Marseilles, reportedly
tasted like "chicken."
Outbreaks of cannibalism during the three-week long Tour de France,
previously a rare occurrence, have become more common in recent years. Once
thought to be an extreme and relatively isolated manifestation of the base
competitive urges experienced by all athletes, police now believe that the
spate of homicides at the Tour is linked to the recent crackdown on illegal
blood "doping" products in the aftermath of Operation Puerto. Rather than
rely upon a distribution system that is increasingly subject to interdiction
by international law enforcement, cyclists are turning to a more direct
"source" for performance enhancers such as human growth hormone,
testosterone, and red blood cells - unsuspecting fans.
"It's a helluva lot cheaper - and safer too - for a cyclist to knock off and
eat a few fans than it is to rely on a shady chemist or doctor for
testosterone or other stuff," says former pro cycling soigneur Bertrand
Squane. "You'll never get caught, especially during the Tour. It's a
madhouse out on the road and, of course, the Tour organizers look the other
way when these things..ummm. .happen. Knocking down a fat Belgian or German
is the best - score one of those and you can keep the whole peloton going
for a couple of days. Everyone is in on it. And I do mean everyone. I was in
the team car when Vinokourov stopped and ate a family of Dutch fans rooting
for Michael Boogard on Alpe d'Huez. [Floyd] Landis used to keep horrible
things in his jersey pockets...just horrible things. And Lance. I don't want
to talk about it."
Asked about yesterday's incident involving Hinault, Mr. Squane enigmatically
commented that while he was a professional cycist "Bernard [Hinault] had a
fearsome reputation in the peloton. I think that you can you can now
understand why. Old habits die hard."
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
Nice job by Columbia, especially Hincapie, who with 7 k's to go went back to change a flat, and still lead the train in.

Big day in the Auvergne, and the first ski area of this tour. Here's how you cook up an old rooster:

Stage 6: Thursday, July 10, Aigurande > Super-Besse Sancy, 195 km
The village of Aigurande has fewer than 2,000 inhabitants, but its location at the borders of the Berry, Marche, Bourbonnais, and Limousin regions has meant that it has long been a strategic frontier town. Super-Besse Sancy is the site of the Puy-de-Dôme winter sports resort. The actual Puy-de-Dôme, remembered for the 1964 side-by-side showdown between Raymond Poulider and Jacques Anquetil (Poulider won) and for the 1975 punching of Eddy Merckx in the stomach by a spectator, is no longer considered suitable for a Tour finish. There simply isn’t enough room for all the spectators, press, caravan trucks and floats, and blood-testing equipment.
The Auvergne is a region of some pretty bad red wines, particularly the "fill-your-own jerry can" ones that our father discovered in 1987 or so and made us drink until we learned to dump it down the drain. We would finish the evening off with our favorite liqueur known as "green stuff," which was a necessary antidote to the jerry-can wine. Green stuff is really Pagès Verveine du Velay and has been distilled from a soup of 32 plants since 1859.
They eat a lot of daubes and other heavy food in the Auvergne. Here’s a recipe that we translated from one of our local cookbooks and included in the 2001 Tour Guide.
Coq au Vin d’Auvergne
1 large and preferably tough old chicken
200 grams slab bacon
80 grams butter
20 small onions.
4 cloves garlic, chopped
bay leaf
300 small mushrooms, either local or from Paris
150 grams dry-cured ham
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup Armagnac or eau-de-vie
1 liter wine, preferably a Chanturgue from Puy de Dôme or a local red
3 slices local bread, toasted for croutons
Pluck and singe the chicken. Remove the giblets and reserve. Cut the chicken into serving pieces. Cut the bacon into pieces. Peel the onion. Clean the mushrooms and cut them in halves or quarters. Melt the butter in a Dutch oven or other deep casserole. Gently cook the bacon and the onions until the bacon is browned. Remove them, and add the chicken pieces. Brown the chicken. Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes. Then return the onion and bacon to the dish, and add the mushrooms. Salt and pepper, then cover the Dutch oven, and let cook for about 15 minutes. Incline the Dutch oven to allow fat to pool. (At this point you may feel the need to remove some the fat—no one from the Auvergne would feel that same need—the local cuisine, like that of much of rural Europe, is rooted in a historic need for fat.) Sprinkle the flour on the grease, and allow it a moment to dissolve and turn slightly brown. Add the Armagnac or eau-de-vie and flame.
Add the wine and the herbs in a bouquet garni. Cover and place in a moderate oven (325°F) for 2 hours (or less if you had to settle for a younger chicken).
Chop the giblets and the ham. Add them to chicken after the first hour of cooking. When the chicken is done, it will be nearly falling off the bones. Remove the chicken pieces and place them on the serving platter. Reduce the sauce and ladle over the chicken. Sprinkle with croutons, and serve.
post #15 of 19
After reading pots #13, I was afraid today's recipe would feature liver, fava beans and a nice Chianti.

Was Monsieur Poulet a large tough old bird?
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Ah yes, having an old friend for dinner.
post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 
We're heading out on a bike trip across BC on the TransCanada trail

Here's the rest---Bon Appetit!

Stage 7: Friday, July 11, Brioude > Aurillac, 158 km
"Gateway to the Haute-Loire region," Brioude is a first-time Tour town. The Gallo-Roman city of Aurillac has been included six times, most recently in 1985, the year that Bernard Hinault won his fifth Tour (with his teammate Greg LeMond forbidden to challenge him in the Pyrénées). Aurillac is in the heart of the Cantal, which is the southern end of the Auvergne, so there’s still no great wine and the food remains heavy. Some stewed lamb shoulder or beef would be good, and it would be sad to leave the area without an Aligot, a potato purée made with Tome de Cantal.
2 pounds baking potatoes
salt and white pepper
2 cups crème fraîche or more if needed
4 tablespoons butter
3½ cups grated Cantal
Peel the potatoes. Cut them in even-sized chunks, and boil them in salted water until they can be pierced with a knife. Drain, and while they are still hot, mash or force them through a potato ricer.
In a separate pan, warm the crème fraîche almost to the point of boiling.
Add the butter to the potatoes and beat with a spoon over low heat until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the crème fraîche. Then beat in the cheese, one handful at a time. Continue beating until the mixture pulls away from the pan and forms long ribbons when it falls from the spoon. Add more crème fraîche if it seems dry. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve immediately, using scissors to cut it into ribbons onto each plate.
From The Country Cooking of France by Anne Willan

Stage 8: Saturday, July 12, Figeac > Toulouse, 174 km
Figeac has been a stage town twice, most recently in 2004 when David Moncoutié won. David rode for Cofidis. Another Cofidis rider, Phillipe Gaurmont, once claimed that he himself had only ever won one race cleanly and that David was the only rider on the team who did not cheat. Last year, the entire Cofidis team left the Tour after Christian Moreni tested positive for testosterone after Stage 11. (Cofidis is also the team that let Lance go after his cancer diagnosis and David Millar’s team at the time of his drug bust.) Toulouse has been on the route 25 times, most recently in 2003, when it was Juan Antonio Fletcha, who made the perennial re-play list by mimicking an archer shooting an arrow as he crossed the finish line. Fletcha, as those of us who paid attention know, means "arrow-maker."
We’ve reached the southwest, and that means foie gras and Cahors wine and Armagnac. In Toulouse, it means cassoulet. We included this Paul Bocuse recipe for cassoulet in our 2003 Tour Guide.
Toulouse-style Cassoulet
1¼ pounds dried white beans
½ pound slab bacon
3 onions
6 cloves garlic
1 large carrot
2 cloves
15 peppercorns
1 bouquet garni
½ pound fresh pork rind
2 quarts water
¾ pound Toulouse-style sausage (pork and garlic, flavored with nutmeg and mace—I have a recipe, if you’re ambitious)
1 uncooked garlic sausage
1¾ pounds boned lamb shoulder
1 pound neck of lamb
3 tablespoons confit fat or bacon fat
2 pounds duck confit
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
Soak the beans in water for 2 hours. Drain and rinse.
Blanch the bacon in a saucepan of boiling water for 10 minutes. Rinse under cold water, drain, and cut into large cubes. Peel the onions, garlic, and carrot. Stick the cloves into one of the onions. Chop the other two onions and set aside. Crush the garlic. Slice the carrots into rounds. Tie the peppercorns into a square of cheesecloth.
Place the pork rind in the bottom of a large pan or Dutch oven. Add the beans, bacon, garlic, carrots, bouquet garni, the onion stuck with cloves, and the peppercorns. Add water. Bring to a boil, skimming off foam. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 1 hour. Add the sausages and continue cooking for 30 minutes,
Meanwhile, cut the lamb shoulder and neck into pieces. Heat 2 tablespoons of the confit fat in a skillet. Add the lamb, season with salt and pepper, and sauté over high heat until browned. Remove and set aside.
Add the chopped onions to the skillet and sauté until wilted. Add about a cup of the liquid in which the beans cooked to the skillet and let simmer for 5 minutes.
Cut the duck confit into pieces, and brown them quickly in a skillet without any fat.
Remove the bouquet garni, the cheesecloth with the peppercorns, and the sausages from the Dutch oven. Cut the sausages into ½-inch slices.
Preheat the oven to 250°F. Grease an ovenproof casserole with the confit fat. Spread a layer of beans over the bottom. Add a layer of meat (bacon, lamb, confit, and sausage). Add the onions and their juices. Continue to layer the beans and meat until all the ingredients are used. Sprinkle the top with ½ the breadcrumbs. Moisten with about 2 cups of the liquid that the beans cooked in. Sprinkle a little more confit or bacon fat on top.
Cook for 4 hours, adding additional liquid if necessary, and sprinkling 3 times with the rest of the breadcrumbs.
From Paul Bocuse’s Regional French Cooking
Stage 9: Sunday, July 13, Toulouse > Bagnères-de-Bigorre, 222 km
Bagnères-de-Bigorre was a start town in 2003 (when Lance won at Luz-Ariden after the fall with the musette strap; was that ever fun to watch!). The last time it was a finish town was in 1965 (Spaniard Julio Jimenez took it and the won the polka dot jersey for the year). Renowned since ancient times for the purity of its water, this Hautes- Pyrénées spa town has been referred to as the "Athens of the Pyrénées." It’s no surprise that
Bagnères-de-Bigorre is very close to Lourdes. There are three mountain passes included in the stage, the Col des Ares, the Col de Peyresourdre, and the Col d’Aspin, before the descent into Bagnères-de-Bigorre.
Bagnères-de-Bigorre was also a start town in 2000 (Erik Dekker won in Revel), and that’s the year that we made this salad.
A Salad from the Sud Ouest
4 cups curly endive
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
½ cup walnut oil
½ cup corn kernels
thin slices of smoked duck breast
½ cup walnut halves
Place the greens in a bowl.
Warm the vinegar, oil, and salt to a simmer. Add the corn and continue to warm for a minute or two. Pour the dressing over the greens.
Divide the greens (this is probably two portions), and arrange the slices of duck on top like spokes of a bicycle wheel. Sprinkle with walnuts.
There is no wine along this route, and there will be none until we get out of the Pyrénées.

Stage 10: Monday, July 14, Pau > Hautacam,
154 km
Today’s Bastille Day race starts in Pau, goes over the Col du Tourmalet, and has an uphill finish in Hautacam. For a similarly difficult route in 2002, from Pau, over the Col d’Aubisque and a finish in La Mongie, four kilometers from the top of the Tourmalet, Doug found this venison recipe on Google. (Lance won that one to take yellow.)

Filet de Chevreuil au Cognac
Temps de préparation (min.): 15
Temps de cuisson (min.): 30
600 g. de filet de chevreuil
250 g. de champignons de Paris
200 g. d'airelles surgelées
25 cl de vin rouge
5 cl. de cognac
3 c. à café de fond de veau déshydraté
1 branche de thym
1 feuille de laurier
20 cl de crème liquide, fraîche
1 c. à soupe d'huile d'olive
50 g. de beurre
2 c. à soupe de sucre
1 c. à café de persil haché
sel, poivre, au goût
Dans une petite casserole, mettez les airelles, le sucre et 1 c. à soupe de vin pris sur la quantité.
Couvrez et faites cuire 3 mn, réservez.
Nettoyez les champignons et faites-les sauter 5 mn à la poêle dans le beurre, jusqu'à évaporation de l'eau de végétation.
Gardez au chaud. Coupez la viande en cubes, puis faites-les saisir 3 mn à l'huile dans une sauteuse sur feu vif en remuant souvent.
Prélevez-les et déposez-les dans un plat.
Versez dans la sauteuse le vin, le cognac, le thym et le laurier.
Portez à ébullition 3 mn en grattant le fond à la spatule en bois.
Ajoutez le fond de veau et laissez cuire jusqu'à consistance sirupeuse.
Otez thym et laurier, versez la crème, salez, poivrez.
Ajoutez la viande et le jus rendu, laissez cuire 2 mn dans la sauce.
Disposez les champignons dans les assiettes.
Répartissez les cubes de chevreuil, les airelles et nappez de sauce.
Parsemez de persil haché.
Translated by Google:
The Council:
Make-ready time (min.) 15
Time of cooking (min.) 30
600 g of net of roe-deer
250 g of cultivated mushrooms
200 g of frozen bilberries
25 red wine cl
5 cl of cognac
3 c with basic dehydrated calf coffee
1 thyme branch
1 sheet of bay-tree
20 cl of liquid, fresh cream
1 c with olive oil soup
50 g of butter
2 c with sugar soup
1 c with chopped parsley coffee
salt, pepper, with the taste
In a small pan, put the bilberries, sugar and 1 c with wine soup taken on the quantity.
Cover and make cook 3 mn, reserve.
Clean mushrooms and make jump them 5 mn to the frying pan in butter, until evaporation of the water of vegetation.
Keep with chaud. Coupez the meat in cubes, then make seize them 3 mn with oil in jumping on sharp fire while often stirring up.
Take them and deposit them in a dish.
Pour in jumping the wine, the cognac, thyme and the bay-tree.
Carry to boiling 3 mn by scraping the bottom to the spatula out of wooden.
Add the calf bottom and let cook until sirupeuse consistency.
Otez thyme and bay-tree, pour the cream, salt, pepper.
Add the meat and the returned juice, let cook 2 mn in sauce.
Lay out mushrooms in the plates.
Distribute the cubes of roe-deer, bilberries and nappez of sauce.
Strew with chopped parsley.

Rest Day: Tuesday, July 15, Pau
Poulet Sauté Basquaise
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon ground, dried Espelette peper
salt and pepper
one 3½- to 4-pound chicken, cut into pieces
¼ cup olive oil
4 ounces Bayonne or other cured raw ham, diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup chicken broth
2 red bell peppers, seeded and sliced
1 tablespoon parsley
Mix the flour and the Espelette pepper with salt and pepper. Coat the chicken pieces, patting off the excess. Heat the oil over medium heat, and brown the chicken on both sides. Reduce the heat, cover, and cook the chicken for 20 minutes.
Add the ham, garlic, and broth. Cover again, and continue cooking for 10 minutes. Add the bell peppers, lifting the chicken so that the peppers fall to the bottom. Cover and continue cooking until the chicken is tender and falls easily from the bones.
Sprinkle with parsley.
From The Country Cooking of France by Anne Willan

Stage 11: Wednesday, July 16, Lannemezan > Foix, 166 km
Lannemezan has been a start town three times, most recently in 2004 (Lance won), and Foix has been a start town twice, in 2001 (Lance again) and 2007—Vinokourov who made an incredible show after injury but later dropped out with the rest of Team Astana because he tested positive for blood doping. Thus far, Vino has denied the accusation, saying in response to a suggestion that he used his father’s blood, "That’s absurd, I can tell you that with his blood, I would have tested positive for vodka."
It’s not going to be high mountains this time, but rather a twisty ride through the foothills.
One speciality of Lannemezan is the jambon Noir de Bigorre, an air-cured ham made from the Gascony Black Pig, a species that was revived in the Pyrénées after dropping to just a few hundred animals in the 1970s. It is often served with figs or fig jam. A shot of vodka would be in order.
Figues au Roquefort
8 ripe but firm figs
8 heaping teaspoons Roquefort
9 tablespoons pine nuts
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 thin slices of air-cured ham
Preheat the oven to 450°. Wash the figs and cut them in half lengthwise. Using a melon baller, scoop out some flesh, being careful not to pierce the skin.
Roast 4 tablespoons of the pine nuts, making sure they do not burn.
Mash the Roquefort with a fork. Mix 3 tablespoons of the roasted pine nuts with the cheese. Arrange the fig halves in a baking pan, lightly coated with olive oil. Fill the scooped-out fig halves with the Roquefort-and-pine nut mixture. Roast just long enough for the cheese to melt, about 5 minutes.
Arrange two slices of the dry ham on each of four salad plates. Put two fig halves on top. Sprinkle the remaining pine nuts on top.
From www.chezbasilic.com

Stage 12: Thursday, July 17, Lavelanet > Narbonne, 168 km
Lavelanet was a start town in 2002 (David Millar again!). Its name comes from a word meaning "hazelnut," and the region is known for hazelnut oil and cakes. Narbonne has hosted stages on seven occasions, most recently in 2003 when it was a start town. Narbonne is in the center of the Langueduc. In Roman times, it was a Mediterranean port, but now it’s located a bit inland, on the Canal de Robine.
It’s hard to believe that we’ve made it this far without having much duck. These days, it’s possible to buy duck breasts and duck confit, but this recipe assumes you’ve bought whole birds.
***Start this recipe the day before if you’re making your own confit.***
Roasted Duck Breasts with Farro Risotto and Duck Confit
2 ducks, cut into boneless breasts, legs, thighs, and carcass
For the duck confit:
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 thyme sprigs
1 teaspoon sea salt
4 cups rendered duck fat
For the duck confit sauce:
3 tablespoons chopped leek
2 tablespoons chopped celery
2 tablespoons chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped carrot
½ cup ruby Port
6 cups water
10 whole black peppercorns
1 tablespoon butter
For the farro risotto:
1 cup farro
8 cups water
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons (¼ stick) butter
¼ cup chopped shallots
2/3 cup dry red wine
2 cups low-salt chicken broth
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
For the duck breasts:
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
½ cup honey
¾ cup chopped hazelnuts
1 whole star anise
For the duck confit and sauce:
Mix the onion, carrot, garlic, thyme, and sea salt with the duck legs and thighs. Cover and chill overnight.
The next day, preheat the oven to 200°F. Heat the duck fat, add the duck leg-and-thigh mixture, and cook in the oven until the meat falls off the bone, about 2 hours. Cool for about 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the duck carcasses in a large ovenproof pot, and roast uncovered for about 30 minutes. Transfer the pot to the stove top. Add the leek, celery, onion, and carrot, and sauté over medium-high heat until the vegetables are lightly browned. Add the Port and reduce the sauce by about half. Add 6 cups of water, and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the peppercorns, and simmer for another 10 minutes.
Strain the broth, and skim the fate. Reduce the sauce to about ½ cup. Whisk butter into the sauce.
Rewarm the duck confit and remove it from the fat. Cut the meat off the bones and add it to the sauce.
For the farro risotto:
Soak farro in cold water for 20 minutes. Drain and rinse. Bring 8 cups of water to a boil. Add ½ cup oil and the farro. Simmer for 20 minutes. Drain and rinse.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon oil in a medium saucepan. Add shallots and sauté for one minute. Add the farro and wine. Simmer until almost all the liquid evaporates, stirring frequently. Add chicken broth, one cup at a time, and simmer until almost all the liquid is absorbed and the farro is just tender. Stir in the cheese and one tablespoon of butter. Season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, prepare the duck breasts:
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Sprinkle the duck breasts with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof skillet. Add the duck breasts, skin side down, and cook until the skin is crisp, about 5 minutes. Turn the breasts over and cook for an additional one minute. Remove from the heat.
Bring the honey to a boil. Add the hazelnuts and star anise. Boil until the honey is reduced to a thick syrup, stirring constantly. Spoon the honey mixture onto the duck breasts. Cook in the oven for about 4 minutes.
Rewarm the duck confit sauce over low heat. Divide risotto among the plates. Using a slotted spoon, remove the meat from the sauce and spoon it over the risotto.
Slice the breasts diagonally, and arrange them around the risotto. Drizzle with the confit sauce.
From www.epicurious.com
Serve with a Languedoc. There are plenty of them.
Stage 13: Friday, July 18, Narbonne > Nîmes,
182 km
Narbonne has been a host town seven times, most recently in 2003 when it was also a start town. Nîmes has hosted 15 times, most recently in 2004. The local octopus pie, called a tielle, supposedly can also be made from fish, squid, or mussels, though those variations would require some major revisions of cooking times.
Tielle de Poulpe
2 to 2½ cups flour
3½ ounces pork lard
¼ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup red wine
1½ pounds octopus, cleaned
2 tablespoons red or white vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil or more as needed
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and crushed
salt and black pepper
¾ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
pork lard or butter for greasing the tart pans
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon tomato paste
For the pie crust:
Pulse 2 cups flour, the lard, sugar, and salt in a food processor until it is pebbly and well mixed. Add the wine and knead until you have a supple dough, adding more flour as necessary. Form the dough into a ball and chill in the refrigerator for two hours.
Boil the octopus in a large pot of salted water and the vinegar until tender, about 45 minutes Drain, rinse with cold water, and peel as much of the skin off the octopus as possible. Chop the octopus into bite-sized pieces.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil, then sauté the onion, garlic, and octopus until the onion is soft. Add the tomatoes and season with salt, pepper, cayenne, thyme, and the bay leaf. Reduce the heat, and let the sauce simmer until the water is evaporated, 1¼ to 1 ½ hours.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, let it soften, and roll it out thin. Cut out 16 5-inch disks. Lightly grease eight 4-inch tart pans and cover each with one disk of dough. Prick the dough all over.
Spread several tablespoons of the octopus mixture on the dough. Cover with the remaining disks, and pinch down the edges. Prick the tops.
Whisk two or three drops of olive oil with the egg yolk and tomato paste and brush on the top crust. Bake until glistening golden, about 30 minutes.
From www.cliffordawright.com
Stage 14: Saturday, July 19, Nîmes > Digne-les-Bains, 182 km
A mediaeval town with a unique geology transitioning from the plains of Provence to the Alps, Digne-les-Bains, has hosted stages 11 times, most recently in 2005, when David Moncoutié won (see Stage 8). Its hot springs were popular in ancient times but lost favor when the Romans departed the region. Modern baths have been rebuilt, boasting eight hot springs and one cold, strong minerals, and slight radioactivity.
Brandade de Morue de Nîmes
1½ pounds salt cod
1 large baking potato, peeled and cut in chunks
salt and white pepper
fried croûtes (1 baguette, diced and fried in olive oil and garlic)
1 cup olive oil
1 cup milk (or more)
1 garlic clove
grated nutmeg
lemon juice
½ cup salt-cured olives
Soak the salt cod in cold water to cover for a day, changing the water several times. Drain, put the cod in a deep frying pan, and cover with water. Cover and heat gently until nearly simmering. Lower the heat, and cook until the cod flakes easily. Remove the cod and drain.

Stage 15: Sunday, July 20, Digne-les-Bains > Prato Nevoso, 216 km
The riders cross into Italy for the uphill finish at the ski resort Prato Nevoso. We have never included Italian stages in a Tour guide, but Chris served a lot of Barbarescos and Barolos and cooked a lot of stews and ravioli from Piemonte, not to mention drinking bicherin (hot chocolate so thick it’s really just melted chocolate, espresso, and milk served in a glass), during the 2006 Olympic Games.
One recipe she made was beef in Barolo.
***Start this recipe the day before serving.***
Manzo Stufato al Barolo
2½ pounds beef (suitable for slow cooking)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large carrot, roughly chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 bottle Barolo
Place the beef in a large bowl with the bay leaves, salt, pepper, and all the chopped vegetables except the garlic. Pour the wine of the meat, mix everything, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
Transfer the beef to a large plate, and sieve the wine. Keep the vegetables and the bay leaves. Pour the wine into a saucepan and cook over medium heat.
Heat the olive oil in a flame-proof casserole, add the garlic, and brown the beef. Add the heated marinade and the reserved vegetables to the beef, bring to a boil, and simmer for about two hours.
When the meat is cooked, transfer it to a cutting board, and slice it in thick slices. Place the slices on a serving dish and cover loosely with foil.
Purée the remaining liquid and vegetables, and reduce the sauce until it is thick. Pour the thickened sauce over the meat, and serve.
From www.stayinpiedmont.com

Rest Day: Monday, July 21, Cuneo
Cuneo is known for its gnocchi alla bava. Another recipe from the region is vitello tonnato, veal with tuna sauce. We (Doug, Chris, and our parents) first ate this dish not in Italy, but in Gletsch, Switzerland where we stayed in a hotel at the foot of the Rhone glacier in 1972. Like much of that trip, it seemed almost magical, and although they told us the name of the dish, we had a hard time believing it was really canned tuna in that sauce.
Vitello Tonnato
For the veal:
1 boneless veal roast, 3 to 3½ pounds, tied securely
4 flat anchovy fillets, chopped
4 whole cloves
1 medium onion
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
2 bay leaves
5 parley sprigs
8 whole peppercorns
For the tonnato sauce:
12 ounces canned tuna
6 flat anchovy fillets, diced
1 cup olive oil
juice of 2 medium lemons
2 tablespoons drained capers
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Garnishes (optional):
drained capers
finely chopped parsley
lemon slices
With the point of a knife, make several small slits in the veal. Insert anchovy pieces in the slits. Place the roast in a pot. Stick the cloves in the onion and add to the pot, along with the celery, carrots, bay leaves, parsley, peppercorns, and salt. Pour in enough water to cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 1½ hours, until the meat is tender. Remove the meat and cool.
Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Combine the tuna, anchovies, oil, lemon juice, capers, parsley, and pepper in a blender. Purée until smooth.
When the meat is cool, cut it into thin slices, and arrange in on a serving platter or individual plates. Spoon the sauce over the meat, and garnish.
From Cuisines of the Alps by Kay Shaw Nelson

Stage 16: Tuesday, July 22 Cuneo > Jausiers, 157 km
There are two big peaks, the Col de Lombarde and the highest pass in Europe, the Col de Bonette-Restefond, before the downhill finish in Jausiers, just back over the border into France. Like Cuneo, 2008 is the first year for Jausiers to host the Tour. It is in the Ubaye Valley in the Alpes de Haute-Provence. More sheep than cows are found in the valley, and lamb and white beans are a classic combination.
Lamb Shanks and White Bean Gratin
For the beans:
1 cup dried coco, Great Northern, or other white beans
7 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
2 bay leaves
4 tablespoons minced fresh winter savory
8 dry-packed, unsalted, dried tomato halves
For the lamb:
2 lamb shanks, about ½ pounds total
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ yellow onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup chicken broth
For the gratin:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup coarse dried bread crumbs
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ cup minced parsley
Pick over the beans, discarding any stones. Put the beans in a saucepan, and add the water, salt, bay leaves, and 2 tablespoons of the winter savory. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the beans are soft, about 2 to 2½ hours. Drain the beans, reserving 1½ cups of the liquid.
Pout 1 cup of the hot liquid over the dried tomatoes and let stand until the tomatoes are soft, 10-15 minutes. Purée ½ cup of the beans along with the soaked tomatoes and their broth. Set aside.
While the beans are cooking, prepare the lamb shanks. Preheat an oven to 450°F. Sprinkle the shanks with salt and pepper and place in a baking dish. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Turn the shanks over, and top with the onion, carrot, celery, the remaining 2 tablespoons of winter savory, and the rosemary. Pour in the wine and broth, and cover. Reduce the heat to 350°F, and cook until the meat is tender, basting occasionally.
Remove the shanks from the oven, leaving the oven on. Strain the pan juices through a fine-mesh sieve, and discard the vegetables. Skim off the fat, and reserve 1½ cups of the broth. Remove the meat from the shanks, and add it to the beans, along with the tomato-bean purée and ¼ cup of the reserved broth from the shanks. Simmer over medium heat for 20-30 minutes. Add more bean liquid and/or broth as needed, so that the resulting mixture resembles a very thick soup.
To assemble the gratin, grease a 3½- to 4-quart deep gratin dish with ½ tablespoon of butter. In a bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and parsley. Pour the bean mixture into the prepared dish and sprinkle the top evenly with the bread-crumb mixture. Dot the surface with the remaining butter.
Bake, uncovered, until the topping is golden, about 15 minutes. Serve hot.
From The Food and Flavors of Haute Provence by Georgeanne Brennan
post #18 of 19
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It was too long....continued

Stage 17: Wednesday, July 23, Embrun > L’Alpe-d’Huez, 210 km
The last Alpine stage, this route includes the Galibier, the Croix de Fer, and an uphill finish at l’Alpe d’Huez. Embrun has never been a stage town, but Alpe-d’Huez has been included 25 times. What more is there to be said? There is no question but tonight is the night for fondue, last included in our 2003 guide, but last eaten much more recently.
Cheese Fondue
1 garlic clove
2 cups dry white wine, in this case one from the Savoie
10 ounces cubed Emmentaler
10 ounces cubed Gruyère (or Comté since we are in France)
1 tablespoon flour
2 ounces Kirsch
pepper and/or nutmeg
Baguette cut in 1½-inch cubes, each with some crust
Toss the cheese with flour. Rub inside of pan with garlic. Discard garlic. Add wine and heat over low to medium heat until bubbles begin to rise to the surface. Do not boil. Add the cheese a handful at a time, stirring constantly in a figure 8. When all the cheese has been added and is bubbling, add the Kirsch. If too thin, a little cornstarch may be mixed with the Kirsch before adding. If too thin, heat additional wine and gradually blend it in.
Transfer to fondue pot, and bring to table.
We’ll drink Apremont, thankful that it’s now available, at least in the States, I don’t know about Canada.

Stage 18: Thursday, July 24, Bourg-d’Oisans > Saint-Ètienne, 197 km
Today’s race begins in the mountains but finishes southwest of Lyon. Bourg-d’Oisans has been a stage town 19 times, Saint- Ètienne has hosted 23 times. Most recently, Lance won in Saint-Ètienne (2005). The Tour organizers are hoping that that "end-of-race fatigue and long breakaways…could create suspense, just possibly shaking up the overall placings on this route." Such a race calls for a rabbit.
***Start this recipe the day before.***
Rabbit Tart with Wine
1 bottle light red Burgundy
I rabbit, cut into pieces (particularly the saddle and thighs)
salt and pepper
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 small carrot, thinly sliced
½ celery rib, thinly sliced
several sprigs of thyme
1 fresh bay leaf
several juniper berries
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 small lamb sweetbread, 4-6 ounces (good luck)
1 10-inch puff pastry shell, partially cooked
2 ounces uncooked puff pastry for decoration
1 large egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup heavy cream (the original recipe called for chicken blood or pork blood, if the chicken blood was not available)
The day before serving, bring wine to a boil in a large, non-reactive saucepan, then flame it. Let the flames die out, remove from the heat, and cool.
Season the rabbit pieces with salt and pepper, and place in a non-reactive bowl. Add the onion, carrot, celery, thyme, bay leaf, and juniper berries. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and mix well. Pour in the wine, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, fill a small saucepan with cold water. Add the sweetbread, bring to a boil, and simmer for 3 minutes. Cool until it can be handled, then remove the skin and outer pieces of membrane. Refrigerate until ready to assemble the tart.
Remove the rabbit from the marinade, and pat dry, reserving the marinade. Heat 2 tablespoons of the remaining olive oil in a skillet, and brown the rabbit on all sides. Transfer the rabbit to paper towels and pat to remove as much fat as possible.
Remove the onion, carrot, and celery from the marinade, and sauté them in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cook until they are slightly browned, then drain the vegetables on paper towels.
Combine the rabbit and vegetables in a large pan. Add the reserved marinade and bring to a boil. Simmer the mixture until the rabbit is very tender, about one hour. Transfer the rabbit to a plate and let stand until it is cool enough to handle. Remove the meat from the bones, and shred it into small pieces. Add about one quarter of the vegetables, and set aside.
Strain the cooking liquid through a fine sieve into a saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce by about one half. Remove from the heat and cover to keep the sauce warm.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Fill the tart shell with the shredded rabbit mixture. Cut the sweetbread into 3 or 4 slices and arrange on top of the rabbit. Make strips of puff pastry and arrange in a lattice on top of the tart. Using a pastry brush, lightly paint the strips with egg. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown.
Warm the sauce. Stir in the cream and season with salt and pepper. Just before serving, spoon a little sauce over the tart without touching the pastry lattice. Serve the remaining sauce on the side.
From The French Vineyard Table by Georges Blanc
Stage 19: Friday, July 25, Roanne > Montluçon, 163 km
Roanne hosts the Tour for the very first time, while Montluçon has been a stage town on five occasions, most recently in 2001, when Lance won the 61-km time trial from Montluçon to St. Armand (tomorrow’s start town) and we recognized its being in somewhat of a wine desert by serving a couscous plat du jour accompanied by a $4 Moroccan red. Instead of Moroccan reds, the Tour site pushes the local Saint-Pourçain, which comes in three colors and apparently was more important in the 19th century than it was in the 20th or is in the 21st.
At this point, we might want to recognize that we’ve spent far too much time in meat- carrot-and-potato land and go for the couscous. But for one factor—Roanne is home to the ultra-famous Troisgros family, which, along with like their buddy Paul Bocuse, is known for bringing a lot of excitement to current French cuisine.
Among the many chefs who have studied with the Troisgros brothers is Judy Rogers, the chef-owner of San Francisco’s famed Zuni Café. As a 16-year-old from Saint Louis in 1973, Judy had never taken an interest in cooking. But a neighbor arranged for her to stay with the Troisgros family and document everything she ate.
Their recipes, available at www.troisgros.fr, are not all traditional, but include things like a chinois de tomates au caramel and this filets de sole à la banane. This recipe sounds more like something we would have found in Madagascar than a great dish from France. But it was already on the Troisgros menu in 1935, about the time that bananas first became popular. They suggest serving it with a Sancerre, which would be better than we could get in Madagascar.
Filets de Sole à la Banane
8 sole fillets
4 bananas
3 ounces butter
1½ lemons
peanut oil
salt and pepper
Place each sole fillet between two sheet of plastic wrap, and flatten them to prevent shrinking during cooking. Remove the plastic, and season the fillets with salt and pepper, then dust them with flour, tapping them to remove excess flour.
Peel the bananas, and cut them in half lengthwise. Cut the peel from the whole lemon, keeping the lemon whole, and cut away the segments by passing the knife between the pulp and the membrane. Cut the segments into fine dice.
In a fish frying pan, heat ½ ounce of butter with a drizzling of oil. Fry the fish for 3-4 minutes on each side.
Meanwhile, heat another ½ ounce of the butter in another frying pan. Cook the bananas until they are golden on each side.
Heat the rest of the butter in a small frying pan until it turns golden. Add the diced lemon and the juice from the other half lemon.
Place the sole fillets on serving plats, and place a half banana on top of each fillet. Top with the butter and lemon, and serve immediately.
Stage 20: Saturday, July 26, Cérilly > Saint-Amand-Montrond, 53-km Individual Time Trial
Cérilly has never hosted a stage, but as we mentioned for yesterday’s stage, Armstrong won in Saint-Armand in 2001. We served our coq au vin d’Auvergne that year, but this year we had it back at Stage 6. So, let’s go with the couscous, which at this point is practically a national dish of France.

Couscous—le Plat de Jour
For the couscous
chicken stock—enough to hydrate the couscous plus a couple of extra cups
chicken pieces
lamb meatballs (see below)
sausages, your choice, but they should be spicy and contain no piggy parts
onions, chopped
garlic, chopped
vegetables—zucchini, cabbage, garbanzo beans, turnips, carrots, diced tomatoes, celery, etc.
red currents (you can substitute raisins or chopped apricots, or just leave them out)
spices: turmeric, cinnamon sticks, cumin, nutmeg, paprika, ras al-hanout (see below), cayenne pepper, salt
parsley, chopped
shallots, chopped
pine nuts
For the lamb meatballs:
200 g minced lamb
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 onions, chopped
1 stem coriander
1 handful parsley, chopped
pinch cumin and nutmeg
salt and pepper
Mix the meatballs ingredients together and form into balls. Brown in hot oil.
Prepare the couscous and set aside, keeping warm.
Sauté chicken and sausages with the spices, onions, and garlic in small batches until just done and slightly browned. Remove meat, add a little stock and the vegetables (except the parsley and shallots). Simmer until just tender. Discard the cinnamon sticks.
Sauté shallots and pine nuts separately.
Serve the meats, vegetables and couscous in separate dishes, garnishing the couscous with parsley, pine nuts, and shallots.
Ras el hanout
is a Moroccan spice mixture, made up of as few as 10 up to more than 100 ingredients. It generally includes spices thought to be aphrodisiacs, but unfortunately we don’t have much access to Spanish fly or monk’s pepper. In 2001, we made an American approximation by grinding the following ingredients in a spice grinder or a coffee grinder that we use only for spices. American versions are also widely available in the grocery stores of Berkeley, California.
Ras el hanout
½ ounce allspice berries
1 ounce black peppercorns
½ ounce galangal or laos root
½ ounce mace blades
1½ whole nutmegs
10 cardamom pods
1½ ounces dried ginger
½ ounce stick cinnamon
¼ ounce turmeric
3 rosebuds
1 clove

Stage 22: Sunday, July 27, Étampes > Paris-Champs-Elysées, 143 km
Assuming that the Tour is completed this year (can we assume that? There is still time for riders and teams to be kicked out, to drop out, or to be injured, or…), it will be time to break out the Champagne and make the onion soup that we’ve made for many final stages of the Tour.
Gratinée des Halles
¼ cup butter
4 large yellow onions, cut in half and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon flour
salt and pepper
5 cups beef stock
½ pound Gruyère cheese, grated
4 slices French bread, ½-inch thick and toasted golden brown
For the beef stock:
2½ pounds meaty beef or veal bones
1½ yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 small carrot, coarsely chopped
6 parsley stems
fresh thyme
½ bay leaf
To make the beef stock:
Preheat oven to 400º F. Place bones in roasting pan in middle of oven. Bake 1-2 hours until well browned.
Transfer bones to stockpot or large saucepan. Add onion and carrot. Add remaining ingredients and cover with water. Deglaze the roasting pan and add to stockpot.
Bring to boil, and immediately reduce to simmer. Simmer 4-5 hours removing scum and adding water as necessary. Strain through mesh sieve, cool, remove congealed fat.
The soup:
In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat, add onions and sprinkle with salt. Cover & cook 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove cover, sprinkle on the flour, and caramelize the onions, but do not let them burn.
Add stock & bay leaves, bring to a boil, cover & simmer for 30 minutes. Preheat the broiler. Place the soup in 4 crocks, sprinkle a little cheese into each bowl, add 1 piece of bread, and add remaining cheese. Broil for 2-3 minutes.
Serve with a butter lettuce salad, French bread, and lemon sorbét with Calvados for dessert.

Bon Appétit

post #19 of 19
Just to say "thanks" for an amazing thread.
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