Amanda on June 23rd, 2006
Boeuf Quercynois

Boeuf Quercynois

Boeuf Quercynois

Every region of France has it’s own classic stew or casserole. The most famous, and certainly the most abused beef stew must be Boeuf Bourguignon, closely followed now by the increasingly popular Provencal Daube. In the Languedoc, just south of the Quercy, the king of casseroles reigns supreme, it’s the land of the Cassoulet. However we are splendidly situated for an outstanding casserole of own. To the south we have access to the finest haricots in the world. Just to the north, in the Limousin, some of the finest beef in France. In the west of the province the great Marmande tomatoes beg to be included and right on our doorstep the deepest, darkest, richest wines known to man. This is my own version of a time-honoured recipe that I first ate in the ancient stone kitchen of a nearby farmhouse. I present for your delectation, Boeuf Quercynois. Read More »

French Beef and Bean Casserole from French Life

Amanda on June 1st, 2006
Albas Wine Festival

Albas Wine Festival

We’re all recovering from one of the most arduous fetes of the year! Albas Wine Festival is an outstanding event. Six or seven thousand people – according to the Mairie – crammed tightly into one of the smallest and prettiest villages on the river. Naturally we always feel obliged to attend, as we happen to be in the commune of Albas. So – purely in the course of duty – we went along to sample this year’s vintages. It happened to be an exceptionally hot day and by six o’clock the narrow road that winds downhill to the little medieval village was shimmering in a heat haze. After payment of our statutory twelve euros and receipt of the little glass engraved with the legend:
Le bon air est dans les caves
27th Mai 2006 – Albas

We were free to wander the cobbled streets and imbibe as much as we liked of the nine wines on offer. Now if you happen to be doing this in a truly scholarly sense – as of course I was – it soon becomes a little tricky to distinguish one from another, if you happen to have an empty tummy as well it rapidly becomes rather difficult to walk in a straight line! I reached this point in the cool darkness of cave number six. These caves are the original cellars of the village houses, hewn out of the very rock on which Albas was built. I found myself leaning against the wall grinning inanely at the Maire. Shortly afterwards I was force fed a Rocamadour sandwich to sober me up. Read More »

Albas Wine Festival 2006 from French Life