The cock crows. It’s about 4.30 in the morning (or so it seems to me) and it is time to get out of bed and get busy. The Wife, lying beside me, grumbles and turns her face to the wall. In the half-light, I stumble to the kitchen and make a ‘tray of tea’ to tempt her into wakefulness. Why do we need to be up so early? We are on holidays for goodness sake! Move the clock forward by an hour or so. We are in the car, driving towards a market. They start early. Long before any civilised nation would be thinking of a mid morning coffee, they then close for lunch. The lunch closure lasts for a number of hours. So if one wants to get anywhere in time to see it open and populated by French people, one needs to be up with the lark. Some holiday!
Thankfully, there are a number of compensating factors. It is worth dragging one’s carcass out of the bed to get the choice of the food. More of this in part 4 of this little series. For now, let me regale you with the fruits of one such venture. An early evening meal (it had to be, we were so tired) of Faux Fillét with Concentrated Onions and ‘Very French’ Beans.
Ingredients as per the photo. You don’t need a list. The beef cut is Faux Fillét (pretend fillet), Striploin or Sirloin depending upon from where you hail. The rest you can work out for yourselves. I’m too tired to list them.
If we are going to be tired of an evening, we may as well be a bit ‘tired and emotional’ as they say. So, get the wine open.
While the wine is breathing, slice the onions and put them in a little olive oil, in a pan over a medium low heat. Add a tablespoon or so of balsamic vinegar.
Slowly reduce them down, stirring occasionally to prevent them either burning or sticking. While this is happening, light the barbecue, wash and chop / prepare the other vegetables.
Side note on French Beans: Here in Ireland, we get our ‘French’ beans from Nigeria. The French grow loads of them and keep them in France.
After a good half an hour, the onions will be a sticky, tasty mess.
Leave it for about as long as it takes to read a couple of sentences. Sentences about as long as these two. Then count to thirty and turn the steak over. It should be crispy and beginning to caramelise on one side. Repeat the timing thing and take the steak off. Let it rest for 5 minutes. Slice it and serve with ‘Very French Beans’ potatoes and those lovely caramelised onions.
Enjoy a glass of that lovely red with this delicious, simple, very ‘French’ meal and then go to bed. You are tired. It must be nearly nine o’ clock and you have been up for twenty hours.