FFWD – Marengo As You Like It


I don’t like to buy into the idea that there’s anything especially unlucky about Friday the 13th. Our brains make sense of the circumstances that lead up to events by attributing them to luck (good or bad) or fate. We reverse engineer meaning into the car accident that happens on Friday the 13th, though the victims of yesterday and tomorrow’s car crashes would consider themselves just as badly off.

But I do embrace the feelings that good fortune brings, even if they are the product of chance. And I have to say that I feel very lucky that when I began thinking about blogging, in order to begin a regular writing practice and to celebrate community wherever I found it, I saw an article that mentioned a blogging group that was just about to begin.

That group was French Fridays with Dorie and now, more than four years later, we’re counting down the last ten recipes in Around My French Table. I’m hopelessly behind, of course, with about twenty recipes in my “catch up” file, but I started this journey on October 1, 2010 – the very first French Friday.

And now we’re in the home stretch, I’m going to try to keep up for the final ten recipes. This week, we’ve got a classic, Veal Marengo. I don’t eat veal, so I used some really beautiful beef, instead.

I quartered the recipe, since M. Kevin was having his favourite vegan, gluten-free pizza for dinner and I’d be eating this alone. Since it was such a small amount, I used cognac in place of wine, with a bit of water. I was also lucky enough to find some beautiful baby cipollini onions, which were perfect in this dish.

I made this in my dutch oven and it worked well, but this recipe is making me wish that I had a good, oven-going skillet with a lid. (I’ve got a great cast iron pan, but it is lidless and a little small, even for a quarter recipe.)

This felt like too indulgently elegant a dish to be eating on my own. In future, I’ll make it for a crowd. On second thought, it was easy enough to make that I may treat myself to another quarter batch again, when I feel in need of a treat. Or, if I want to feel lucky.

You can find links to the rest of the French Fridays crew’s posts on this week’s recipe here: Veal Marengo.


47 thoughts on “FFWD – Marengo As You Like It

  1. Yours Looks really good, FRIDAY the 13th has always been a lucky day for me and even though I am sad that we are winding down on our recipes, this one has to be one of my favorites.

  2. I think treating yourself once in a while is okay. And you did it in fine style!
    I totally missed that yesterday was Friday the thirteen… Although, that would explain the day I had at work yesterday. 🙂

  3. Dear Teresa, what a perfect treat even for a single serving – sounds like Dorie´s recipe worked equally well with beef and prepared in smaller portions!
    Have a nice weekend,

  4. Teresa, it looks great and so glad you liked it! I cannot imagine how Kevin could eat gluten-free and vegan pizza if you were eating that at the same time (unless he’s vegan and then I understand, of course). I love reading everyone’s slight mods for this recipe and how, no matter what, it’s turning out great. Have a wonderful weekend! (I’m jealous of your rain…can you please send some down this way? ;))

    1. He is vegan – which has made participating over the last while a bit challenging. It’s been fun reading about everyone’s versions this week. Stews are very customizable, aren’t they? And of course you can have a day or two of rain – I need to get out in the garden and would rather not drown. 🙂

  5. I started on the first day as well and I too am hopelessly behind. That mitigates my sadness knowing that for me at least, this project will live on as I will stay committed to the cause.

    1. I’ll be glad of the company, Trevor. I’m going to cook my way through the entire book, even if I’m (characteristically) late doing so.

    1. Thanks, Nana! I regret not making enough for leftovers, now. Though I do have enough stewing beef in the freezer to make a half batch.

  6. I think all of us, no matter when we began, feel very fortunate to have stumbled onto this FFWD group. It’s been very magical, hasn’t it. I didn’t begin until February 2011 but have loved every minute of it since then. I enjoyed this stew also. I halved the meat (beef) but I still didn’t have enough sauce (in my opinion). If I make it again, I will change the proportions, cook the beef a bit longer and look harder for
    cipollini onions.

  7. I started about 6 months later than everyone else, but managed to do some respectable catching up during that first year because I wasn’t working at the time. Thank goodness I caught up then because there is no way I would be able to manage it now. I’m a little sad to know that we are in the final stretch, but I’m trying not to focus on it too much yet.

    1. I managed to keep up for a long time, but a couple of periods of really hectic life and now, adjusting to Kevin’s newly vegan diet…well, I’ll have about twenty left to go when we officially call it quits. I’m impressed that you caught up!

  8. I made the full recipe. Bill and I got to enjoy it for two nights! I love not cooking every night of the week! I’m sure this would freeze nicely, if you made a bigger batch, and saved some for another time.
    I’m also sad that French Fridays will be ending soon…It has been such a great experience! The friendships, the deadlines, and the food that you would never have made if you weren’t part of the group! 😦
    Happy weekend, Teresa!

    1. I wish I’d made the whole batch, now. It was so good! And I agree with you, it’s been a wonderful experience. The regularity of checking in on everyone, the new skills and tastes, and the bonding that’s happened between so many of us – it’s all been so lovely.

  9. The fact that you only have 20 recipes to make up after 4 years is pretty good. I wish I had found this group 3 years ago, oh well. I have enjoyed what time I have had. Baking From My Home to Yours is by far my favorite cookbook. Everything I have made out of it has been a hit. Get baking:)

    1. I’m just glad you did find it! There have been so many people who have been a part of this along the way and it’s been such a pleasure to get to know people through this process.

  10. I need to go back to our first post and see who else was in the group on Day 1! Glad you enjoyed this one, too. I’m happy I’m not the only one who makes mini portions of some of these dishes 🙂

  11. It’s so hard to believe we have fewer than 10 recipes left. I am definitely sad about it, but do hope to make all of the last 10…Your dish came out beautifully. It’s great that you took the time to make something so nice for yourself.

    1. I know – it’s amazing that we’ve come this far. 🙂 I’m going to try to be on board for the last ten, too. And this was definitely an indulgence I’ll repeat.

    1. Thanks, Kristy – it’s true, isn’t it? I’m fine with eating vegan along with my partner most of the time. but I occasionally need to indulge…

  12. It’s good to know this recipe works so well with beef. I tracked down veal this time, but we almost always have beef on hand in the freezer, so I will use that next time. I stumbled across FFWD in a similar way. One of my favorite bloggers mentioned it just as I was starting out with my blog. I waited until I got the book for Christmas, but I have been around for most of the journey!

    1. I stumbled across it on the internet somewhere, too. I don’t remember where, now. I’m so glad to have been cooking along with you for so long. 🙂

  13. I can’t believe how long we’ve been on the FFWD journey. Actually, it’s sometimes hard for me to remember before it began. What a leap of faith that turned out much differently than I ever imagined.
    I’m glad you mini-fied this just for you. I thought it was delicious. I’m a firm believer in cooking wonderful food for yourself even when you’re eating alone (or eating with someone eating something different). You always deserve to be treated.

    1. I didn’t really expect much from this, either. Though I really didn’t know what to expect, since I was just starting out as a blogger when the group began. It’s been a pleasure to get to know you through your blog over the years.

      I think it’s good to treat yourself, too. Especially when the other member of the household is indulging in something they really enjoy at the same time.

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