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.