Thursday, 18 March 2010

Languedoc Roussillon – Aubrac Beef

On the western edge of Lozère, the Aubrac is a wide expanse of unspoilt beauty rising to a height of nearly 1300 metres. The Aubracs are an ancient race of cattle which have pastured in the cradle of the volcanic mountains here for centuries. They are a beautiful breed and vary from wheat brown to burnt orange and their eyes are ringed with black and white. They were raised initially for milk production and their ability to work and their stud book was created in 1893. They are hardy, nimble and able to walk long distances.

Boles de picolat is a meatball dish typical of Roussillon, and one of the most famous dishes of Northern Catalonia. The meatballs are made with finely minced beef and pork mixed with garlic and parsley. They are browned in oil, then onions, cinnamon, salt, pepper and chilli peppers are added. The meatballs are then simmered in a tomato sauce with olives.

750g of pork mince
750g of beef mince
2 eggs
100g flour
3 onions
2 cloves garlic
1 bunch of fresh coriander
500g green olives
1 red chilli pepper, chopped
pinch of cinnamon
300g cepes (mushrooms)
1 kg of carrots
tomato purée, olive oil, salt, pepper

Peel the carrots, the onions and the garlic. Chop one onion finely together with one clove of garlic and the coriander. Add salt, pepper and cinnamon and mix with the minced meat and the eggs. Form into small meatballs, flour generously and brown in olive oil. Keep warm. Brown the sliced carrots in olive oil, add the 2 remaining onions, the thinly sliced garlic and chilli pepper as well as the tomato purée and a glass of water. Simmer for 15 minutes.
Add the meat balls, the cepes and the green olives. Cover with water, add salt and pepper and cook under cover for 45 minutes. Serve with haricot beans.


Pam said...

Oh, my gosh! I could go for some of this right now! With the olives and cinnamon, it reminds me of Cuban Picadillo a little bit. Your sounds so delicious and I will definitely be trying it. Interesting with the cattle aslo.

Dale said...

wonderful posts about the sheep and cattle of the region. We had a feast while in the Languedoc region of Aubrac beef steaks - what a platter!! See our memories aroused by your post at the wife's blog

havent had a lot of lamb while in France tho!! quess its because of all the duck in the Dordogne and Lot stays!!! thank you Dale (Trout)

Sue said...

Thanks Pam - Cuban Picadillo sounds intriguing - do you have a recipe for it?

Sue said...

I checked out Susan's Blog and those steaks looked gorgeous Dale!

Thanks for the comments!

We live in farming land here and although our livestock runs to horses, chickens, African Ridgebacks and terriers we are surrounded by Hereford cattle and sheep. The different breeds have always interested me.