When I was inter-railing across Europe, My first stop was Paris. I stayed in a small hostel which wasn’t great but it had a clean bed, warmish showers and a good atmosphere. What sold the hostel was its location. It was just around the corner from Gare de Lyon metro station. It was near the very heart of the city but the place was largely residential with parks and cafes. Parisians sat out on their balconies and on the street people drank and ate outside cafes. It was August so the weather was fine, I remember simply walking about the neighborhood and discovering a market. It was almost laughable at how ‘french’ everything was, meaning, I felt like I had walked into a photoshoot. It was so chill and carefree, the sun was shining and beer was plenty – what more could you want?
Le Maximilien was a brassierie which was only a two minute walk from the hostel. The promise of free wifi had originally drawn me in (I was damned if I was going to pay the hostel six euro for one hour of internet use!) but once I got a beer and got talking to the bar staff, I spent most evenings of my stay in Paris there as the atmosphere was great. Staff and regulars were friendly, the food was great and good value too and I was surprised at how far they all were from the rude stereotype – perhaps I was lucky or maybe they pitied my sad attempt at french? Either way, I would stop by again if and when I returned there…
This sauce recipe is a french stable which I’ve altered slightly opting for heavy cream instead of creme fraiche. I had this meal in Le Max, one evening during my visit and was told, in all seriousness, if I was to order the steak – it would be rare, medium or I was to go without no steak at all …
This pepper sauce is a must. It’s tasty and bloody simple!
Ingredients: Serves 2 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard 1 & 1/2 Tablespoons of black peppercorns. 1 & 1/2 cup heavy cream 1 glove of garlic 1 shallot 1 oxtail/beef stock cube
Using a pestle and mortar crush the peppercorns. Peel the outer skin of the garlic and throw that in with the crushed peppercorns. Crush the two together until the garlic becomes a paste. A little salt can help but not too much.
Next, chop a shallot very finely and saute in a heated saucepan with some butter until translucent.
Add the crushed garlic and pepper to the pan followed by the heavy cream and the spoon of mustard. Stir.
Add a stock cube and stir, letting the mixture bubble for a moment and then let it simmer until it thickens. Watch over it, stirring the pan now and then. It won’t take long and will prevent the sauce burning to the bottom of the pan.
Serve hot over steaks or serve it separately as a side.
If anyone is interested in the places mentioned. See below & have fun exploring …
See the website here: www.hostelblueplanet.com
28 Boulevard Diderot, 75012 Paris, France.
And Finally, The market I mentioned:
Marché Couvert Beauvau – Marché d’Aligre.
Ledru-Rollin, 12ème, Place d’Aligre