FOOD DIARY: Bitokes a’ la Russe (Hamburgers with Cream Sauce)

This is an old recipe going back at least 25 years from that cooking master Julia Child in Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  I originally bought her single volume of this two volume set and taught myself the rudiments of cooking way back in San Francisco in my little nob Hill bedsit.  I then taught everything that I had learned from Julia’s marvellous book to Diane who had fabulously decided to throw her future in with me.  She now has far, far surpassed her poor teacher and probably could hold her own with Julia.

Never the less I returned to this essentially simple recipe tonight simply to have some beef which we had bought from the Stockman’s Providour in the Fremantle Markets.  The recipe is essentially a frying of the hamburger piece, removing it from the pan, adding about half cup of stock to the pan, degpazing it and reducing the liquid to a thin syrup and finishing it with some cream to get a sauce for the meat.  I just added some finely chopped shallots and some tyme leaves to the meat before frying for added flavour. The only item to accompany the meat was a serve of rice to soak up any remaining sauce.

I made the standard salad and we had the remains of two red wines one of which was a Penfolds blend.  

Diane had to save me from a cooking idiot’s mistake when I inadvertently put the hamburger patties in the cold frying pan; my excuse, and it is a poor one, is that I have cooked so little meat that I have forgotten the main iconic rules about its preparation. 


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