Food from Friends ~ French Edition


By now, those of you who are actually reading this little blog of mine, know I am some how affiliated with our US military ~ Tony and I married 23 years ago, and 22 years ago this June will mark his anniversary of joining our US Air Force.  As Mom and Dad reminded me this weekend, I have always been fond of travel; and the man I married has almost literally taken me all over the world!  Thank you Tony, for your service to this country, for your dedication to our family, and for taking me along on this adventure!

This edition of Food from Friends, takes us to lovely France… the elegant people, the vast and intoxicating markets of Aix en Provence, the amazing countryside, from the Normandy region all the way down to Marseille.  And the food ~ ahhh, the food!  A hot, crisp baguette with beurre et confiture, croque monsieur, cassoulet, brie, clafouti.  The next best thing to being in Paris and eating this incredible food, is knowing an amazing person from France that will recreate all her favorites for you!  Gisele is that amazing person ~ lovely, elegant and a proud US Air Force wife!  Her husband commanded the 48th Maintenance Group at RAF Lakenheath, and with a quiet grace, Gisele commanded the spouses of the 48th Maintainers to be better versions of themselves.  You’ll realize your great fortune if you ever get to meet GiGi ~ she will charm you, and, if you’re lucky, she will feed you! enjoy ~ v

Here is the quick memorized version of my famous “Maman’s Winter Stew”.


Pot au Feu  [literally crock pot on the fire]



1 package of stew meat at the commissary or you can use sirloin and cut it up

A bit of flour to thicken the sauce [I’m thinking about 2 Tablespoons]

2 large yellow onions grossly cut up

1 package mushrooms, washed and sliced

1 celery hearts stalk washed and sliced, with “strings” removed

3 or 4 large carrots, peeled and sliced

1 5 Lb bag of Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut up in quarters [keep them in cold water until ready to use]

1 can of Beef Consommé from Campbell’s Soup

Heavy salt, pepper

About 1 teaspoon of Paprika

At least 2 teaspoons of thyme, parsley [mostly for color], 1 bay leaf


In your largest Dutch oven [largest sauce pan], heat up on Medium high heat about 1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil and put the cut up beef pieces in, the paprika and some salt and pepper.

Brown the meat well and add the onions.

Cook the meat and onions until the meat is well browned and then add the flour to coat the meat [helps keep the flavor].

Add the Beef Consommé liquid with enough water to fill half the pot.

Add the mushrooms, celery, carrots, more salt and pepper, thyme, parsley and bay leaf.

Recheck the water and add a bit more if needed to cover all the vegetables.

Bring to a strong boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 1 hour.

Add the cut up potatoes, increase the heat to a boil again, then reduce to a low boil for about 20 to 30 minutes or until the potatoes are done [poke at them, Ha!]


PS.  If the sauce is a little thin, you can take a bit of it out into a small bowl, cool it and add 2 teaspoons of corn starch, mix well and add it back in to the pot.




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