Cookbook Club Brisbane – #3 French Lessons

Cookbook: French Lessons – Justin North

It’s starting to get cooler, so it’s time for some hearty foods. I also watched Julie and Julia recently and it really made me crave some French food. So for cookbook club #3 I chose “French Lessons”. This cookbook is by Justin North, winner of Sydney Morning Herald’s Chef of the Year badge for 2009. I saw him at Greenfest last year where he gave a cooking demonstration and confessed his love of organic produce. I also tried a wagyu burger from his stall there… one of the best burgers I’ve ever had! So prepare yourself for some really rich and hearty food. I apologise in advance for the affect this may have on your cholesterol.

We had a nice cosy group this time, but there was still more than enough food. I have just realised that I don’t have any photographs of the delicious desserts made by Porsha and Charles. This was probably a result of being in a food coma and also not realising that we let Belinda’s little girl eat too much sugar until it was too late. Sorry Bel!

Daube of Beef - In that rich gravy is the daube of beef I made. Except I didn’t use beef cheek (I forget the name of the cut the butcher gave me as an alternative). This is the second time I’ve made this and I’m glad to say I was much more successful this time round. Lovely tender, moist beef in a rich gravy. There is a lot of wine and port in this dish.. it almost felt a shame not to be drinking it all.

Roasted baby carrots - Just a little something extra I made from the cookbook because I thought we could use some more vege… even though they are covered in butter…

Potato and Bacon Roesti - Potato and bacon… a match made in heaven.

Confit Chicken – The amount of duck fat used to make this dish might be a bit scary, but it also accounts for just how delicious it is.

Deep-fried King prawn beignets with lemon and chervil mayonnaise - hubby decided to make these prawns for his contribution to our lunch. Probably the easiest/fastest recipe out of the ones we made and just as delicious.

Flourless Chocolate Tart - Porsha made this tart a little differently to the recipe in the book, mostly due to the confusing nature of the way I emailed her the recipe (and part of another recipe which made up that recipe… see the problem there?) but the chocolate tart was amazing all the same. I really wish I had a photo of it.

Crème brûlée – I love crème brûlée and now that I know Charles can make it, he’s going to have to make more for me! Again no photograph… but I can guarantee it was worth of having the dish licked clean.

I enjoyed this cookbook club, but we all came to realise how much work goes into a lot of French dishes (also how much butter and duck fat goes into them). If I was to have another French feast I would need to do it on a weekend where I had time to prepare, but it would be well worth it.

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