Extend your Beef and Potatoes repertoire with French chef Jean–Francois Mallet »
200 classic and modern recipes for the perfect steak and chips, and so much more.
By Jennifer Cooper-Jones
Not just a book about steak and chips – although what is not to love about that combination? – but many recipes to inspire and re-create from these two staples, that will expand your daily repertoire and may take you to new culinary heights.
Beef & Potatoes introduces the reader to the challenge of cooking steak and potatoes not just well but sublimely. Starting with straight-forward information about beef cuts and potato types – because if you don’t know the correct ones to use, your dish will not go as desired – Mallet gives us two hundred variations of beef and potatoes, across many different cuisines and styles.
It’s a visual delight on every double page. There are three chapters: beef recipes; potato recipes; and beef and potato combination recipes. French, Japanese, Mexican, Armenian and Italian are just a few of the regional flavours included. Steak Tartare alone has 6 variations.
The recipes are set out to facilitate easy creation. Ingredients are listed separately from the recipe, as is special equipment where required, and preparation, resting and cooking times. Suggestions regarding the combination of recipes are also given. Many have between six and eight ingredients, although some French classics have up to 20 twenty. But complex, it is not.
This is the type of recipe book that will keep you reading. Who would have thought a book about beef and potatoes could be so interesting? But interesting it is, and easy to include in your menu planner.
For the first recipe to try I consulted my children, and the Armenian Pizza was chosen. It was easy to prepare and a delight to eat. Very different from Italian pizza, it was spicy and with no cheese at all, useful for those with lactose intolerance. It was a winner.
Beef & Potatoes will not lose its usefulness easily. There are recipes suitable for year round, including salads, pies, casseroles, croquettes, fondues, sashimi to the classic Beef Wellington.
Cooks at all levels of experience will also be challenged to successfully prepare gourmet food, including Pot-au-feu Terrine with Tarragon; Beef and Chilli Empanadas; and Beef and Gravy Pies (which as any pie-maker knows, are not as simple as they look).
For winelovers, suggested French wine pairings are included at the end, rounding off the perfect meal.
This is a surprisingly useful book for so many reasons: for cooking, pepping up everyday menus, and for giving as a gift to the person who 'has everything'.
If you like steak and chips, if you like cooking, if you like creativity in a book, then Beef & Potatoes is an extremely worthwhile purchase. It gives you the ability to improve the way you cook and eat, and my family and I will be enjoying its results for years.
Beef & Potatoes by Jean-Francois Mallet is published in Australia by Murdoch Books (Crow’s Nest, NSW, 2016; hc, 411pp) and retails in Australia for A$49.95. First published in Paris (2014) by Hachette Livre (Hachette Pratique)
Jenni Jones is a retired teacher from South Australia who enjoys creativity in many different forms including cooking.
- France - all (FR)
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