Where would French cuisine be today without the influence of Antoine-Augustin Parmentier? Probably potato-less and less imaginative. There are a plethora of dishes in France prepared “Parmentier”; boudin, cabillaud, shrimp, ground beef, ground pork, sausages, etc. Thanks Antoine, I like potatoes.
Veal seems to be the beast of choice in France, especially when the cuisine consists of les abats or the less attractive English term, offal. I found this recipe on a French site: http://www.unecuillereepourpapa.com/2011/04/parmentier-de-rognons-de-veau-la.html I did make some changes and did some guess work because, like our mothers, the author cooks by feel. Do go to the site; there is a wonderful photo of the finished plate with tiny thyme flowers.
I started with some large lovely Paris mushrooms from the market. The recipes calls for fresh shitake and if you can find them, use them.
I ate this mushroom “parmentier” below because I couldn’t resist. In fact, you could just saute some garlic and shallots in butter, throw in the mushrooms for a minute or two, add port and reduce a bit, then mound the mushrooms on buttery mashed potatoes and you’re good to go. Just plain sauteed mushrooms on mashed potatoes was also good!
Veal Kidney Parmentier with Port and Mushrooms
1/2 lb of veal kidneys, cleaned and cut into small pieces
12 large Paris or Shitake mushrooms, sliced
1 lb potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
1 cu milk
5 tbsp butter
Salt and white pepper
1/4 cu port
1/2 cu cream
2 shallots, thinly sliced vertically
2 large garlic cloves, slivered
10 stems of dried thyme
Boil the potatoes in salted and peppered water to cover, plus the milk, until cooked. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid, and mash in a food processor. Add 2 tbsp butter, the leaves from 5 of the thyme stems and 1/2 cup of the reserved liquid. Set aside and keep warm.
Melt 1 tbsp butter in a pan and add the mushrooms. Toss for a minute or two over a medium flame. Set aside and keep warm.
Melt 2 tbsp butter in a large saute pan and saute the shallots and garlic until soft. Add the kidneys and saute for 2 minutes. Remove the kidneys, shallots, garlic and set aside. To the same pan, add the port and boil until reduced by half. Add the cream, stirring until heated through. Turn off the flame and return the kidneys to the pan.
To serve, mound some mashed potatoes on a plate, top with the kidneys and some sauce, surround with mushrooms.
And here is a plate for those of you who like good food but don’t necessarily want to know. My husband Just layer kidneys and mushrooms in a mini casserole. Cover with mashed potatoes.
Wine suggestion: A grapey Beaujolais, like Morgon