Last night Chefpeon and I made a scrumptious and labor-intensive dinner of Steak with Shallots and Red Wine Sauce in the Style of Albi, Straw Potato Cake Stuffed with Braised Leeks, and Apple Caramel Calvados Crepes (the latter not from this book, but seeming to go with the dinner.)
I've got to say, we both cook for a living and wow, there was a lot of prep involved in these two dishes. Don't try this on a weeknight unless there are two of you cooking. Even so, plan on a couple of hours to get dinner on the table, at least.
I wish my pictures were better. There's probably a way to have made this food look as good as it tasted, but I didn't manage it. We can chalk that up to the wine Chefpeon and I were drinking merrily as we cooked, or just to crummy photography skills.
Here are the steaks, the mountain of julienned potatoes (hurray for my little julienne shredder!) and the dish of braised leek filling.
The bottom layer of potatoes, covered by the leek filling prior to adding the top layer of potatoes. See how thick the potato layer is? I never managed to get it really crisp on either side (and be very glad you don't have a picture of me inverting the whole thing on the skillet lid!) and we were thinking that a thinner layer of potatoes would work better. That, and a truly nonstick skillet. I used my Cybernox, which is "stick resistant", not the same thing at all. It's a whopping big skillet, though, maybe 11", and even so the potato layer was really thick.
The cooked potato cake, and sliced steak, sans sauce. The sauce was absolutely kick-ass, by the way.
On the plate, looking quite dowdy, with some eG roasted cauliflower that I had to introduce Chefpeon to. The shallots cooked in wine looked like puffy rubies in real life.
And finally, the crepes, which Chefpeon plated up in a beautiful and innovative way, instead of just filling them as I would have done.
This was a very rich meal, even though there wasn't a scrap of duckfat in it. Now I've got to take a break from Southwest France eating for at least a few days or my husband, who washes all the dishes (and this dinner used a LOT of dishes) will move out!