There’s no need to hunt for good game. We’ve got always-tender, never-gamey venison from New Zealand that will become your favorite red meat.
Try venison this week and save 20% when you order from dartagnan.com.
Now through January 17, 2014.
“Cassoulet, like life itself, is not so simple as it seems.” – Paula Wolfert
But our cassoulet recipe kit makes it a whole lot simpler. It includes all the ingredients you need to make a cassoulet to serve 12 (with leftovers) and a clay bowl (cassole) for baking it.
Duck leg confit, duck and pork sausages, ventreche, duck fat, demi-glace and the all-important Tarbais beans are the simple ingredients of this legendary dish. The magic happens when all the flavors mingle together into a thick stew that is ideal for cold winter days. Just get a few bottles of Madiran or Malbec wine and invite some friends over for dinner.
Click through to shop the 15% off sale now, because the deal ends Sunday, January 12, 2014.
We will be watching the new season of The Taste on ABC tonight at 8 PM EST. Not only because our chef friends are on the show, but some of our products might make an appearance as well <wink, wink>. You can take a sneak peak on the ABC website here.
Tune in tonight and see what happens as competitors are judged on one blind spoonful by Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson, Marcus Samuelsson and Ludo Lefebvre.
Happy New Year!
The December issue of Saveur magazine has a cover story about our favorite bird: duck. Yes, it mentions us, but that’s not why we think it’s a great piece. Our friend Hank Shaw is also quoted, which is appropriate. His new book “Duck, Duck, Goose” is our favorite book of the season. It’s got all you could possibly need to know about ducks and geese, along with some fine recipes.
It’s really quite easy, as this Saveur video with Ariane proves. Her seared duck magret is a tradition handed down by her father, Chef Andre Daguin, who invented the preparation. Read, watch and then get in the kitchen and make duck!
We love these illustrations Saveur did of our products. This is a really useful breakdown of all the parts of the duck. Everything but the quack.
We’re giving away a GRANDE CHARCUTERIE GIFT BASKET on our Facebook page. It’s the perfect way to celebrate the holidays (a little gift for yourself, maybe?).
With a value of $99.99 and 8 of our signature pieces of charcuterie packed inside, this is a savory gift basket anyone would enjoy.
Head on over and enter for your chance to win. Get social and share the giveaway to increase your chances. Bonne chance!
Must be at least 18 years old to enter. Valid only in the United States. Giveaway ends Dec. 18, 2013.
In the December issue, Bon Appétit magazine “effusively recommends” our bone-in heritage ham for your holiday dinner. Obviously, we couldn’t agree more. There is nothing so satisfying (and impressive) as a gleaming, glazed ham on the table.
You can serve a crowd at Christmas and then use leftovers in split pea soup. Yes, please.
A message from Ariane …
Faire chabrot… it’s a rustic tradition from rural France that continues to this day in the Southwest, my region. It’s an expression of conviviality and continuity, of simple pleasures at the table. So what is chabrot?
It’s a fun way to finish a bowl of soup. When in Gascony, it is often garbure, an improvised soup that varies by season and from one house to the next, though usually includes cabbage and confit of duck or goose. Some people keep a permanent pot of soup bubbling, and add vegetables and meat to it each day. A good broth is a staple in the day of many rural people.
For chabrot (pronounced shab-row), just enjoy your soup and then leave a bit of the warm broth in the bowl. Naturally, you have red wine on the table, so pour in a dose of wine, I would say about half the amount of the broth, but you can do equal parts if you like.
There is no stirring and no spoon! Hold your bowl in two hands, swirl gently, and with elbows planted on the table, drink the wine and broth mixture.
This is chabrot. Considered very old school and a peculiar habit of rural people, and in some company bad manners (!), it’s a tradition that l love to share with others.
There is something about the warm broth and the wine together… and the whole table lifting bowls to their faces. It always stirs something in me. Perhaps it is the thought of a long line of ancestors who tipped their bowls through the generations. Or maybe it’s just the unique flavor of the raw wine and the broth together.
You can see how it’s done in this video I made with Ed Brown. We were in the kitchen making poule au pot and I couldn’t resist the chance to show him.
So now that you know, go ahead and faire chabrot!
A message from Ariane…
It’s not every day that you meet a movie star like Jean Reno, let alone go into business with him. But I was lucky enough to have a long dinner with the great man and our talk turned to food, to France, and to his passion: olive oil. Not only olive oil, but also the rugged little olive tree that seems to live forever, that is such a strong symbol of peace, immortality and beauty.
Over 25 years ago, Jean found a mas, a traditional farmhouse in Provence, which he purchased with an eye to moving his aged father there. Indeed, the home gave his father peace in his final years and a resting place in death, as Jean buried his father on the property. As you might imagine, he holds a deep affection for Provence and feels a great connection to the place.
Since becoming a local, he has learned a lot about the olive trees of the area, more specifically in Maussane-les-Alpilles in the heart of the Vallée des Baux-de-Provence. This region of Southern France has been famous for its olives since the early Roman Empire, and continues to rank as France’s top olive oil producer with AOC status. Olive oil may be France’s best kept secret. Very small amounts are produced in the traditional manner, and it usually stays in the region. Very little is exported.
But Jean and I thought it was time to change that. You see, he bought the farmhouse with a little property, and then added a little more, and those acres included some fine olive orchards. Like many in Les-Alpilles, Jean’s trees would produce enough olive oil for his family to enjoy. So he bought more acres of trees to make more olive oil.
He also became involved with the local moulin, or mill, that was producing his olive oil. The moulin follows traditional methods, using great granite stones to crush the olives. Working with them, he developed the blends for his olive oils, and now he’s the president of their association. He is a vocal advocate for true flavors of terroir and for the superb olive oil that flows from the moulin.
Great chefs like Joël Robuchon and Daniel Boulud knew a good thing when they tasted it, and started using his olive oils in their restaurants. But Jean had a vision to bring his olive oil to a wider audience with the help of D’Artagnan.
That’s how it began, and I am proud that after months of work, we now offer three styles of olive oil, made with olives hand harvested in Reno’s own orchard and pressed in the historic mill famous since 1924 for creating fine quality oils.
Barely a month after the U.S. launch, we are honored that restaurants like Balthazar, Mercer Kitchen, Felix, SoHo Grand and Bistro Vendome in NYC are using our oils on a regular basis. But the excitement about Jean Reno Olive Oil is not limited to Manhattan. In Chicago such luminaries as Graham Elliot, L2O, Les Nomades, Brindille, Belly Q, Acadia and Black Bull are among the many serving it. And in Boston you can taste it at The Four Seasons Hotel. New Jersey restaurants serving it include Highlawn Pavilion, Restaurant Serenade, GP Restaurant, Restaurant Avenue, and Park Ave Club. Le Diplomate in D.C., Philippe’s Wine Cellars in Lafayette, LA and Café de la Presse in San Francisco, CA are just a few of our national clients who appreciate and serve these oils.
Jean Reno olive oil is not yet found in retail stores, so if you want to try it, the best place to go is our website.
The olives you will taste in these oils are varieties exclusively grown in the region. They are: Salonenque, Grossane, Béruguette, Verdale des Bouches du Rhône and Picholine.
Another distinction of oil from Maussane-les-Alpilles is that the olives are aged and slightly fermented for a brief period before being crushed under ancient granite millstones, and then mechanically pressed in large scourtins (disks) to extract pure, unfiltered olive oil. This all comes from matters of practicality, as in the old days with limited technology, only so many olives could be picked and processed into oil each day. The ones that got pressed later were more fermented, and it became a hallmark of production in the region.
This aging process, which can last as little as one day or as long as a week, allows the water to evaporate out of the fruit and it makes the flavors more intense. The Fruite Noir, or Black Fruity, variety is a virgin olive oil, and is aged the longest, about seven days. When you taste the oil from this fruit, which is 50% Picholine olive, it’s like eating the olive itself. It tastes like liquid olive tapenade, with a unique fruity flavor that is slightly acidic with subtle aromas of cocoa, bread and roasted artichoke.
All three of Jean’s olive oils are smooth and silky with subtle aromas and terroir rarely encountered outside of France.
The Fruite Vert, or Green Fruity, is aged for one or two days only and the juice is extracted, not pressed. This changes the flavor and aroma immensely; it is fresh, barely acidic, with a peppery note, hints of green herbs, grapefruit and fresh almonds.
The Classic Blend, Extra Virgin Olive Oil offers a mix of four olives that have been aged for three days. It’s well-balanced oil with light floral notes of dried fruits and a fresh peppery aftertaste.
Each of Jean’s oils are made in limited quantities. Do not hesitate to order them soon (they make a nice gift for a food lover).
Watch our video to see what Jean has to say about his oils and get tips on how to use them.
Jean and I appeared together on BFM TV to talk about the project. If you can understand our French, you may enjoy this video in which Jean recommends drinking olive oil straight from the bottle!
And if you enter our contest on Facebook this week you could win all three varieties –autographed by Jean himself.
If you are not yet friends with us on Facebook, you might want to head over there now. We are giving away a set of our new Jean Reno Reserve Olive Oil. And each of the three bottles is autographed by Jean Reno himself!
The distinctive flavors of his olive oils come from the terroir of the Mausanne-les-Alpilles region of Baux-de Provence, where he grows the olives for the Classic Blend, Green Fruity and Black Fruity varieties.
You could win all three bottles if you enter our giveaway! Share with your friends to increase your chances of winning. Good luck!
The contest ends November 22, 2013, so enter soon.