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Happy National Pie Day!

January 23rd is the day to curl up with your meaty pie and celebrate this food holiday in carnivore style.

We love a pie filled with meat – from chicken pot pie to steak, ale and kidney pie. Cornish pasties or any hand-held pie rank high on our list. Shepherd’s pie with Wagyu beef is a favorite recipe, too. Lamb tucks nicely into a crust, and so does venison or wild boar. You can say all you like about apple pie, we’ll take a meat pie any day.

Meat Pie mash up

Saucy Series IX: Cumberland

Welcome to guest blogger Deana Sidney of Lost Past Remembered, a blog dedicated to discovering, replicating and adapting historic recipes. In this saucy series she demystifies one of the cornerstones of classic French cuisine: the mother sauces.

Cumberland Sauce

Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne were giants of the American stage from the 1920s to 1960. They were also legendary entertainers at their home in Manhattan but mostly in Genesee Depot, Wisconsin. All of the greats of stage and screen dropped by their out-of-the-way farm for R&R. Everyone loved it. Fontanne was the perfect hostess and Lunt the master chef. After retiring from the stage, Lunt even got a Cordon Bleu degree and wrote a cookbook that was published after his death by the foundation that took over the house. It is chock full of amazing recipes, all the more so when you think that the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Lawrence Olivier, Noel Coward and Joan Crawford enjoyed them at one time or another.

Cumberland at table

I loved the book and its stories and photos but fell in love with his take on Cumberland Sauce. I LOVE Cumberland Sauce and couldn’t leave it off my Sauce Series list. It is a classic game sauce that has been around in one form or another for a hundred years. Although named after the Duke of Cumberland and thought to be thoroughly English, it has its roots in Germany. Lunt adds a touch of magic in his version with the addition of a bit of horseradish. Best I ever tasted. Although I have always associated it with venison, it would be great with any pork (chops, loin, tenderloin or even sausage or ham) or a game bird (duck to grouse and pigeon) and even would work for vegetarians because it is amazing on sweet potatoes (sans the demi-glace).

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If you like venison, run, do not walk to D’Artagnan for the best venison tenderloin ever. It’s butter tender and full of flavor –– I made it rare and loved it that way. It is also extremely lean, so best not to cook it too much. The sweet and savory combination with a bit of heat from the horseradish and cayenne is masterful and you understand why this sauce has been a favorite for generations (something like it has been used since at least the 18th century). The best part? It takes about 15 minutes to make and can be done ahead of time. That means a world-class dinner could be ready in 1/2 an hour. It’s low in fat and high in flavor, how cool is that?

Cumberland 3

Venison Tenderloin with Cumberland Sauce (serves 3-4)

2 venison tenderloins from D’Artagnan
1 c red wine
2 t juniper berries
1 t salt
1 t pepper
1 bay leaf
1 t dry thyme
2 T butter or oil
Cumberland sauce
Steamed sweet potato (a squeeze of orange is great on them)
sautéed spinach

Combine the wine and spices and marinate the venison overnight. Remove from the fridge. Dry the meat and heat the oil in a skillet. Add the meat and sear on all sides. Cook for about 5 more minutes for rare. Tent for 5 minutes, slice and serve with Cumberland sauce and sweet potato and spinach.

Cumberland 1

Alfred Lunt’s Cumberland Sauce (serves 4)

1 t chopped shallot
1 T orange peel in fine julienne
1 T lemon peel in fine julienne
¼ c port
2 T D’Artagnan demi-glace (optional)
1/3 c currant jelly
juice of 1 orange
juice of ½ lemon
½ t dry English mustard
dash of cayenne
1 t freshly grated horseradish with 1 t sherry vinegar or 1 t prepared horseradish*

Boil shallots for 2 minutes in a little water and strain and reserve. Do the same with the lemon and orange peels. Melt the currant jelly and add the peels and shallots. Reduce till thickened and serve warm or at room temperature.

*I am kind of crazy about horseradish so I added a bit more after the sauce had cooked for extra kick.

Cumberland 2

Our Annual Freezer SALE is Here!

For the remainder of this most wintry of months enjoy 25% off selected items from our giant warehouse freezer at dartagnan.com.

While supplies last, through Jan. 31, 2014.

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Saucy Series VIII: Bordelaise

Welcome to guest blogger Deana Sidney of Lost Past Remembered, a blog dedicated to discovering, replicating and adapting historic recipes. In this saucy series she demystifies one of the cornerstones of classic French cuisine: the mother sauces.

Bordelaise Sauce

Sam Ward was one of the great entertainers of the 19th century.  He virtually invented lobbying in Washington.  He had a talent for creating great dinners with perfectly assembled guests who then made deals since they were in a great mood after great food and conversation.

Uncle Sam Ward

When I looked at one of Sam’s dinner menus, I could see what all the fuss was about –– it is everything you would imagine it to be. The menu is thoughtful and yet full of piquant touches like the Sorbet au Marasquin –– a touch of prussic acid from the cherry pits in maraschino liqueur in the sorbet to aid in digestion and cleanse the palate for the last of the dinner. His nephew, another renowned tastemaker named Ward McAllister, said Sam made sure he would never allow that lest “the fatal mistake should occur of letting two white or brown sauces follow each other in succession; or truffles appear twice in that dinner.” It was always a perfectly choreographed dance of flavors –– and conversation. Without both, the event will never be as great a success.

menu 1

What would I chose for the 4th dish from Sam’s dinner table? I think that Crêpes a la Bordelaise are the perfect choice –– a great addition to a beef dinner with steak or roast, potatoes and a vegetable. My crêpes are light and airy with a winey, mushroom-y bordelaise sauce. They could be served flat or as a beggar’s purse. I know they will delight at your dinner. I have made a white wine bordelaise before for you HERE, but this calls for the red wine version.

Bordelaise is another addition to my Sauce Series that uses both the mother sauce Espagnole and demi-glace. I have included recipes for both but it’s a breeze to order your demi-glace from D’Artagnan and store it in the freezer. I just slice off what I need and put the rest back in the freezer. Bordelaise is great for any steak. You can make it ahead and freeze it easily so you can make your meal in a snap.

Menu 3

Delmonico’s Chef Filippini Recipe from Sam Ward’s Era

Menu 2

Delmonico’s Chef Ranhoffer’s Recipe from Sam Ward’s era

If you are so disposed, you can dissolve a spoon of marrow into the mix, as was done long ago. I skipped that step and let the meatiness of the mushrooms add additional flavor and depth. It’s really pretty easy to make if you have the basics in your freezer.

Crêpes Bordelaise for 4

1 recipe for crêpes
1 recipe for bordelaise
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 T butter

Sauté the mushrooms in the butter. Add the mushrooms to the bordelaise. Fold your crêpes into quarters on your plate and ladle the sauce over them or serve the sauce on the side. They can be plated separately or served on a platter.

Crêpes (makes 12)

3/4 c milk
2 eggs
1/2 c flour
1/4 t salt
butter for pan

Throw the milk, eggs, flour and salt into the blender and let it rip for a minute.

Strain the mixture through a fine sieve.

Use a stick of butter like a marker and run it all over your pan (or you can use a spoon of clarified butter if you have it). Be especially generous for the first few and use butter before each pour of batter. Swirl 2 T of batter around the pan and flip once it has set –– do not allow to brown too much. Keep warm or reheat gently when you are ready to serve.

Bordelaise

2 shallots, chopped fine
2 t oil or butter
1 c red wine
1 clove garlic, chopped
6 T demi-glace from D’Artagnan
3 T Espagnole sauce* (or add a t. of flour to the sautéed shallots with 1 t. of tomato sauce or ketchup and a little more demi-glace)
stems from 4 mushrooms
1/2 bay leaf
pinch of cloves
1 1/2 c mushrooms, sliced
1 T butter or oil

Sauté the shallots in the oil till softened somewhat.

If you are skipping the addition of Espagnole, you can add a teaspoon of flour to the shallots to give the sauce the extra body and add a t. of tomato sauce or ketchup for the right flavor.

Put the wine, garlic, shallots, demi-glace, Espagnole (if you are using it) and stems from mushrooms into a pan and reduce at medium heat until thickened.

Strain the sauce –– you should have about 1/3 cup of sauce about the texture of chocolate syrup –– a bit less if you don’t use the Espagnole. This sauce keeps well for a few days.

*Super-quick version of Espagnole Sauce

1 T butter
1 T flour
1 T bacon
1 T onion
1 T white wine
1 t ketchup
1 cup stock
2 T demi-glace from D’Artagnan

Sauté the flour in the butter till medium brown. Add the rest and cook on low for 20 minutes to 1/2 an hour — till thickened. Keep watch lest it go too far. Strain and use.

•Quick Version of Espagnole Sauce

4 T butter
4 T Flour
3 T diced carrot
3 T diced onion
3 T bacon
2 c stock
1 t thyme
piece of bay leaf
2 T white wine
1/4 c demi-glace from D’Artagnan
2 T tomato sauce

salt and pepper to taste

Sauté the flour and butter till it is a medium brown on a medium flame –– stirring all the time.

Add the vegetables, ham and bacon and stir. Slowly add the stock, wine and demi-glace. Cook over a low flame for 45 minutes and add the tomato sauce. Cook for another 10 minutes and strain, pressing hard on the solids. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Save the rest for other uses. It is an invaluable addition to sauces. Freeze it in small portions. Quickest and easiest is to put it in ice-cube trays in 1 T portions and store them in a baggy in the freezer. Then it’s a breeze to use.

Venison Recipes

FZRVR004-1_VA1_SQOur venison is unlike the venison you may have tried in the past.  Hunted venison is the most common stuff we come across, and there is a lot of uncertainty in the wild. Stress, age and diet all play roles in the taste and texture of the meat.

The venison we sell is farmed in the vast pastures of New Zealand, which means these deer eat a controlled diet of grass, and are processed at the ideal age. They are certified by Cervena, which guarantees that the animals are raised with humane care, fed only a controlled grass diet and are processed at a certain age.  As a result, many people are surprised when they first try our venison. It is lean yet tender, and not at all gamey. It’s a perfect option for red-meat recipes when you grow tired of beef. Venison is both elegant (think the lord of the manor) and rustic (think generations of hunters).

Here are a few recipes to inspire your cooking adventures with venison.

Recipe_Venison_Tartare_CAPT

Ingredients

1 to 1 1/2 pounds Hudson Valley Grade A duck foie gras
1 3/4 pounds venison stew meat, sinew and tendons removed, if any
2 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons fresh chives, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon Aleppo chile pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Smoked salt
Coarsely-ground black pepper
1 teaspoon capers, coarsely chopped
1 loaf country-style bread, sliced 1 inch thick

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Season the foie gras with salt and pepper. Place the foie gras in a small roasting pan or ovenproof sauté pan that is slightly larger than the size of the foie. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, until the liver has browned and the flesh is firm to the touch. Reserve the fat that has rendered from the foie gras and let the lobe cool in the refrigerator until ready for use.

2. While the lobe of foie gras is cooling, put the venison through the meat grinder on a 1/4 inch cutting die. Grind the meat into a cold bowl, then cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. Once the meat is cold again, dice the cooled foie gras into 1/4 inch pieces then add to the bowl with the meat. Add remaining ingredients and mix gently. Taste the mixture and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper then mound onto cold plates to be served. Slather the slices of grilled bread with foie gras fat and grill both sides, serving 2 pieces per person with a few extra for folks who need more.

Recipe_Venison_Spoonbread_CAPT

Ingredients

1 frenched venison ribrack, cut into 4 double chops
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt
Coarsely-ground black pepper
1 pound red radishes
1/2 cup sugar
1 container veal demi-glace, diluted in 1 cup of water
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 duck leg confit
4 eggs
1 pint heavy cream
8 ounces brioche, cut into small pieces

Preparation

1. For the spoonbread: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a bowl, combine duck confit, eggs, heavy cream, and brioche. Stir gently until bread is evenly saturated. Season with salt and pepper. Place in an 8×8″ baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes or until set.

2. For the radishes: In a medium saucepot over medium heat combine radishes, sugar, and diluted demi-glace. Bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until the radishes are tender. Strain the radishes out and reduce the liquid until thick and syrupy. Stir in the butter. Keep warm until ready to use.

3. Season the venison on both sides with the salt and pepper. In a large sauté pan over medium high heat add the oil and sear the Cervena on both sides to get a good crust. Cook until medium rare, about 4 minutes on each side. Allow to rest on a cutting board for at least 5 minutes before plating.
Spoon some of the spoon bread on each plate, add radishes and venison chop. Drizzle with the radish reduction.

Recipe_Risotto_Con_Cervo_HomeMedium

Ingredients

2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms
1/2 cup olive oil
1 onion, minced
1/2 cup minced ventrèche
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 pounds venison tenderloin, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 bay leaves
1 sprig fresh rosemary + small sprigs to garnish, if desired
2 whole cloves
1/2 cup dry red wine, preferably Barolo
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 quarts chicken stock, reserving 6 cups for risotto
1 shallot, minced
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Preparation

1. Soak porcini in 2 cups of hot water until softened, about 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat half of the olive oil in a large casserole over medium-high heat. Add all but 2 tablespoons of the onions and all of the ventreche to the pan, and sauté until golden, about 8 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper, add the venison, and cook until all the meat liquids have evaporated, about 15 minutes.

3. Pick out porcini and chop them coarsely, reserving the liquid except for the last 2 tablespoons of gritty sediment. Add porcini to casserole, along with bay leaves, rosemary, cloves, and red wine, and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, until the wine has nearly evaporated.

4. Stir in tomato paste and seasoning lightly with salt and pepper. Add chicken stock slowly, except for reserved 6 cups, and reserved mushroom liquid, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, partially covered until meat is tender, and the sauce is thickened, about 1½ hours.

5. Remove bay leaves and rosemary, adjust seasoning, and set aside. Recipe may be made several days in advance, covered, and refrigerated. Warm before continuing.

6. Heat the remaining 6 cups of chicken stock and keep warm. Heat remaining olive oil in a medium casserole over medium-high heat. Add the reserved 2 tablespoons of onion and the shallot, and sauté until golden. Stir in rice, turning to coat with oil. Pour in white wine, stir well, and add ½ cup of the hot stock, and season with about a teaspoon of salt.

7. Cook, stirring constantly, until all liquid has been absorbed. Stir in half of the venison and sauce. Continue to add hot stock in small batches, and cook until each successive batch has been absorbed, stirring constantly, until rice mixture is creamy and al dente.

8. Remove from heat, stir in butter and cheese, and season with pepper. Ladle risotto onto 6 large plates. Spoon the remaining venison and sauce over each portion, add a small sprig of rosemary, and serve.

Oh, Deer! Take 20% Off All Venison

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.

HPC_VenisonPromo

Featured Recipe: Wagyu Shepherd’s Pie

Why not elevate the homey cottage pie with ground Wagyu beef and a truffle butter mashed potato crust? Equal parts comfort food and haute cuisine, this is a pie to savor. Serve with a pint of pale ale or dry stout for a bit of “pub grub” authenticity.

shepherdspie

Ingredients

4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 tablespoon salt, plus more to taste
1 1/2 cups cream (or milk)
5 tablespoons D’Artagnan Black Truffle Butter
Freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
2 pounds D’Artagnan Kobe-Style Ground Wagyu Beef
1 large onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 carrots, diced
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup peas
1/2 container D’Artagnan Veal Demi-Glace, dissolved with 1/2 cup hot water
1/2 cup red wine

 Preparation 

  1. Place potatoes in a large pot, cover with cold water, add 1 tablespoon salt. Heat over medium-high flame until simmering. Cook until a fork slips in and out easily. Drain potatoes then transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until lumps are gone, about 2 minutes. Add 3 tablespoons black truffle butter, mix until blended. Turn mixer down to low speed. Add cream, salt and pepper to taste, and nutmeg. Do not over mix. Cover with foil, set aside.
  2. Heat a large Dutch-oven or other heavy pot over medium-high flame. Add ground Wagyu beef, cook, breaking up meat with a spoon or spatula until evenly browned and no longer pink. Remove meat with a spotted spoon and set aside. Drain off all but about 2 tablespoons of fat.
  3. Place pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and carrot. Cook, stirring up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until softened, about 7 minutes. Add beef back to the pot. Add tomato paste, mustard and cocoa powder, stirring well to combine. Stir in peas. Add red wine and demi-glace mixture. Again, stir up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer, turn heat down to low. Maintain simmer until most liquid is evaporated and mixture reaches a thick, saucy consistency, about 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  5. Transfer meat mixture to a large baking dish. Spoon mashed potatoes over the top and evenly smooth over the meat using an off-set spatula. Use a fork to make an attractive swirled pattern on the top of the potatoes. Brush with melted truffle butter. Bake until top is golden brown, about 15 – 20 minutes.

Surprise! 12 Hour Flash Sale!

Yes, we’re having a sale within a sale. Dizzying, isn’t it?  Not only is cassoulet 15% off all week, but today we’re slashing prices up to 30%  on selected items at dartagnan.com. Because we love you.

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Cassoulet is 15% Off All Week!

cassoulet in bowl

“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.

Learn more about the preparation and history of cassoulet here.  And the reason we insist on using Tarbais beans here.

Click through to shop the 15% off sale now, because the deal ends Sunday, January 12, 2014.

HPC_CassouletSale

Saucy Series, Part VII: Sauce Béarnaise

Welcome to guest blogger Deana Sidney of Lost Past Remembered, a blog dedicated to discovering, replicating and adapting historic recipes. In this saucy series she demystifies one of the cornerstones of classic French cuisine: the mother sauces.

Sauce Béarnaise

One of the most ostentatious parties of the 19th century was the Bradley-Martin Ball. It was noted that some the costumes cost more than a worker made in their lives (although Mrs. Martin noted that she arranged the party on short notice, so costumes would be made in New York and not Europe so as to employ out-of-work garment workers). Clergy gave sermons about the excesses causing some guests to bow out.

bradley martin not as many-MENU

The menu was elegant and had Filet de Boeuf Jardinière as one of its show-stopping dishes. It was a huge favorite during the gilded age and meant to impress. Aside from beef and vegetables, it always had a sauce Béarnaise to spoon over the delicious beef.

filet of beef jardiniereengraving copy

Ah Béarnaise sauce –– as part of my sauce series, Béarnaise is one of Escoffier’s mother sauces (that I wrote about HERE). History says the sauce was probably invented by Chef Collinet, for his restaurant Le Pavillon Henri IV (opened in 1836). Henri IV was from Béarn. It is essentially a hollandaise with shallots and tarragon that uses wine vinegar instead of lemon. It is fabulous with both beef and vegetables… if you add a bit of meat glaze to the sauce it becomes Sauce Foyot, very delicious with your beef. It’s also a breeze to make.

Although you can make the whole tenderloin, I decided that I would do little filets in the style and make cabbage cups of Béarnaise with the vegetables strewn about under the sauce. You can do an old style garnish if you wish ––cauliflower encased in gelée. It’s fun and delicious.

It doesn’t get better than this. Honestly, it can be ready in ½ an hour (if you don’t get fancy with the gelée).

19th century beef was much leaner than ours, so had to be larded. Not a problem today. I used D’Artagnan’s pasture-raised filet mignon –– a magnificent piece of meat. It has a buttery, cut-with-a-spoon texture and rich, deep flavor. Party like a plutocrat, you won’t be disappointed.

DSC_1165x

Filet Mignon a la Jardiniére

serves 4

4 D’Artagnan’s pasture-raised filet mignon (6-8 oz each)
salt and course ground pepper to taste
2 T butter (or a bit of lard or bacon fat for the flavor of the original larding)
4 T demi-glace
4 t madeira
1 c cooked peas
1 c cooked green beans
2 cooked carrots, sliced into thin sticks
1 cup cooked cauliflower (plus another cup if you want to make the gelée)
4 small cooked onions
4 – 8 leaves of cooked cabbage cut to make small cups
*cauliflower in gelée garnish (optional)

DSC_1095

After cooking them, keep the vegetables warm.

Put the butter (or lard) in a hot pan (preferably cast iron). Salt and pepper the meat. Brown on top and bottom and on the sides, if the meat is very thick. It will be rare when you are done with this. Cook a few minutes longer if you want it medium-rare. Tent and let rest for 5 minutes. Warm the demi-glace and madeira and pour over the meat.

Place the vegetables on the plate and put the cabbage leaf like a cup. Add some Béarnaise to the cup, place the cauliflower gelée and the meat.

Béarnaise Sauce

8 T butter
2 egg yolks
1 shallot, minced
pinch of nutmeg
1 – 2 t chopped fresh tarragon
1/4 c white wine vinegar (tarragon vinegar if you have it) plus 1-2 T
salt and pepper

Put the shallots in a heavy pan if you have it with 1/4 c vinegar and a pinch of pepper and reduce till nearly dry. Let cool.

Add the egg yolks, stirring to blend and put on low heat. Add a few tablespoons of butter and stir to dissolve, removing from the heat from time to time and continue adding butter till all of it is used up. Never let it get too hot or it will separate. Just enough to melt the butter. Add the remaining vinegar to taste and salt and pepper and the chopped tarragon.

You can add a bit of the meat glaze from the beef when you have finished cooking it if you would like. Keep warm. If you need to reheat it, do it gently, it will separate if it gets too hot.

Gelée

3 cups stock
3 envelopes gelatin
2 egg whites and shells, crushed
3 T tomato, chopped
dark green top of 1 leek, chopped
1 sprigs parsley
1/3 c chopped celery leaves
a few slices of carrot
salt and pepper to taste

Put 1 cup of stock in a pot. Add 3 envelopes of gelatin to the stock and let sit for 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir in the rest of the solids and egg whites and shells and add the stock. Bring to a heavy boil then immediately turn down to a low simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and pour through double thickness of WET cheesecloth… DO NOT PRESS ON SOLIDS!!!! Let it drip slowly and you will have perfectly clear, golden stock. You can make it before you need it and refrigerate, just warm it to return it to a liquid state. It freezes beautifully

Put thin slices of cooked cauliflower in a dish of choice and pour the warm gelée over it. refrigerate and serve as a garnish. It is very forgiving. If you don’t like the way it looks in the gelée, just warm and start over.