Vide Congelateur

Whenever we were packing out to leave one country for the next, we used to have these parties called Vide Congelateur, which means empty the freezer.  There was always sure to be these mystery zip lock bags that weren’t labeled and had God knew what in them. We’d take them all out to thaw and whatever was in them, was served at the party, along with the known items.   Some of this stuff was pretty good, we had just forgotten about it; ham slices, roast beef, turkey slices, stuffing, baked beans, gumbo, homemade sausages, etc.  Because we hosted a lot of representational events, we usually had 2-3 freezers, plus the tops of the refrigerators to empty.  The vide congelateur parties were, large, boisterous and well lubricated (we also had to vide the liquor cabinet).

Anyway, today I was looking for something to make for dinner and noticed that we had a few unmarked zip locks in the freezer.   I took them out and discovered some nice spiral cut ham slices from God knows when, a rib steak and some beef kidneys.  The beef kidneys would be our dinner, while the steak and ham would made nice, little grazing sandwiches for lunch.  The steak was made into chicken fried steak sandwiches on multi-grain bread. The ham was made into grilled ham, cheese and onion sandwiches; very similar to the bar sandwiches they make in Ireland, to go with the Guinness.

The beef kidneys were good, not as good as veal kidneys but “correct” 🙂

Beef Kidneys in Wine Sauce

1 lb beef kidneys, cleaned and cut into bite sized pieces

3 tbsp butter

2 shallots, finely sliced

2 garlic cloves, finely sliced

1/2 cup red wine

1 cup veal/beef/chicken broth

Stir fry the kidneys in 2 tablespoons of the butter for about 3 minutes.  Remove and set aside.  Add the remaining butter to the pan (if you have liquid in the pan from frying the kidneys, pour it out) and saute the shallots and garlic until limp.  Add the wine and reduce to half.  Add the broth and simmer for about 15 minutes.  Return the kidneys to the pan and continue to cook for 2 minutes.   Serve with smashed potatoes.

Wine suggestion:  Italian Amarone

About cookinginsens

An American living in Burgundy, France
This entry was posted in American, Cooking, Food and Wine, French, Irish, Main dishes, Recipes, Sandwich and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Vide Congelateur

  1. I really like this idea! Some of that food looks delicious too!

  2. Although kidneys would not get past the internal “douanes” chez nous, I think they look and sound delicious, awakening in me an “offal” carnivorous nostalgia for the bits that fall off. Love the grilled sarnie pic..

  3. I just love the idea of an empty the freezer party. Although, that’d be a pretty big party in our house.

  4. ambrosiana says:

    Very entertaining and creative post! The freezer party idea is very cool!! Love your pictures!!

  5. Karen says:

    The Texan in me is saying yea to chicken fried steak sandwiches.

  6. myFudo says:

    Love the photos especially the sandwich one… so appealing. Great post. Am your new follower.

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