In these cold, dark, wet autumn days, nothing says ‘comfort’ better than a rich stew or braise. There’s something reassuring about a warming bowl or plate filled with the intense fall flavours of root vegetables, meats, mushrooms and herbs simmered slowly for hours and accompanied by a crusty loaf, crisp salad and glass of ‘rouge.’
The French have always had a special affinity for braises and ‘automne’ is definitely their season.Think hearty classics like Boeuf Bourguignon, Cassoulet or Daube de Boeuf. Somehow ordinary ‘beef stew’ doesn’t have the same allure.
Every fall, Granville Island’s L’Epicerie Gourmande makes an iconic Cassoulet. This isn’t an assemble-it-yourself affair where you get the beans and have to supply the rest of the ingredients; this is a real French cassoulet made lovingly by a real French chef – David Izquierdo, from Marseille. Duck confit, Toulouse sausage, Parisian garlic sausage and haricots blanc are brought together in what can only be described as culinary heaven.
Starting November 1st through the end of February, you can take home a cassoulet made just for you. L’Epicerie accepts pre-orders through the week for pickup at the shop from Friday through Sunday. For something as labour-intensive as cassoulet, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the price – small size $14.50, large is $28. $30 gets you a large size portion vacuum-packed in a terracotta pot. Instead of spending hours over the stove, just call L’Epicerie to pre-order, tell them when you want to pick it up and et voila, it will be waiting for you when you come to the shop.
L’Epicerie also offers a number of other fall faves, both fresh and frozen, in the shop. Pre-ordering is not necessary for these. You might fancy Canard Parmentier (Duck Shepherd’s Pie) featuring duck confit, onions, vegetables, potatoes, butter, cream, bread crumbs, herbs priced at $9 for an individual-serving pie. Or, how about traditional dishes such as Daube de Boeuf Provencale ($11 for small/ $20 for large), Navarin d’Agneau ($13/$24) or Lapin Sauce Chausseur – rabbit braised with onions, garlic, white wine, bacon, mushrooms, vegetables, olives, herbs ($14/$28), to name but three of the many dishes on L’Epicerie’s seasonal menu.
Let the rain come and the winds howl, they’re easy to ignore when you are cosy at home enjoying classic comfort food cooked for you by L’Epicerie Gourmande. It’s like having your own French Maman to spoil you.
Granville Island Public Market,
1689 Johnston Street
Vancouver, BC Canada V6H 3R9
Open 7 days a week:
9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
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