Dear Adoring Public, After a long pescetarian hiatus, I’m happy to say that Les Américains are back! I hope that your lives have not seemed too empty without my highly irregular musings on raw meat and mayonnaise and/or the Bristol restaurant scene. There are sadly some temporary setbacks to report in our quest to uncover the best raw meat Schaerbeek and the world have to offer: APP is currently under strict doctor’s orders to under no circumstances eat any, I repeat any, filet Américain! This being Belgium the doctors take extra care to tell you that when they say ‘no filet Américain’ that really means none, not even a cheeky little Martino Sandwich now and then (public health retraction: despite claims I may have previously made in print and in person, the combination of anchovies and tabasco does not ‘trump’ salmonella. I apologise for any misunderstanding and hurt that this may have caused). This blow for the team was only compounded by La Muncha’s refusal to even try the red gold, I’m frankly beginning to wonder if we’re really related. These minor obstacles in our family quest for the perfect balance between lean meat and mayonnaise have led me to introduce a new feature to this blog, one that will undoubtedly go into the annals of (the downfall of) Western Civilisation. (If, incidentally, you are interested in the downfall of western civilisation check out the post-Europe project over on another channel.) Back to our new feature: Philosophers Who Eat Meat!
The first instalment of Philosophers Who Eat Meat takes us back in time and space. The date: 24 May 2012! The Philosopher: Rudolf Bernet! The Américain: Brasserie de la Paix, Anderlecht. OK, this is big time. For one thing, it’s the first Michelin starred filet Américain we’ve tried, it’s also the most expensive Américain I’ve ever eaten (23euro). It also doesn’t seem to to be on their menu any more. And perhaps most importantly, it’s the only restaurant I’ve seen that has a custom made musical tribute by the Belgian Cowboy Arno on its website. But as we know, things are not always what they seem. There were serious questions to be answered. Was this even an Américain? What’s in this little bowl full of green foam?
This is the level of inquiry that we’re grappling with here. OK, back to the Brasserie. Brasserie de la Paix is the culinary project of…blah, blah, blah, who cares, we’re here for the meat. The only factoid that matters is that it’s located just across from giant bulls that guard the entry to the Abattoirs d’Anderlecht. So it turns out that the little bowl of foam was filled with a wonderful vegetable broth, some delicious fresh fat spring peas and a nice strip of Pata Negra, oh and the green foam, also pea. This was a serious step up from the usual cocktail onions and tiny gherkins, and this Américain was tasting like a better deal by the minute. Onto the big show – L’Américain. This wasn’t really like any other Américain I’ve ever had. For one thing it was wrapped in Jambon Rouge de Flandre. Now, I’ve no real idea what Jambon Rouge de Flandre might be, maybe it was the invention of La Paix, who knows, but in this little roll of mystery meat was the Américain dream à la belge. Lean and succulent, no mayonnaise to be seen (I usually don’t sanction this), perfectly seasoned, ever so delicately garnished. We’ll let Rudolf Bernet’s hands do the talking.
The frites were proper, double fried, but a few too few – that seems to come with the Michelin star territory.
This probably doesn’t really count as an Américain so the search must go on, but the House Committee on Un-Américain Activities (HUAC) can only salivate at the memory of this subversive yet exquisite roll of deliciousness.