Bart Stupak Can Kiss My Ass

We’re still having the most gorgeous warm weather, and it has been energizing me in and out of the kitchen. I found a couple of lamb steaks in the freezer, and while they were thawing I pulled some roots. Thinking old-school bistro, and with enough time to do it properly, I made mayonnaise with mustard and yuzu juice, then used that along with yogurt, capers, cornichons, kimchi juice, and herbs to make rémoulade. I tossed little batons of the celeriac in it and put the bowl in the fridge to marinate while I continued to cook.

A bag of fresh edamame (which I opened for the soup from two posts ago) simmered in dashi and then puréed with the liquid to become a silky pastel green- very ’57 Chevy or formica diner table- with a nice harmony of flavor between the two components. Carrots and potatoes roasted with woody herbs and garlic. I rubbed the meat with salt, pepper, and thyme, then seared it in a little butter.

While all this was going on, my wife made it clear that she would no longer be denied the cranberry sauce she has been clamoring for lo the many days since she bought two bags of berries. Now being me, my first instinct was to make cranberry tapenade (we had olives in the fridge too) since it’s positively wicked with lamb. But I was shot down. Emphatically. This was to be a straight-up traditional sauce. And so it was. I love cranberry sauce with an abiding passion. I just love it for dessert, or better still for breakfast eaten directly out of the serving bowl until it’s gone. It’s a little too sweet for me when mixed with regular dinner-type dinners like this. So I took a dollop of it and stirred it into a pan sauce of sake, soy sauce, and goat butter.

I put a little bit of pure sauce on my plate, too, but that was strictly for aesthetic reasons.

Poking around the wine fridge, my hand kept settling on a 2000 Gros Noré Bandol. So I pulled it out, and it was as good as ever. Sturdy yet graceful, it’s a worthy companion for haute peasant fare such as this. Sometimes I wish fall would last all year.

4 comments to Bart Stupak Can Kiss My Ass

  • The Spiteful Chef

    Chris won't eat cranberry sauce because it has "twigs" in it, but I adore it. Never heard of cranberry tapenade, though… do tell.

  • Chris Rywalt

    I love cranberry sauce, even the can-shaped kind, but of course homemade is better. It bothers me that I can only seem to find cranberries around November. I always buy extra and freeze a few bags but they run out very quickly.

    Since I started making the cranberry sauce recipe found in The Joy of Cooking (approximately) I'm always asked to bring the cranberry on Thanksgiving. It goes so well with turkey and also pork. I worked one up using dried cranberries, too, which usually come with sugar.

    It is possible to make fresh cranberry sauce without twigs.

  • Brooke

    Mmm, cranberry sauce with meat. One of my favorites. But I'm lonely in that category, I think. Cranberry tapenade is intriguing. I will try.

    Also, you call that peasant food? You know how much lamb costs these days?

  • peter

    Kristie: Cranberries, olives, tomato paste (or ketchup) maple syrup and a pinch of cayenne.

    Chris: I've never tried that one, unless that's the way my Grandmother did it. It does go well woth pork, but I still prefer it by itself with a big-ass spoon.

    Brooke: See above. And two of these chops were $6 I think.

Yours Truly



I'm a painter who happens to also spend a lot of time growing, making, and writing about food. I'm particularly interested in the intersection of frugal peasant cooking techniques and haute improvisation. And I have a really great personality.

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