Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Paws off, Cochino!

So I'd heard about filet americain, a common dish here in Brussels, and I'd seen it in restaurants and the grocery and reveled in how unappealing it looked.... and I'll eat just about anything.  But I was rather put off by it.  On a whim at the Delhaize market the other day, I picked up a container of it and didn't look back.  I live here now;  so my French is bad... at least I can appear local.

What exactly is filet americain?  It's a type of steak tartare.  The beef is finely, finely ground and mixed with onions, capers, herbs, other seasonings, and a raw egg.  I typically prefer my tartare to contain bigger pieces of meat, however, and this "filet americain" is more like a sticky spread--the meat is beyond "ground," really.  Well, at least I only set myself back about a euro on the container shown here.

 I decided to spread it on some bread, which is a dish commonly referred to as "toast cannibale" here.  Toast cannibale!?

Well, people, it is my new favorite thing.  It smells heavenly and tastes like deliciousness incarnate.  I allowed myself the two small helpings here and then waited a bit before helping myself to regular small doses throughout the day.  I felt like a "cannibale".... I was craving it, salivating for more, but afraid to eat too much because, um, it's raw meat and egg.  But I was like an animal for it, I tell you!  It is my new favorite thing.  And that's just based off of a grocery store version.  Need to go out to a fancy place for it.... can you imagine how savage I might become for the good stuff??

Oh!  And they spread it on baguettes for sandwiches, as well.  There's one with filet americain, olive oil, sundried tomatoes, and parmesan that I've got my eye on.  Maybe as soon as the weather cools down a bit.  It is, you know, raw.