Silver Travel Cook Club - June 2020

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Silver Travel Cook ClubEmerald Waterways

The Silver Travel Cook Club hopes that you’re all continuing to cope with the current challenging environment. New travel adventures may well still be a way off, but in the meantime let's travel through food.

This month’s Silver Travel Cook Club features a classic recipe for Boeuf Bourguignon, courtesy of sponsor Emerald Waterways and inspired by their Sensations of Lyon & Provence holiday.

And you could win an Emerald Waterways goody bag and a copy of New French Table.

Emerald Waterways Sensations of Lyon & Provence ItineraryYour 8-day adventure starts in Chalon-sur-Saône, known for its art and history. Here, you will have the opportunity to witness the area’s architectural heritage and peaceful surrounds as you travel to the quaint village of Beaune and visit the Hospices de Beaune, originally a hospital for the poor, and now home to one of Burgundy’s most popular wine auctions.

Cruising south, arrive in Lyon - France’s third-largest city - on the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers. Lyon is a former Roman capital, steeped in history and considered to be the gastronomic heartbeat of the country and the home of traditional Lyonnaise cuisine. Explore the city on foot or by bike.

The picturesque village of Tournon borders the gently meandering Rhône, dominated by a 16th-century castle that overlooks the village and a number of iconic landmarks, including a set of ancient watchtowers.

Emerald WaterwaysArrive in Viviers, a town with much Middle Age flair and home to one of France’s oldest cathedrals. Your included walking tour of Viviers will showcase some of its numerous listed monuments, along with their ornate windows and lavish façades.

Avignon has a rich history, from Celtic beginnings to being the residence of the Pope and central to the French Revolution. Your included walking tour of Avignon will take you past the ornate beauty of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Palais des Papes, as well as the famous Pont d’Avignon, an ancient stone bridge crossing the Rhône.

The past is yours to discover in Arles, once an important Phoenician trading port that was captured by the Romans, who peppered the city with iconic monuments. Today, your included tour of the city will showcase some of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Roman and Romanesque monuments of Arles, showing how the city has evolved over the centuries.

Full details of the itinerary, what’s included and transfers can be found here.


Departure dates and pricing:

  • 8-day Sensations of Lyon & Provence holiday with Emerald Waterways departs from April to October 2021.
  • Prices from £2,045 per person.

Recipe: Emerald Waterways’ Boeuf Bourguignon

Ingredients (serves 6):

  • 1.6kg / 3lb 8oz good-quality braising steak
  • 4–5 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 200g / 7oz smoked bacon lardons or smoked streaky bacon, cut into 2cm pieces
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 75cl red wine
  • 2 tablespoons tomato purée
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 2  bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 25g / 1oz butter
  • 450g / 1lb pearl onions
  • 300g /10½oz chestnut mushrooms, halved
  • 2 heaped tablespoons cornflour
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • sea salt and ground black pepper
  • chopped parsley to garnish


Cut the braising steak into chunky pieces, each around 4-5cm / 1½–2in. Trim off any fat. Season the beef with salt and pepper.

Heat two tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan. Fry the beef over a medium–high heat until nicely browned, turning occasionally and adding more oil if necessary. As soon as the beef is browned, transfer to a large casserole dish. Preheat the oven to 170°C / 150°C Fan / Gas 3.

Boeuf BourguignonPour a little more oil into the pan in which the beef was browned and fry the bacon for 2–3 minutes. Add the bacon to the meat. Add a little more oil to the frying pan and fry the chopped onion over a low heat for 5–6 minutes until softened. Stir the garlic into the pan and cook for 1 minute.

Add the onion and garlic to the pan with the meat and pour over the wine. Stir in the tomato purée and 150ml / 5fl oz water. Crumble over the stock cube, add the herbs and bring to a simmer. Stir well,  cover with a lid and transfer to the oven. Cook for 1½ –1¾ hours until the beef is almost tender.

While the beef is cooking, peel the button onions. Put the onions in a heatproof bowl and cover with just-boiled water. Leave to stand for five minutes and then drain. When the onions are cool enough to handle, trim off the root close to the end and peel off the skin.

A few minutes before the beef is ready, melt half of the butter in a large non-stick frying pan with a touch of oil and fry the onions over a medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until golden brown on all sides. Tip into a bowl. Add the remaining butter and mushrooms to the pan and cook for 2–3 minutes until golden brown.

Mix the cornflour with the water in a small bowl until smooth.

Emerald Waterways goodie bagWin Emerald Waterways goody bag and a copy of New French TableHow to win an Emerald Waterways goody bag and a copy of New French Table

With overseas travel still restricted, we’re reminiscing about eating in France, and would love to know your favourite memory. It could be a fresh pain au chocolat enjoyed whilst strolling through a local market or a plat du jour in a traditional brasserie accompanied by a glass (or two) of local vin rouge. Please tell us in the Comments section below, and the best entry will win a super Emerald Waterways goody bag and a copy of this New French Table cook book which may give you some merveilleux ideas for your own cuisine.

Read more about all of our Silver Travel Cook Club recipes.


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Other Members' Thoughts - 14 Comment(s)

  • SilverTravelEditor
    about 1 year ago
    Thanks for all the great comments so far this month. And there's still just over a day left to tell us about your favourite French foodie memories, to be in with a chance to win the 'New French Table' cook book AND a fab goody bag from our sponsor Emerald Waterways.
    Allons y!
  • maizyboo
    over 1 year ago
    Moules mariniere and crusty bread.
  • TrevorN
    over 1 year ago
    We were staying in Brest and doing a short circular walk which I’d found in a local guidebook. We parked at a lighthouse and spent the morning walking along GR34 along the coast to a small fishing village for lunch. However, when we got there the whole town appeared to have closed down as it was early September and their summer season was over. We had nothing to eat and set off to walk back through the lanes to the car, but just outside the town we found a small hotel serving ‘menu du jour’. This turned to be a delicious, if basic, meal of salad, stew and crepe surrounded by locals enjoying true home cooking. It was the sort of restaurant we would normally walk past but was a truly French meal and so welcome after a morning’s walk.
  • Patricia48
    over 1 year ago
    Love food and wine and most of our holidays are remembered by what we ate and drank. Memorable holiday cruising on the canal du midi in the 1980s with 2 children, stopping off at towns and villages along the way to experience good food, breakfast croissants, 'raw' steaks (which didn't go down too well with one of the children, who bravely asked for it to be 'without blood') and a stop at a vineyard to taste and purchase wine (adults). Also several duck dishes experienced in the Dordogne region and visits/tastings/purchase of wine from the local vineyards in more recent times.
  • Hardyplant
    over 1 year ago
    I'd never had a holiday in France until 1976 when my then husband and I took our son, who was six, camping in Brittany - I can't remember the exact village, but it was next to a beautiful sandy beach and the closest town was Vannes. We couldn't afford to eat out much so we bought a lot of food at the local supermarket where the choice was so much better than at home and it was there that I first came across jars with layers of petit pois and baby carrots rather than in cans; I thought they looked lovely. We indulged in gorgeous fruit tarts from the supermarket patisserie and they were really memorable. As we were in Brittany we thought we ought to try their oysters, but I've been trying to forget that experience ever since.
  • SilverTravelEditor
    over 1 year ago
    Merci tout le monde for these interesting and entertaining first comments on your most memorable eating experience in France. I was drooling over your chocolate-fuelled breakfasts @DRSask - and can't stop giggling at your graphic representation of strong cheese @Woofles .

    And if you haven't already seen it, take a look at this feature from Roger Bray, our very own News Editor. He has some marvellous foodie memories after a lifetime's love affair with this captivating country. He got through quite a lot of wine too!

    Please keep those favourite French foodie memories coming, to be in with a chance of winning a copy of the 'New French Table' cook book, and a goody bag from Cook Club sponsor Emerald Waterways.
  • GBG
    over 1 year ago
    France is full of places serving culinary delights and over the years I have enjoyed a few. One of my favourites has to be the fantastic Fruit de Mer served in a lovely small restaurant by a pair of quite elderly ladies who like everything "just so" in the back streets of Honfleur.
  • philatel
    over 1 year ago
    My favourite memories whilst visiting friends in Lyon in a very cold November was living on Croque Monsieur and hot chocolate all day while they were at work. This hot snack was absolutely delicious and extremely warming and we never tired of eating it.
  • applegroupie
    over 1 year ago
    Many years ago I was given a cookery book one Christmas. One of my New Year resolutions was to work through the recipes of that cookery book from A to Z. One of the recipes under B was Boeuf Bourguignon. I remember red wine was one of the ingredients but not sure if it was 75cl. Anyway, when I served it to my family that same evening, my children, then ten and six hated it. I am sure I didn't go over overboard with the wine but I could still taste it, it hadn't all evaporated into the sauce. Needless to say my New Year resolution broke after that, especially as the next recipe was cauliflower cheese.

  • GrannyCR
    over 1 year ago
    Camping in Brittany as a 5 year old, going to buy baguettes for breakfast with my sister, learning how to ask in French. We felt so grown up!
  • Woofles
    over 1 year ago
    As a kid my parents took us to France for a day trip. I was desperate to practice the French I’d learnt at school but I wasn’t very good. At one point we were in a cheese shop and my dad being a cheese lover, was keen to purchase a selection of strong cheeses. He spoke no French and the shopkeeper spoke little English so I tried. I could remember the word for cheese (fromage of course) and I could remember how to ask for something. The problem was I could not think of the word for strong. So in the middle of the shop I started doing strongman poses in the hope the shopkeeper would understand. In amongst the whole of my family, the shopkeeper and all the other customers rotating with laughter, we got our cheese. It is now family folklore.
  • EmilyE
    over 1 year ago
    An amazing meal at a small 'shack' with tables on the banks of the Yonne near Auxerre. Quail was on the menu but oh dear me it came complete with head!! The patron and native diners roared with laughter as I hesitantly asked for it to be taken away and returned minus head.. it was delicious
  • LindyLouMac
    over 1 year ago
    The Waterways of France are somewhere I holidayed many years ago with children. Would love to return in style with an Emerald Waterways trip one day, meanwhile winning this book would give us a chance to sample more of the delicious French cuisine.
  • DRSask
    over 1 year ago
    Over the years I have posted many reviews about memorable meals in France. They’ve usually focused on evening or lunch time meals so this time I’ve decided to post about breakfast. On my first trip to France over twenty years ago I was delighted to discover that I could have hot chocolate with my breakfast. Not just a mug of hot chocolate but a pot of hot chocolate so I could replenish my cup to my heart’s content. Not that that’s all I had for breakfast. After all, what would hot chocolate be without a pain chocolat to dunk? I tend to find their coffee too strong but the hot chocolate and pain chocolat are devine and perfectly not sweet. On that trip, I had hot chocolate and pain chocolat for breakfast every day along with delicious muesli, fresh fruit and yogurt to add something healthy. On subsequent visits my morning ritual has remained the same although I will admit that on my last visit I never had the muesli, fresh fruit or yogurt along with my daily chocolate fix. I had a very small orange juice and occasionally I had some baguette with butter and jam and a couple of times I added an egg for some protein. The rest of the day was balanced out with wonderful fresh salads and/or other veggies but when you’re in France so infrequently, you might as well eat what you enjoy. With all the walking I do there’s no danger of gaining weight either.