When I was in the butcher’s buying the lamb chops we had for Sunday lunch I saw a kind of sausage I hadn’t seen there before: saucisson à cuire pistaché Lyonnais à l’ancienne. Well, I can never resist anything new, especially if it has pistachios in it and especially if it’s a traditional recipe, à l’ancienne, so I asked Mme Perez how she would cook it. First, she said it should be boiled in water. Could you add vegetables to make a soup at the same time, I asked. Oh, yes, she said, that’s what I’d do. So that’s what I did yesterday.
I chopped some carrots, half a fennel bulb, some garlic and a large potato and put them all in a pan with some herbs and the sausage, brought it to the boil and simmered for 35 minutes. I took the sausage out but continued cooking the vegetables for a little longer as they weren’t quite soft enough for soup. If you were going to eat them as a vegetable they would have been fine with the same cooking time as the sausage. Then I left it all overnight in the fridge, although it could have been eaten straight away.
We decided to liquidise the soup and eat it with croutons as a first course – it was a lovely tasty soup, fennel flavoured, thick and smooth. The sausage was cold, of course, so I sliced it, peeled it and we ate it with potatoes roasted in duck fat as our second course.
While we were eating it we remembered that we’d had a similar Lyonnais sausage cooked in brioche as a first course at Le Train Bleu, the ornately decorated restaurant in the Gare de Lyon in Paris. This restaurant was built in 1900, in elaborate art nouveau style, with painted ceilings by three different painters, ‘Paris’ by Flameng, ‘Lyon’ by Debufe and ‘Marseille’ by Saint-Pierre, representing the main cities served by the station from which ‘le train bleu’ travelled to the Mediterranean. It’s a rather over-the-top style for me and Lo Jardinièr, and it’s hardly a station café, with the tasting menu costing 98 euros per person, but once, a few years ago when we were coming home from Paris, we did treat ourselves to the ‘quick’ menu which I think cost about 50 euros then. It was a memorable experience! But we enjoyed our Lyonnais sausage today, too, in rather more relaxed surroundings.
It’s worth having a look at the restaurant’s website – here – if you haven’t been there.