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Christmas Beast Feast

December 14, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Dear Chef Bourdain;

I’m hosting Christmas dinner for 10 to 12 people, and don’t want to break the bank. The “Les Halles Cookbook” has lots of great recipes for big dishes based on reasonably priced cuts of meat – but the problem is what’s a cheap cut in France is like frickin’ expensive in L.A. I believe this is not the first time I’ve made that particular lament.

Your “No Reservations” holiday special was of very little use – since I can’t count on Dave Chang and Mario Batali sending their contributions, and unless something weird happens, no one is going to give me a side of beef cut to order, and Ruhlman won’t be around as sous-chef. I’ll have the enthusiastic help of Assistant-Chef Bourdain, at least. (If you look closely at this picture, he’s actually licking his lips.)

This is an obligatory dog picture.

If it was a small gathering, I’d go with the Cote d’Boeuf – serve it in bleeding, fat-rippled chunks with a ridiculously expensive cabernet in cheap glasses. Just to show ’em who’s their daddy. (It might not be me. I’ve never seen that woman before in my life. I want a DNA test!)

But with this many, that would easily top $200, and I’m saving up for a wedding, I’ve got car payments,  yadda yadda. Must be nice to be a celebrity chef sometimes, with people more than happy to donate equipment and ingredients. But as a humble IT nerd, cost is an issue. But several of my guests are serious foodies, too, so I don’t want to just phone it in – and we’re having a big Christmas goose the night before, so a smoked turkey is out. Let me tell you, it’s not French cuisine, but when I do a turkey in the smoker, it’s pretty amazing.

So I dunno. I might not be able to use your cookbook on this one. I’m open to suggestions (and corporate sponsors! “This Christmas Beast Feast brought to you by … [The Travel Channel? Monsanto? Wusthof?] and God Inc. ™  bless us, every one.”

I guess it’s unreasonable to expect to dazzle a big bunch of foodies with fine French cuisine and stay on a budget. I don’t think I ever made a claim to be reasonable though.

Help me out here, Chef. You owe me after that rillettes disaster!


Categories: Maundering
  1. December 14, 2010 at 11:12 AM

    Costco, Davy. Costco is your friend on the cheap meat.

  2. December 14, 2010 at 11:15 AM

    Even Costco prices on a bone-in steak like cote d’boeuf are prohibitive for that many people. Believe me, I’ve been pimpin’ my Costco card like a Thai ladyboy whenever I need a big slab o’ meat. But for 12 or more people, it still blows the budget. And Whole Foods? Fogeddaboudit.

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