Spicy Ham and Red Beans; dead animals in the meat case; Weekly Menu

Fall is here.

One can find big baskets of wild mushrooms In the supermarkets as well as small baskets offered for sale by the side of the road.

The crack of gun-fire announces the dawn as the hunters are out in droves, searching for deer, boar, birds and bunnies.

And there are dead animals in the meat cases at the supermarket.

Not butchered animals; whole animals in all their mortal glory.

I would have taken a photo but then I would have been a wide-eyed tourist gawking rather than a jaded Frenchwoman passing by.

But this is what it looked like:

Starting on the left are the joints of beef, huge chunks that the butcher will cut bits off to order.  One can sometimes see half of a rib cage or entire tongues.  Yesterday there was a basket of hearts. There are also small cuts, rolled roasts, steaks, etc.

Next to the beef is a similar display of veal and, occasionally horse.  Oh yes, and the ‘abats’ or offal: livers, tripe, brains, whatever is on hand.

Pork is in the middle, complete with chops, roasts, trotters (feet) and ears.

There is a smaller display of lamb and mutton, but with the same variety…. Lamb’s kidneys are always a popular item.

Finally, the birds and bunnies.  I only recognized the pheasants, but there were 3 or 4 other types in the case – complete with head, feet and a full compliment of feathers. Next to them were the rabbits, also complete: heads, long ears, tails and fur.

On the far right of the case, rounding out your selection, were the chickens.  They were at least plucked, although still retaining heads and feet. 

Oh, and a few ‘boneless, skinless chicken breasts’… and turkey breasts.

Can you imagine a supermarket in the US having uncleaned game? Let alone feathered birds and furry rabbits leaning on the pork roast and plucked chickens?

That’s why we’re healthier here – more exposure to…. stuff. LOL

The ham is kept in a separate case.

You can add jalapeños or other hotter peppers if you like; or finish it with Tabasco or other hot sauce…. I’m a wimp.

Spicy Ham and Red Beans with Rice
Spicy Ham and Red Beans on Brown Rice

1 onion
4 cloves garlic
1 rib celery
1/2 green pepper
1 tbs olive oil
15oz (450gr) whole or crushed tomatoes
8oz (250gr) ham either type, a thick slice
15oz, 450gr red kidney beans
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
4oz (125gr) chopped green chilies
1 tbs chili powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
anything else you would like to add to make it hotter – jalapeños, red pepper flakes?

Chop onions, celery and pepper. Finely chop garlic. Heat oil in large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add chili powder and sauté 1 minute. Add onions, celery, pepper, garlic and sauté 7 – 8 minutes. Trim ham and cut into bite-size pieces. Add ham and sauté briefly. Drain and rinse the beans. Drain the tomatoes then roughly chop. Add beans, tomatoes, juices, Worcestershire, and herbs. Cover and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Add green chilies and simmer 5 minutes more. Taste and add anything you like to make it hotter. Serve over brown rice. 

In addition to this, for the week of October 22 we have Spanokopittas, Scallops Provencal, Roast Chicken, Risotto with Chicken and Mushrooms, Pork Tenderloin with White Wine and Mustard….

Thyme for Cooking is a Weekly Menu Planning Service focusing on healthy, seasonal foods.

Join now and try it free for a week!  The menu, complete recipes with meal preparation instructions, and shopping list is available each Thursday.  (Reverse seasons available for Australia, and others in the Southern Hemisphere).

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10 thoughts on “Spicy Ham and Red Beans; dead animals in the meat case; Weekly Menu”

  1. I think the feathers are retained (as well as feet and heads) to confirm the species. Eeek. We are squeamish here in the US and prefer our meats “sanitized” of any recognizable parts. Somehow assuages our guilt.

  2. Shopping for food in France is always an experience, even at Monoprix or Franprix.
    That looks pretty darned good, by the way. Just the ticket for a fall evening.

  3. Well…. I do think that display would make me turn to vegatarianism. I am indeed a wimp, and I admit it. It does, however, sound like the meat you get might be raised under better circumstances than much of it here in the States.
    At some point I’ll actually read the recipe. It sounds pretty yummy. 🙂

  4. I just could not look at those carcases. I am mainly vegetarian but on occasion do enjoy red meat. The spicy ham and red beans is much more my thing and not the basket of broken hearts.

  5. I just had to chuckle at your comments. I remember the first time, back in 1968, that I entered a German supermarket. Actually, back in those days, they were not super yet. Seeing clothed bunnies and birds was almost shocking. It makes you wonder why America is so…different. One of the best meals I remember was a roasted rooster in the area of Cortona, Italy. He came to the table, rolled on a cart with head and feet attached. He was carved by my plate and it was the best tasting chicken in my life.

  6. Zoomie, I would trust them if they just labeled the birds….
    Mimi, sometimes it’s really an adventure… and one never knows what treats might be included.
    Laurie, I’m getting used to it – as long as I don’t have to deal with it myself…
    Healy, it is… and tasty!
    Manningroad, it takes some getting used to….
    Susan, when we first moved to Andorra, the furred and feathered were hanging from meat hooks – help yourself! (Too much for me!)
    Terry, there is no doubt as to what it is and that it’s fresh!
    Pam, most people here a much closer to the land and the farms then they are in the US…. they learn from their parents.

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