[Limousin Steak]


La Creuse, just as with many parts of France, has a rich culinary history and many small, yet wonderful, restaurants tucked away in its towns and villages. On the left you can find links to restaurants in which we have dined and can recommend.

The cuisine of Creuse is based on the simple country fare found throughout Limousin – fresh fish from the region’s lakes and rivers and good, finely marbled beef from red-brown Limousin cattle.

Whilst this is not a wine-producing area, it has a wealth of local cheeses, and cakes such as le gâteau creusois and substantial dishes like le pâté aux pommes de terre. The latter was traditionally made with leftover bread dough, flavoured with garlic and fatty bacon, and cooked in the same bread oven. Both of these are easily available for a few Euro in the several bakers of Dun-le-Palestel.

Another dish, Potée du Limousin is traditional hotpot made with lard, de poitrine fumée, de petit salé, cabbage, leeks, turnips, carrots and potatoes. There are also many restaurants serving the region’s most famous pudding of clafoutis – a sort of Yorkshire pudding made with fruit, usually cherries, baked in batter.

Local fruit such as cherries and apples are available in season, and cider made with Limousin apples is delicious. Delicious too are La Creuse specialities of rabbit cooked in cider and noisettines d’Aubusson – light cakes flavoured with hazelnuts.

Fresh bread can be obtained daily from one of several wonderful bakeries in Dun-le-Palestel or else if you listen out for the bread delivery van sounding its horn you can buy just outside the house on the roadside. At the same time you can meet the local ladies and gents who are doing likewise and exchange some pleasantries.

Also in Dun-le-Palestel you can find several first-class butchers who can furnish you with tranches of that excellent steak you can see at the top of this page. It needs but a few minutes’ turning in hot pan with oil, butter and garlic to be transformed into something close to the finest steak you can recall.

On Thursday morning there is a wonderful market in Dun-le-Palestel  where local produce really takes centre stage. Cheeses, preparations, vegetables, fruits and other comestibles are widely available at a premium.

For everything else there’s a large Intermarché to be found on the edge of town. Just follow the signs.

I’ve collected a handful of regional recipes in this section of the website which you can put together from the local produce. Bonne chance et Bon appetite!