Pouring over maps of France during our recent holiday planning got me thinking of the town of Dijon. That naturally led to thoughts of mustard. Dijon mustard is one of those required staples in my kitchen, although I usually don’t consciously think about it. A jar of it is always there, ready when I need a spoon or two of the spicy yellow stuff.
I am quite hoping that those holiday plans might mean a slight detour into the Burgundy town of Dijon where the origin of this particular recipe for mustard can be traced back to 19th century. Although, most of the mustard traded under the name of Dijon is now manufactured by big multi-nationals – not in the Dijon region nor necessarily even in France. Much of the mustard is also now made with Canadian mustard seeds and uses white wine unlike the original that used verjuice. Sad, really, that such a tradition has now been altered and is the product of huge corporations. But, Dijon mustard never attained the protection of the AOC (appellation d’origine contrôlée), a distinction based on the concept of terroir, like Roquefort cheese, Puy lentils and Corsican honey.
Moving on from Dijon and back to that holiday planning… Trailing a finger south and a little east on the map, the route (literally) cuts through the Alps. The 11.611 km (7.215 miles) Mount Blanc tunnel begins in France and debouches into Italy. Thoughts moved on to northern Italy, which reminded me of a recipe I recently ran across, said to be from Lombardy. That recipe and the idea of Dijon mustard coalesced into this fusion of a French-style sauce with a Northern Italian herbed poultry dish.
Herbed Turkey Steaks with a Creamy Dijon Mustard Sauce
So simple to do and packed with loads of flavour! Besides, all the herbs were conveniently growing in my garden, just waiting to be picked. Serve with a big baby leaf salad and a loaf of crusty bread.
- 450g. (1lb.) breast meat turkey
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon fresh marjoram
- 6 fresh sage leaves
- 1 Tablespoon fresh tarragon
- 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme
- 2 Tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup double (= heavy) cream
- 1 teaspoon corn flour (= corn starch)
- 2 heaping Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pot on medium-high neat. Slice the turkey breast into 1/2 inch steaks.
Clean and chop all the herbs.
Brown the turkey on one side in the oil. Turn the meat and immediately lower the heat to a simmer, sprinkle on the chopped herbs and add the white wine. Cover and cook gently for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix the corn flour with a little of the cream to make sure there are no lumps before adding the rest of the cream. Mix in the mustard. Set this aside while the meat continues to cook.
When the 30 minutes is up, turn the heat off the meat. Turn the meat, herb side down and replace the lid. Let the meat sit for 10 to 15 minutes before removing it to a warm platter. Place foil over the platter and keep warm in the oven, set at the lowest temperature.
Make the sauce, turn on the heat to medium-high under the pot that still has a small amount of wine and the herb pieces. Pour in the cream and mustard. Scrape the herbed pieces from the bottom of the pot and keep stirring until the sauce begins to thicken. Serve the meat with some sauce spooned over top and any leftover in a sauce bowl on the side.