In 2007 we had the great fortune of traveling with some good friends through Belgium and France. It would be our friends first time in France, and our first time exploring the French countryside without a business agenda to tend to.
I think that planning a trip is almost as much fun as getting on the plane and actually leaving, and for this particular journey, we planned for several months. Food and wine played a large role in our wish list and, given all logistics, the Burgundy region of France seemed like a good area to explore. I was responsible for lodging and spent many happy hours perusing hotel web sites. Finally though, I struck gold with www.innsoffrance.com. This site is a great resource if you’re looking for small, out of the way inns. The one we chose, Auberge La Beursaudiere, seemed too good to be true…it’s a few centuries old and the rooms are around a courtyard.
There are only 11 rooms, each uniquely decorated. This was the view from our bathroom…you had to open the wooden shutters to see it:
And this is the little terrace outside our friends’ room. In the early evening we would ask the staff to bring us a bottle of local wine…they always added a little amuse bouche to go with it.
So, aside from the price, the charm, the wine and the scenery, this inn also had a wonderful restaurant. The little town of Nitry was pretty dull, but this place was packed every night. They served regional fare…think sophisticated country food. My favorite dish was ouefs en meurette–eggs baked in red wine. Here’s a recipe from a cookbook my friends bought for me in Burgundy:
1/4 lb bacon, minced
1/2 bottle red wine
1 1/2 tsp butter
1 onion, minced
3 shallots, minced
1 bouquet garni
salt and pepper
Make a roux of the butter and flour. Add the bacon, bouquet garni, wine, 1/3 cup water, onion and shallot, salt and pepper to taste.
Cook for 30-40 minutes.
Remove bouquet garni and strain sauce.
Fill four individual ovenproof baking dishes 2/3 full of sauce. Break 2 eggs into each. Bake at 375 until whites are cooks and yolks are still liquid. (check after 15 minutes).
Serve with sliced baguette rubbed with garlic