Honest Cooking's own Gastro-Man Brian Lambæk has created 8 fantastic recipes that will keep you and your friends extremely well fed all through the Le Mans 24 Hour race.
Saturday 11th of June, 15.00 CET !
For about a year, motor sports enthusiasts from around the world have waited for this moment.
One of the oldest and perhaps the most tradition-rich motor sports-event in the world begins. The TV signal is broadcasted to half a billion households and around a quarter of a million spectators will be standing along the Circuit de la Sarthe's 13,629 km, to see the fleet of super cars back down more than 5000km over the next 24 hours ...
Despite the longevity and the many traditions around the race, it has been more than difficult to track down culinary traditions from Le Mans day, as you see it around the Super Bowl, World Cup Finals and other major sporting events. Something has to be done, right?
Therefore, I've worked out a 24h menu, which will suit your Le Mans-party perfectly.
That is, if you are willing to consume French Bistro classics instead of "Italian" pizzas, Chinese noodles or Mexican burritos. The different dishes are chosen so that they will "minimize" your time in the kitchen during the race itself - and of course because they taste damn good!
Here we go!15.00
The race starts and so does the endless amount of food that you and your guests will consume over the next 24 hours.
We will celebrate the start of the race with a glass of Cremant from Loire - the northwestern region where Le Mans is the main city. Carte Turquoise from Florent Baumard would be my choice for starting off the Le Mans day in a good way...
Together with the bubbles, we'll serve a little thing to eat. And as the perfect host you are, you would do anything in your power to bring the screeching and smoking tires on the track in the forest area, into your living room:
Now is the right time to serve the next dish. There is still a long way to go, so we will save the main meal for just a little longer. Your guests are obviously still so over excited, that eating with cutlery would be something of a challenge.
That is why you will serve them a handheld version of the French über-classic Tournedos Rossini:
Photo by Alex Brown Through Flickr
Five hours down - 19 to go! The cars are nicely spread out across the track, the fastest Peugeots and Audis has built a solid lead, while the first few cars are running into problems.
At your place, the party starts to run at higher speeds and you are now ready to serve the first course in the three-course meal, you will enjoy over the next four to five hours.
With so much time between the courses, you have plenty of time to sit and chat over dinner. Therefore, you serve your guests an upscale version of the classic - Moules marinières:
The race is now entering a "dead" period, where the drivers are waiting for the night to fall.
This is the time for you to jump to the evening's culinary main attraction, 24 Heures du Steak - the 24 hour "baked" steak served with béarnaise butter:
Darkness has settled over the Circuit de la Sarthe and it now time to fill your energy storages and boost your blood sugar level, to cope with the rest of the night easy and elegantly. However some of your less trained guests will probably be starting to enter a state of repletion at this time.
That is why you choose to serve a not too heavy Tarte Tartin with either vanilla ice cream or creme chantilly:
Over the halfway mark! Most of Europe is dreaming sweet dreams in their beds at this time, but the previous sugar boost has kicked in and your Le Mans party is still at its peak. There is still fiercely long time before breakfast is served, and it seems quite unlikely that you will be able to survive the night without a single small serving.
My guess is, that your culinary skills - like mine - are opposite proportional to your intake of alcohol, so at this time we will lower the difficulty to the lowest possible level.
Your visitors will therefore be looking at a Croque Madame.
Now it gets really hard! But take heart ... You have now completed more than 3 / 4 of the race and there is only six hours left before you will pop the last bottle of bubbles.
Legend Tom Kristensen and his team once again have had a really good night, and is now in the lead. Naturally, this calls for a celebration and since it is 5 hours since you last consumed a meal of importance, your stomach is more than ready for a new party.
That is why Eggs Benedict will be the perfect choice for breakfast:
Only two hours left of Le Mans vintage 2011! Hopefully, both cars and your party have made it through the first 22 hours without too severe engine problems. In any case, fatigue is kicking in and you will still need a single pit stop to get to the finish line.
Your last culinary stop will be a Salade Chevre Chaud, which should help you through the last few hours, without overloading the system too violently:
Pop!!! Time to drink bubbles! You did it ... of course!
The day ends with a toast to the winner, the race and to the party. And after your amazing effort in the kitchen throughout the day, your guests will also toast to you. The ring is closed and the cars are back where they started 24 hours ago.
You will close the ring as well - by serving the last cold bottle of Cremant de Loire.
Enjoy your meal and a toast for a good race!