Today is the first of two rest days, giving us the chance to get some perspective on the first ten days of racing. Despite the often apocalyptic build-up to last night’s time trial there is still a lot of racing to do. I’m sure the guys who will be doing the work know this; they know that the remainder of the race isn’t just about resigning themselves to their current place and fighting it out over stage wins. They will also no doubt be rolling their legs over despite it being a day of rest and my advice is to take some guidance from the pros. You don’t need to stay up until the wee hours, but remember: you’ve spent a week getting into the new rhythm. Watch the highlights on SBS at 10.00PM AEST, perhaps catch up on some of the videos on Cycling Central, and think about getting a slow braise on that will fortify you over the coming nights.
The Tour caravan will be spending the day in Mâcon, which is about 60km from Charolles, the capital of the old Charolais district. I would like to say that it remains “the centre of trade” in the eponymous cattle, however that particular note in Wikipedia was from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition. It is possible things have changed since 1911. Still, we’ve a good chance of spotting some when the race starts up again tomorrow.
Image: Boongalla Organics Australia
As this is a rest day in Burgundy, it’s the perfect time to make a boeuf bourguignon! As the author of this recipe notes,
This is a typically Burgundian dish, since it combines two of the main local products: beef and wine. Just as for its wines, Burgundy has a high reputation for the quality of its Charolaise cattle.
It’s recommended that you make this the day before you want to eat it, so make it now and it will warm you up nicely before the Mâcon-Bellegarde sur-Valserine stage tomorrow. Charolles is also the birthplace of the Roux brothers. If you don’t fancy the richness of the beef burgundy you can try cooking along with them as they make their mother’s version of Blanquette de Veau.
Settle down for the highlights of stage 9 with a bit of Délice de Bourgogne. It’s a triple-cream cheese with a white-mould rind. Since a full 2kg wheel might be too much for you, get your local cheesemonger to cut you a wedge and celebrate making it through to the rest day with some (more) champagne. If you want something more pungent, grab some Époisses-de-Bourgogne which is washed in marc de Bourgogne, a spirit made from the skins and seeds left after pressing grapes. There’s an interesting discussion here about selecting an appropriate wine match. This is definitely a case of “read the comments”!