read, cook, eat March 2010: flankenMarch 11, 2010
Having recently moved from the print to the online desk at The Gazette Salt Mine, with a new schedule that allows me a one-hour lunch, I have been hitting the Metcalfe Street booths of smoked-meat palace Dunn’s at least two or three times a week. They have a nice potato chowder. They have wifi. And they have motherly waitresses. Nice. Couple days ago, one of these mammans says they’ve added a new soup to the menu and would I be interested in Flanken Soup, “like chicken soup with a pork chop inside”.
Assuming there’d been some kind of serious French-to-English translation error, I smiled and said no.
But earlier today, I was feeling brave. And oh my. Served in a bowl that’s bigger than my head, Flanken is indeed chicken soup, but hearty, with both noodles and huge chunks of carrot and potato. And while it doesn’t harbour pork chops, it does have what I think are chunky beef short ribs — or flanken — cooked to nearly falling-apart stage. I required spoon, fork and knife to eat half the bowl and the table was like a scene from a Sam Peckinpah movie, only more chickeny.
I’m looking for a recipe, but like the old-world traditional dish that it is — the Jewish proprietor of Dunn’s is introducing the soup in the hope of serving more traditional food — a good recipe is hard to come by.
Of course, you should just go to Dunn’s and order the Flanken. They’re testing it now to see if it will be permanently added to the menu. But if, say, you’re Montreal-challenged, you could start with this recipe. For my money, the cred comes from the “Auntie” in the title. I’ll keep looking. If you find something more, leave a comment or click here to email me.
Click here for Flanken: Auntie Jean’s Soup Secret. This one has extras, like lima beans, that I think I’ll do without if I try it. Ditto the packaged chicken soup mix.
My fave part is this ingredient listing: “3 to 4 slices geshelte flanken (boiling beef; ask your Jewish butcher).”
I don’t have any butcher, let alone a Jewish butcher. But I think I need one.