Sorry, Nancy and Lyndatjie, this is a meaty post.


How to order your steak preference in France

Bleu – Done on a very hot grill for 1 minute on each side.
Saignant – Meaning bloody. Very rare, but cooked slightly longer on the second side than a ‘bleu’ steak.
A point – rare for British standards. This implies that a steak is cooked a little longer than a ‘seignon’ one.
Bien cuit – ‘well cooked’. This level will still often have some pinkness in the middle of the meat. A ‘bien cuit steak’ is cooked until the juices run brown on the surface of the steak.
Très bien cuit (!) – should get you a steak that is totally cooked through!


My own preference is saignant and, in my most humble (read snobbish) opinion, bien cuit and (quelle horreur) tres bien cuit are criminal. But this is beside the point, as this post is not about steak; our planned barbeque was rained out on Friday night, so improvisation was called for and I dashed out in the torrential storm to buy pork sausages.(What I did learn during the excursion, is that I shouldn’t drive at night anymore. While out, I stopped for a clump of leaves floating down the road. Thought it was someone’s dog.)

After the NoMU demonstration at the the new Pick n Pay Good Food Studio in Hurlingham  last week, I took a stroll through the new store. There was a lady manning a promotion for COOKME, a range of products I had not seen before.  Intrigued, I bought the Pasta Mix #2; with romanitas, tomatoes and olives with chilli.


I sliced and fried the sausages, added the soaked COOKME ingredients and served it with Mafaldine pasta, a thick ribbon noodle that was robust enough to support this rather spicy dish.


The COOKME is a great larder standby, albeit quite pricey at about R60 a packet, and this is a quick and simple meal and a nice alternative to bangers and mash.

Disclaimer: I was not remunerated in any way for posting this revue.



  1. As a mostly vegetarian I once in a while with horrible guilt eat a steak, the only red meat I will eat. And it has to be cooked Tres tres bien cuit!

  2. I like mine good and cute (attempt at humor.) – i’e pink.
    I grew up with Texas ranchers. They were meat eaters, fro sure, but they always said that if you had seen what they saw from the field to the slaughter and packing houses, y0u would never eat your meat rare again. :-\

  3. I used to only eat steak when it was cooked to death, I’ve improved over the years. Now I prefer it pink in the middle so it’s Bien cuit for me.

  4. Hey Cinds. Im also not a big meat eater, but when i do It should be the A point! 🙂

    Slowly getting the hang of things here! im just so happy that i can blog again!

    Have a lovely sunday!

  5. Bien cuit would be my preference, I suppose… It sounds closest to “medium to well done”. Steak that m-o-o when you peg it with a fork is just plain scary 😉

  6. I’m a bit of a heathen when it comes to steakes, I like mine A point, but in this neck of the woods we call it medium rare 🙂 Its fun to check out some of these pasta mixes huh., always good for a last minute meal though 🙂

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