By the way, what is the origin of Bourbon?
BBQ Ribs marinated in a Kentucky Bourbon barrel ale, maple syrup and fresh rosemary marinade, sided by a ramp stuffed grilled tomato and a Bourbon flambeed pineapple, cherry tomatoes and red onion fricassee. The sauce was made from a couple of spare ribs sautéed up to "carmelization", then deglazed and completed with the marinade, letting the whole reduce till obtaining a syrupy texture…
On a humoristic note and despite, or rather because of, its libel, I feel this Bourbon BBQ Ribs recipe appears very French. In fact, I have always wondered why the Bourbon whisky was named after a French name, whereas there is no whisky, whiskey or bourbon made in France. As a whole, French brandies and liquors are not made from grains, but from fruit: grapes (Cognac, Armagnac, pomace brandies…), apples (Calvados), cherries (kirsch), pears, plums…
It appears that the Bourbon whiskey originally comes from the Bourbon county in Kentucky. For the record, the county’s capital is… Paris! The county was given its name in gratitude for Louis XVI of France's assistance during the American Revolutionary War.
Arms of the first House of Bourbons
As a matter of fact, the house of Bourbon is a French originated royal dynasty that gave kings to France, Henry IV (the one who ended the French Wars of Religion), Louis XIII (the French king in the Alexandre Dumas’s Three Musketeers), Louis XIV (the builder of the Versailles Palace) and therefore Louis XVI (the one beheaded by guillotine), but also to Spain and Luxembourg. The current Spanish king and grand-duke of Luxembourg are originated from the house of Bourbon. I show the arms of the first House of Bourbons, featuring... eight scallop shells. Well, as the geographical origin of this family is as far from the sea as it is possible in France (see below), those scallops are quite incongruous! No, this has nothing to do with eight oil fields exploited by Shell!!! In fact, like often in the arms symbolic, they represented the city of, and the pilgrimage to, Santiago de Compostela. Saint-Jacques de Compostelle in French, and if you know that scallops is said coquille Saint-Jacques...
Back to Bourbon. Like often, the name of European noble families refers to a province or an area. In this case, the Bourbons came (in the 13th century) from the province of Bourbonnais (from its main city Bourbon l'Archambault), a region from the center of France (by the way, the geographical barycenter of France is located there, in the Tronçais multi-centennial oak forest planted to build the warship fleet of Louis XIV). This region is also famous for its beef breed, the Bourbonnais that, with its neighbor the Charolais, is traditionally the meat used for the beef Bouguignon. Here, we are back to food.
Maybe, to close the loop, should I make a Bourbon Bourbonnais beef next time?