Asparagus gratin recipe accidentally included in Belgian legal text

Asparagus gratin recipe accidentally included in Belgian legal text
Credit: Monika Schröder/ Pixabay

Belgium's love for gastronomic delights has leaked into its legal world after an update to the online version of the country's official journal accidentally included a recipe for white asparagus gratin.

Discovered by lawyer Morgan Moller in the francophone version of Moniteur Belge – the country's official gazette – the six-step recipe follows on from a paragraph discussing economic law. 

"I have had it with people who say that the Moniteur Belge is useless," Moller wrote on Twitter. "You can find everything in there: laws, determinations, recipes, you name it."

The mistake - which was limited to the online version and was eventually corrected - prompted a comment from the Moniteur, which was quick to point out that the document was not, in fact, a legal text. 

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"In reality, this is not the official publication of the law," Wilfried Verrezen, director of the Moniteur told RTL. "It is a version of the consolidated database, it has no legal value. At the Moniteur, we only publish amendments to a law. Justel (the consolidated database) allows us to put this amendment into context, it is the updated version of a text."

Bon Appétit

While the recipe no longer appears in the document, it does seem to appear pretty frequently online.

According to the screenshot from Moller, the instructions are: 

STEP 1: Preheat the oven to 250°, gas mark 8-9.

STEP 2: In a large volume of water with 3 teaspoons of salt, cook the rinsed and peeled asparagus (bottom only) for about 30 minutes.

STEP 3: In a saucepan, bring the cream and tomato paste to a boil. Add a little paprika, salt and pepper.

STEP 4: Butter a gratin dish, place the asparagus in it, cover with the above cream and sprinkle with Cantal cheese.

STEP 5: Lower your oven to 230°, thermostat 7-8, and bake for 15-20 min.

STEP 6: Bon Appétit.

"Honestly: in my legal career, I have not often come across this hilarity," Moller added. 

If you try the recipe yourself, let me know @johnstonjules

Lisa Poppe contributed to this article

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