So it's back to wintertime food. It's cold this morning, and the weather, while clear and sunny, stays chilly until mid-afternoon. Since our main meal is lunch, hearty foods are back in the meal plans.
This is what is called a potée, and in France each region — probably each cook — has a slightly different recipe. The French-English dictionary says it's called a "hotpot" in English, but I've never used that term. I think "hodgepodge" is a related word. I think I'd call the potée a boiled dinner. In France, the ingredients are pork, cabbage, and potatoes, with other vegetables as available. Made with beef it would be a pot au feu, and with chicken a poule au pot. I first learned to make potées from a woman who ran a charcuterie (pork butcher/deli) on the rue Montorgueil in Paris more than 30 years ago. She seemed to enjoy telling me what to make with, and how to cook, the products she sold.
I made my latest potée with Tuscan "dinosaur" kale instead of cabbage. I cooked the kale with onions and carrots in chicken broth seasoned with bay leaves, black pepper, and allspice. When the kale and carrots were tender (after 60 to 90 minutes of cooking), I added chunks of potato, turnip, and rutabaga to the pot and let that cook for another 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a separate pan I poached a couple of sausages (one smoked Montbéliard, and one plain Toulouse) and two slices of smoked pork belly (poitrine fumée). When all the vegetables were cooked, I added the meats and some of their poaching liquid (fat skimmed off) to the pot for extra flavor. We enjoyed the potée. Now I can make soup with the leftover broth and vegetables.