The other day, in writing about oven-roasted magret de canard, I mentioned turnips. They're a classic accompaniment for roast duck. Just look at some of these French recipes for canard aux navets. For our lunch a few days earlier, I had boiled and then sautéed some turnips — both yellow and white — for a dish called a potée, and some of them were still in the frigo.
A potée is a boiled dinner. Every French region has its own style, with different meats and vegetables according to what the local specialties are. Sausages, different cuts of fresh, smoked, or salt-cured pork, and even beef or poultry can go into the pot, with winter vegetables including turnips, parsnips, cabbage, carrots, onions, leeks, potatoes, celery... and even beans.
I put kale from the garden in our potée. I just went out and pulled two dozen pretty leaves off the Tuscan "dinosaur" kale plants growing in the garden and cooked them in the broth with the other vegetables and with the meats you see below. This is my favorite kind of wintertime cooking. I learned about making potées from a woman who ran a charcuterie (pork butcher's shop) in Paris, when I lived there back in the early 1980s. The charcutière liked to explain to her customers how the different cuts of pork she sold should be cooked. It was always good advice.
As usual, again this time I made far too much food for the two of us — too many vegetables and too much meat. Veal shoulder roasts were on sale for a good price, and even though it's unconventional, I decided to include one in the potée. I also put in a smoked garlic sausage (saucisson à l'ail fumé) and a big chunk of lean pork "belly" (poitrine de porc), which was sold already cooked and just needed reheating in the broth (photo above).
Here's how we ate the potée the day I cooked it, with some butter on the veggies and Dijon mustard with the meats. We had a lot of meat left over, including most of the long plain pork sausage (saucisse de Toulouse) you see in the first photo above. I put what was left of both the sausages in the freezer to re-cook during the holidays (we always make a cassoulet on New Year's Day...). I didn't have a firm plan for the bounty of cooked vegetables, but I knew that they wouldn't go to waste. That's how I ended up having those turnips to serve with the pan-roasted duck breast and white beans. To be continued...
Potée is some sort of a fourre-tout dish. It is always very good, and can taste differently depending on what goes in.ReplyDelete
The better the ingredients, the better the potée, I'd say. Wikipédia.fr lists 12 regional varieties of the dish. As Walt says, it's a soup for giants — the vegetables are left mostly whole, not diced up.Delete
It's wonderful that you still have fresh garden ingredients!ReplyDelete
The kale and chard are doing fine.Delete
Delicious! It looks similar to pot-au-feu.ReplyDelete
It is similar. And then there's the poule au pot.Delete
I'm looking forward to the next installment.ReplyDelete
Does the water all cook down, or can you use the leftover for soup? I love winter boiled dinners with root vegetables.ReplyDelete
Makes me think of a New England Boiled Dinner but with more interesting meats.ReplyDelete
I suppose everywhere has its all-purpose hotpot or stew, some of which get "stabilised" into a more or less regular recipe, but all of which can be modified with what's to hand: we have Lancashire hotpot, Scouse, Irish stew, and so on.ReplyDelete