A few posts ago I mentioned the town of Laruns in a post on the Gâteau Basque. As I wanted to mention three different recipes related to the town I always planned on writing three posts. This is the second of the trilogy.
The French really do know how to enjoy good food. I have had some really memorable meals in France, without having gone to any of the more famous restaurants. It seems like even the local cafe in some forgotten village has a board of fare worthy of mention. They take the most simple of ingredients, with uncomplicated cooking methods, and turn out some real culinary gems. So when my wife and I decided to go on the trip to Laruns, we decided to have lunch out.
Now my wife’s father can smell out a good restaurant in a force ten gale. On her last visit to Laruns her father had taken her to a small, but good restaurant. My wife has an unerring ability to find her way back to good restaurants and she soon found the spot. This one was way off the main street, yet was quite full. Always a good sign. We went and we were soon sat down and perusing the menu.
I like to try new dishes and I opted for the “Garbure”. The post today looks at this simple but oh so delicious dish. It uses confit duck leg to give the stock a good flavour. They can be a little expensive but one leg will easily serve two hungry people and with lots of vegetables the garbure is in fact quite a balanced dish.
Confit duck legs tend to come in two formats, either a tin or a vacuum sealed plastic pack. I normally go for the tins as they tend to have a longer shelf life. The duck in the tins also comes smothered in fat, something that I use in other dishes. If you make this garbure recipe I recommend saving the duck fat as I will be using it in another recipe shortly. As I have said more than once, waste not want not………
Ingredients Serves 2:
1 Confit duck leg
1 Celery sticks
50g Smoked Bacon
1 Bay leaves
75g Cooked Haricot Beans
Salt and Pepper
Note this stew is made with available seasonal vegetables so substitute or add/remove vegetables as required. It is a great way to use up fresh vegetables from the allotment or take advantage of season gluts!
Put a little olive oil in a large pot then brown the confit duck leg . When done, remove from the pan and reserve for later.
Meanwhile chop the leeks, onions, celery and bacon then fry in the fat from the duck leg until almost done.
Add back the duck leg, add in the herbs and just cover with water. Let it cook for 50 minutes then remove. Flake the meat, omitting the skin, and put back into the stew. Add in the haricot beans. Heat through for around 10 minutes.
Add in a selection of vegetables over the hour the garbure needs to be cooking. All the vegetables need to be cooked, but not over-cooked.
Add in the carrots from the start.
Add in the potatoes after about 20 minutes.
NOTE: It improves if left, so consider cooking the day before.
Today’s recipe is more open to individual tastes as the selection of vegetables depends upon what you have available. If you find any interesting combinations please enter a comment on blog, I and no doubt others would be most interested to see what you can come up with!
2015 Lincoln W. Betteridge