Two classic Gascony recipes from Chef Richard Poullain of Château de Projan.
Garbure – Duck Soup
Not only a delightful Marx Brothers’ film, duck soup is a typical Gascony recipe which is perfect for a winter’s day.
1 Savoy Cabbage
3 Confit Duck Legs
1 Confit Pork Hock
For Cassoulet style tarbais beans:
200g Tarbais beans
2 Cloves of garlic
1 Tin of tomatoes
2 Tablespoons olive oil
For Duck stock:
1 Duck Carcass
Pinch of thyme
Two days before:
Prepare the duck stock.
Roast a duck carcass until it is browned. Put in a stock pot with carrots, onions, thyme, bay and garlic and cook for 6hrs. Strain through a sieve and leave to cool.
Prepare the beans
Cook the Tarbais beans until tender. Approximately 2hrs.
Finely chop the onions and garlic and sweat gently in the oil. Add the tomatoes and beans and leave to simmer slowly for 2hrs.
The day before:
Degrease the duck stock then pour into a large pan and bring to the boil.
Meanwhile prepare the vegetables, cutting them into bite size pieces.
Take the pork confit off the bone and also cut into bite size pieces.
Cut the duck drumstick from the thigh.
Add the carrots to the simmering stock and cook for 20 minutes.
Then add the turnips and celery and cook for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile blanche the cabbage in boiling water (this will remove any excess bitter flavours) then add to the main pan.
Finally add the meats and beans and cook for a further 10 minutes.
Adjust the seasoning and serve.
Serve with a local Gascony wine such as a Producteur Plaimont, Saint Mont, Château Saint Go 2006. The wine’s fine tannins, cherry and coffee flavours and good acidity make a great pairing. A perfect liquid lunch.
Magret de Canard with a Saint Mont Sauce
This is a more elegant but still typical dish which is perfect for a dinner party.
1 Bottle of Producteur Plaimont, Saint Mont, Château Saint Go 2006
1 Duck magret
1 Clove of Garlic
Pinch of thyme
2 Bay leaves
1pt Meat Stock
2 tablespoons of duck fat (or 2 tablespoons of olive oil)
Salt and pepper.
The day before:
Peel and roughly chop the carrots, onion and garlic. Place in bowl along with the herbs and the bottle of Saint Mont.
Take the skin of the duck breast and put in the marinade. Leave for 24hrs.
Finely chop the shallot.
Heat the duck fat (olive oil) in a sauté pan.
Add the magret and cook for 3 minutes on each side.
Remove and keep in a warm place.
Drain off any fat from the pan.
Add the chopped shallot and cook for a couple of minutes.
Pour the marinade through a sieve to remove the vegetables etc then add to the pan with the shallots. Reduce down to a residue.
Add the meat stock and cook that down.
Whisk the butter through the sauce, then check the seasoning.
Slice the magret and place on a warm plate. Cover with sauce.
Serve with sautéd endive and mashed potato.
Although Chef Richard Poullain uses Saint Mont Saint Go in the marinade, I think a more mature wine such as Producteur Plaimont’s Le Faite Saint Mont 2001 which is soft, with fine tannins dark fruit and a whisper of chocolate/cherry liqueur on the palate makes a very elegant match.