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Ingredients: 1 fresh duck liver (about 500g); 2 tbsps or more armagnac; salt; pepper.
Gently remove any skin surrounding the liver. Remove any greenish bits. Separate the two lobes of the liver and cut each in half. Remove the central nerve with a pointed knife. Thoroughly wash to remove any blood. Cut the liver into pieces suitable to nearly fill your preserving jars. Salt, pepper, and sprinkle generously with armagnac. Cook in a steriliser or pan of boiling water (the water should be about two-thirds up the jars) for about half an hour or more depending on size of jars. Remove and allow to cool completely. Store in refrigerator for at least 2 days before use - it will keep for months.
Cut the duck into small portions. Rub with the sea salt, place in a bowl, weight it down and leave overnight, saving any extra fat and skin. Place the skin and both fats in a saucepan with 120ml water and cook until the water has evaporated. Remove the skin. Next day wipe the salt off the meat. Put the meat in a saucepan and cover with the rendered fat. Simmer about 1 1/4 hours or more until tender. Remove meat to preserving jars, strain fat and pour over meat to cover. Refrigerate when cool. Store at least 1 month before use - it will keep this way for many months.
Soak the beans overnight. Drain, simmer in two-thirds of the stock for 3/4 hour. Add the meats, peeled potatoes cut into large chunks, leeks and carrots, garlic and seasonings, and the rest of the stock; simmer for 3/4 hour. Add shredded cabbage and simmer another 1/2 hour. Remove meats and chop and return to pan.
Ingredients: 600g haricot beans; 2 thighs duck confit; 500g belly of pork; 4 Toulouse sausages or 400g chorizo; 4 carrots; 1 onion studded with cloves; 2 tomatoes; about 1 lt beef stock; 4 tbsps goose fat; bouquet garni; 1 head of garlic; salt, pepper; pork rind removed from belly.
Saok the beans overnight. Bring them to the boil then drain. Add stock, salt, pepper, garlic, bouquet, onion, chopped carrot and copped pork rind. Cook for about 1 1/2 hours until beans are tender. Remove the bouquet, onion and garlic head. Add confit removed from bone and chopped, chopped pork and sausage, goose fat and chopped tomato. Simmer gently for 2 to 3 hours until unctuous and creamy. Turn into a casserole and put into a hot oven (200C) until a crust forms on top.
This sauce, with its summery colours, is the basis of several recipes (see below).
Ingredients: 4 green peppers; 2 red peppers; 4 onions; 4 or 5 large tomatoes; 3 cloves garlic; 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil; pinch of thyme; salt, pepper; powdered piment d'Espelette to taste.
Remove the seed from the peppers and chop or slice. Chop the onions. Peel tomatoes and chop (you may remove the seeds if you prefer). Finely chop the garlic. Heat half the oil in a pan and cook the onions for 5 minutes. Add the peppers and cook another 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, garlic, the rest of the oil, the piment d'Espelette and salt and pepper. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Chicken Basquaise; Sauté some chicken pieces in oil until golden, then simmer in piperade sauce until tender.
Piperade with eggs; whisk 2 eggs per person; begin to scramble them in a little butter, then add some piperade sauce and cook until creamy. Serve with 2 clices of grilled Bayonne ham each.
SALADE DE HARICOTS-MAïS A L'ANDOUILLE BEARNAISE
This summer salad uses fresh beans which are usually available in August and September and a mountain herb. White beans can be substituted for the haricots-maïs, and make your own substitution for the péborine!
Ingredients (for 6 people): 100 gms fresh haricots-maïs, 200 gms andouille; shallot; bouquet garni; celery; bacon, olive oil, vinegar, chicken stock, salt, pepper and péborine, a pepper thyme from the mountains.
Pod the beans and cook for half an hour in chicken stock with the bouquet garni, a stick of celery and a lump of bacon for about half an hour. The beans should be tender but firm. Drain and keep the stock for another use - garbure for example.
Season with olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, the péborine or thyme, and a finely chopped shallot. Add chopped andouille (a kind of sausage) and let it rest for three quarters of an hour before serving.
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