June 1, 2020
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We’re finishing up our week-long discussion of hearty dishes that you can make on our cooking classes in France with a wonderful French recipe from the Languedoc part of southern France. Hearty dishes can be vegetable (or in this case mushroom) based. Of course, to be hearty there has to be fat, and here that is provided by rendered duck fat and pancetta!
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 120 minutes
Cook method: simmer
3 pounds fresh firm cèpes (or porcini) mushrooms*
3 tablespoons duck fat
Salt to taste
1/4 pound pancetta, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 cup hot water
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
*If you don’t have access to fresh cèpes you can substitute a variety of other meaty mushrooms such as shiitake or baby portobello
Wipe the mushrooms with a damp cloth. Separate the heads and stems, and reserve.
Heat the duck fat in a heavy pot large enough to hold the caps in a single layer over medium heat. Add the caps upside-down and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes. Remove from the pot, season lightly with salt and set aside.
Meanwhile, slice and chop the cèpes stems and add them to the pan with the pancetta, garlic and parsley. Stir well, add a pinch of salt and cook over medium heat until the mixture starts to turn golden.
Add the wine and bring to a boil. As soon as the wine starts to boil, add the hot water. Carefully return the cèpes caps to the pot, season with salt and pepper and cook, covered, over low heat for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. The mixture shouldn’t be too dry; add hot water to the pan, if necessary, to moisten it and prevent from burning.
Serve hot as an appetizer or as a hearty side to a roast
Don’t have cèpes at your local grocer? Why not fly to France to try your hand at making it there? Our wonderful Savor the Flavors of the Languedoc is waiting for you!
By Peg Kern
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