Aligot

Aligot

Serves 6 :

Ingredients

* 1 kg of floury potatoes

* 100 g of butter

* 250 g of creme fraiche

* 400 g of tome fraîche de Laguiole

* clove of garlic

* Salt pepper

Cook

Prepare a classic mash potatoes, add to this purée the butter and the creme fraiche. Season with salt, pepper and a hint of garlic.

Heat up the mash and add the cheese cut in small strips, then stir slowly with a wooden spoon. (This takes a little while and is very good arm exercise!)

When the mixture becomes stringy the Aligot is ready!

Serve with sausages or a pork or beef roast.

Enjoy!

Tip: take the cheese out of the fridge early enough, the stirring will be much easier.

 

La soupe au fromage (cheese soup)

Not to be confused with an onion gratinée found in restaurants right across France and so popular with night owls. Our cheese soup has character, here’s the recipe.

FBlanch some cabbage leaves, preferably wild cabbage, and finish cooking them in a meat stock (or consommé). In an oven-proof soup dish, spread out a layer of pieces of country bread, sprinkle them with grated gruyere cheese mixed with grated Laguiole or Cantal cheese and pour a ladle of stock and a few cabbage leaves. Create a second layer in the same way as the first: pieces of bread, grated cheese, cabbage and stock, a third layer if your soup dish is deep enough, and finish the top of the soup dish by arranging the pieces of bread that will form the crust when cooking with cheese that you will have sprinkled on top. Baste this last layer with oil and leave to simmer slowly in the oven.

Tradition has it in the Aveyron that this soup is taken to newly wed couples in their bedroom. On this occasion it is cooked in a chamber pot reserved for them that has an eye painted in the bottom!

 

Roquefort cheese Feuilleté

This speciality that is now found throughout the département originates from the Saint-Affrique–Roquefort region. Prepared in an individual feuilleté and served hot.

Making it is child’s play: The puff pastry is rolled out to a width of about 20cm; the sticks of Roquefort are distributed at about 6cm intervals; after having been brushed with water or egg yolk along its whole length, 10cm of the strip, i.e. half of it. The half that has not been garnished is then folded over the other half and cut into pieces. Cooking is done on a medium heat. They are eaten as an entrée, hors-d'oeuvre, or at buffets but cut smaller.

 

Roquefort Omelette

For 5 people: 12 eggs, 70g of Roquefort cheese, 1 tablespoon of crème fraîche, 50g of butter

Preparation : 10 minutes

Cooking : 7 minutes

Beat the eggs. Melt the butter in a pan, pour in the preparation and start the omelette. Crumble the Roquefort, melt it in a bain-marie to mix it with the crème fraîche. Add the eggs to the pan so they penetrate everywhere. Finish the omelette leaving it soft and smooth.

 

Roquefort Gratinée

750g of onions, 2 litres of water, 100g of Roquefort, 100g of butter, a soup spoon of cognac, a little grated Gruyère cheese, a little grated nutmeg, salt and pepper

Thinly slice the onions, brown them gently and cook them in the butter. Pour in the boiling water and cook for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, a little grated nutmeg and the spoon of cognac.

Prepare very thin slices of bread and the carefully crumbled Roquefort in small individual terrines or a large soufflé dish. Fill the recipient three-quarters full with the onion soup, garnish with a pinch of grated Gruyère cheese and place in the oven to brown for quarter of an hour.

Gâteau à la broche

Gâteau à la broche

In the Rouergue, the tradition of the gateau à la broche has existed for centuries. It is made for ceremonies and special occasions, weddings for example.

Its long preparation requires several hours’ work from the lady of the house who, whilst diligently turning the spit covered in a wooden cone, in front of a burning fire, bit by bit pours on a liquid paste or batter similar to that used to make Madeleine cakes. Here is the recipe for gâteau à la broche.

Use a spit equipped with a solid wood cone (an important detail that affects the quality of the gateau).

For a 4kg gâteau :

  • 1,2 kg of flour,
  • 24 eggs,
  • 1 kg of butter,
  • 1 spoon of salt,
  • 1 kg of sugar,
  • 5 spoons of rum,
  • 1teaspoon of orange flower water,
  • walnuts or hazelnuts.

Preparation of the batter: Beat the egg whites into a froth in a bowl. Mix the yolks in another recipient. Over a gentle heat, melt the butter and add the sugar to it whilst stirring until the liquid is consistent.

Into this liquid, incorporate the egg yolks bit by bit and, spoonful by spoonful, the flour and egg whites until the batter resembles a batter for making madeleine cakes.

Add the rum, orange flower water and walnuts or hazelnuts.

Wrap the spit (and its cone) in oiled baking paper fixed by string.

Cooking: Place the spit on its rests in front of a hot fire, the flames of which are stopped by a recipient Place a recipient under the spit to catch the batter that drips off it.

Spoon the batter onto the spit gathering the batter that runs off. Turn the spit until this thin layer is light brown. Spoon on more batter and continue the process until all the batter is used.

The gateau is then taken off its cone and cut up.

Fouace or fougasse

Recipe for fouace or fougasse

This very popular gateau is made right across the département.

Here is its recipe: mix together in a terrine 500g of flour, 100g of butter, 15g of yeast mixed in a few decilitres of milk, 3 eggs, perfume with a small glass of cognac and a few drops of orange flower water; soften with a little milk and leave the dough to rise for about 12 hours.

Shape the dough into a circle on bettered baking paper, baste with a beaten egg using a small brush, sprinkle with sugar and cook on a low heat.

 

Truffado

  • 1 kg of potatoes cooked in their skins,
  • 300 g of tomme fraîche,
  • 2 onions.

Blanch two sliced onions in a half oil half lard mixture. Add the potatoes cut into slices. Add salt and pepper. Keep at a good heat, 10 to 15 minutes before serving, cover the potatoes with the tomme cut into thin slices. Place in the oven briefly to melt the tomme.

When ready to serve, mix the tomme and the potatoes using a spatula. Garnish with chopped parsley.

 

Farçun

Yet another one of our grandmothers’ specialities that requires a real knack. And here’s the recipe :

Chop some raw spinach, a stick of celery, a few grains of garlic, a slice of local ham, add a few thyme flowers and season to your taste. Make a béchamel sauce thickened with eggs and mix everything together. Pour this mix in an oven dish, after having buttered the inside. Place a laurel leaf in the middle of the dish and cover with a thin layer of pork and place in the oven to cook on a medium heat. 30 minutes cooking should suffice.

It is possible to improve this dish by adding a small pot of crème fraîche to the béchamel sauce.

 

Coufidou

The cheap cuts of beef are used: brisket, neck and cheek.

Cut the meat into quite large pieces and brown it, either in a frying pan or directly in an ovenproof casserole dish.

When the meat has turned a nice colour, add a chopped onion browning it for a moment without letting it go brown.

Then add a spoonful or two of flour letting it cook for at least a minute.

Add a dozen cloves of crushed garlic, just heating them, then one or two spoonfuls of tomato purée.

Add salt and pepper and don’t forget the bouquet garni.

Moisten with a good red wine and very little water. Cook at full heat and stir until it boils so the flour is all absorbed while cooking.

Add a few already blanched bacon rinds and leave to cook slowly on the hob or in the oven for at least 3 hours to insure the correct cooking of your coufidou.

 

Cinder cooked Eggs

These are in fact boiled eggs but cooked in the cinders of a wood fire which gives them their flavour. The shell must be soaked before putting them in the cinders to stop them from exploding: cooking time is dependant on the heat of the cinders.

 

Stewed pig’s trotters

Sweat in some belly pork, carrots, onions and crushed garlic a deep recipient. Add the well cleaned and flambéed pigs trotters. Moisten with a good red wine, add salt and pepper and don’t forget the bouquet garni. The wine must cover the trotters well. Add a few strips of pork rind, cover and leave to simmer on the hob or cook in the oven. You can add a small glass of cognac or local eau-de-vie.

If, after cooking, you think there is too much liquid, remove the trotters and reduce the liquid on a high heat.

 

Melsat

Melsat is a type of boudin blanc white sausage made with sausage meat and bread dipped in milk and eggs. It is dried for a few days and is eaten after having been poached in soup. It is also excellent cold.

 

Rougier hare and its saupiquet

In the Aveyron and more particularly in the south Aveyron, notably the Rougier, the hare is considered as a hunting centrepiece.

The general way of cooking a hare is to stew it. But in the south of the département, it is considered as blasphemy to cook it in any other way that on a spit.

Obviously it needs to be accompanied by a sauce and the saupiquet is to hare what mint sauce is to lamb.

Here is the composition of the saupiquet: Braise the sliced onions, without letting them turn brown, with a branch of fresh thyme and a laurel leaf.

Once cooked, put them through a mincing machine (fine setting) with the hare’s liver from which the bile has been carefully removed; everything is put back in the casserole dish and kept hot. First seasoning is carried out: salt, pepper and a glass of good red wine. Leave to cook for a few moments whilst stirring with a wooden spoon. The saupiquet is finished by adding the hare’s blood that will have been kept.

Once this operation is done, the saupiquet should not be left to boil, the blood, instead of blending, would coagulate into small clots and the sauce wouldn’t look too good. The saupiquet is ready to accompany the pieces of cut and cooked hare. Seasoning is done according to taste, but it needs to be a bit spicy. Don’t forget to add a dash of raw vinegar and a few sprigs of fresh thyme at the last minute, as well as a part of the dripping, the rest will be used to baste the pieces of hare.

Cooking the hare on the spit: As soon as the hare has been put on the spit it is placed over the wood fire that has been well spread out to ensure regular cooking from the head to the thighs. After having been salted and covered in oil, it receives its first "bronzing" provoked by the flames of manouls vine shoots: cargnan vine shoots are recommended: it cooks for about a quarter of an hour, basted from time to time using a spoon attached to a long stick to avoid getting burnt. The oil that drips off is collected in the dripping tray.

It is now ready to receive the first “flaming”. This operation is done with a flambadou also known as a capuchin. The flambadou is a cast or wrought iron hollow cone with a hole at its tip, held at the end of a long iron handle, that becomes red hot in the fire and into which a piece of lard, preferably pork lard, that bursts into flames on contact with the red iron. The flambadou is run over the hare and drops of burning lard drop onto it to seize and cook the meat and also to perfume it.

You will be able to judge the state of cooking by touching the meatiest part of the thighs. When it starts to become firm, stop cooking after having performed a second “flaming”. Carve the hare. Place it on a hot dish. Once the hare has been carved, salt it lightly. If you find it hasn’t been cooked enough, leave it for a few seconds in the oven after having basted it with dripping.

 

Lou Bajanac

(milk and white chestnut soup)

The French language doesn’t have equivalent words and has to borrow the term in Occitan or translate it by a long periphrasis.

This word comes from the term BAJANA (cooking vegetables in water). Etymologically lou bajanac comes from the latin baianus, bajanus, from baies, in Italian Baja, a town in Italy close to Naples, from where the tradition supposedly came of drying chestnuts using smoke in a sécadou (building for drying chestnuts), in other words a bouillon or soup of white chestnuts dried without their shells. This dish, very common in the past in the Cévennes and also the Rouergue where this fruit was harvested is prepared in the following way :

Cook the shelled dried chestnuts (called ogruols) in a mixture of water and milk. Of course, the ogruol must be broken down in the cooking process, all films or second skins that are found inside the fruit must carefully be removed.

As chestnuts are sweet, milk and white chestnut bouillon or soup is even better as a result.

 

Calf’s head and trotters

Have you already had the chance to “despertiner” with calves trotters or a calf’s head vinaigrette? This phrase probably risks being double Dutch to you, if you haven’t already done so, here’s the explanation. The word “despertiner” means to have an afternoon snack or eat well. This light meal keeps you going through the afternoon and is a very agreeable affair; obviously best done with friends.

Cooking calves head and trotters is done as follows: after having passed them through flames to remove any surplus hairs, they are blanched, then cooled and boned. If you want them to be really white when cooked make a “blanc”, i.e. mix a good handful of flour with the water, add salt and vinegar and cook your offal in this bouillon in which you can preserve them cold.

The Calf’s trotters and head can be eaten hot or cold and, more often, in a vinaigrette or ravigote, made with chopped onions, capers, parsley, chervil, tarragon and chives.

You can also make a rémoulade sauce by adding the above ingredients to mayonnaise, plus a few chopped gherkins and half a spoonful of anchovies.

 

Leg of lamb with sorrel

To cook, the leg of lamb or venison is covered with raw sorrel and braised for a few minutes. The sorrel, in contact with the heat, cooks almost immediately. It mixes with the roasting juices and, sometimes, is thickened with a few spoons of crème fraîche.

Another way of cooking the leg of lamb is to put it directly in the oven. Cook a few sliced potatoes in a frying pan, then place them in the dish where the leg of lamb finishes cooking. The potatoes are impregnated with the juices and are excellent.

 

Stuffed calf’s brisket

Yet another dish that is well appreciated in the Aveyron and that can be eaten hot or cold. The brisket is boned and cut along its thickness so the stuffing can be added. It is then sewn up and cooked in a veal pot au feu bouillon or a bouillon made with calf bones. The bouillon will later be used as soup.

Here is the type of stuffing that is most often made to garnish the brisket. Place large slices of bread to soak in milk or bouillon, once soaked put them through a mincing machine with ham, sausage meat, garlic and parsley; thicken the mixture with eggs to give the stuffing consistency once cooked. Season according to your tastes. Adding fresh button mushrooms will make it even better. Cooking time is around 3 hours.

Lamb sweetbreads

« Las Brillos »
Lamb sweetbreads, culinary delight of the Aveyron

The winter months bring us this delicate offal, lamb sweetbreads, which is used is used in numerous compositions which our food lovers adore.

You only have to observe the reactions of the latter when it appears on the table to know that it is, for them, of an unquestionable excellence.

This lamb sweetbread, that can be qualified as a regional speciality is as popular as calf sweetbreads here in the Aveyron.

Both of which are white and slightly soft.

 

Farçous

Every grandmother has her own recipe for farçous.

Here is one of them: 4 green chard, 1 bouquet of parsley, 1 onion, 1 whole garlic, 4 glasses of flour, 2 eggs and 4 glasses of milk.

Chop the chard, parsley, onion and garlic. Add the eggs, milk and flour. Mix.

Heat some oil in a frying pan, place the stuffing into the pan forming small flat discs. Turn them as soon as they become golden.

Serve hot.

 

Astet najacois

For 10 people: One 2kg joint of pork, garlic and chopped parsley, salt and pepper, pork caul fat.

Cut into the joint of pork along its length (twice), fill the two openings with garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. Reassemble the joint and wrap it in the caul fat. Tie together. Place on a dish and store in a cool place (minimum 3 days, maximum 5 days), so the meat absorbs the aromas of the garnishing.

Cook in the oven for one and a half hours as a normal joint of pork. Serve hot or cold.

Estofinade

Estofinado

If the origins of this dish rest a mystery, the dozen or so restaurants that have subscribed to the Estofinade charter will not fail to offer you this astonishing Rouergat dish originating from the north of Europe. Consisting of stockfish from the Lofoten Islands (cod dried in the sun and cold Norwegian winds), it was the culinary delight of the miners of the Decazeville area and now is synonymous with the area. But be warned, not all the restaurants offer it everyday of the year!

Portion: 2kg of stockfish, 500g of potatoes, 5 to 6 raw eggs, 5 to 6 hard boiled eggs, ordinary or nut oil, butter, crème fraîche, garlic and chopped parsley.

The stockfish is washed in running water to remove the salt for 8 to 10 days, cut into thick slices and it is then cooked in water for 3 hours. Strained and the bones are removed.

The cooking water is then used to cook the potatoes. Once the potatoes are cooked, mix them with the crumbled stockfish and mash with a fork. Keep hot and work with a wooden spoon adding the very hot oil, the butter and the hard boiled eggs that have been cut into pieces.

When ready to serve, finish with the raw eggs beaten in the crème fraîche, garlic and parsley. Season to your taste; this dish should be spicy.

Add a few raw eggs and oil to the mixture if you consider it to be too dry.

 

Flaune

The Flaune is a dessert emblematic of the Causses. It is based on recuite, this sheep’s milk whey heated to 95°C.

Ingredients: 1kg of recuite, 500g of castor sugar, 7 whole eggs, 50 centilitres of crème fraîche, lemon zest and orange flower water.

Spread out short crust pastry in a mould. Strain the recuite, pass it through a fine sieve. Work the recuite with the sugar and eggs. Incorporate the crème fraîche, lemon zest and the orange flower water. Pour the mixture onto the pastry. Cook in the oven at 150°C for 30 minutes, finish cooking at 180°C. Sprinkle with castor sugar as soon as it comes out of the oven.

 

Gimbelettes

For 60 Gimbelettes: 1.8kg of flour, 1kg of eggs, 270g of sugar, 200g of butter, 20g of salt, aniseed.

This dough, similar to that of a brioche, is cut with a biscuit cutter, then prick them. Place them into boiling water, they are blanched for a few minutes then cook in a hot oven.

 

Echaudés

Preparation : 45 mn - Cooking : 35 mn

Ingredients for 30 biscuits: 1kg of flour, 4 eggs, 4 tablespoons of olive oil, 20g of aniseed, 2 sachets of yeast, 20cl of liquid cream, 200g of sugar, 2 pinches of salt, 1 egg yolk for glazing.

Preparation: Mix the flour, aniseed, sugar, salt and yeast. Make a hollow, add and mix the oil, eggs and the cream. If needed, add a little milk to soften the dough but it must not be too “sticky”.

Spread the dough out to ½ a centimetre thickness and cut it into discs using a glass.
Fold in three equal sides towards the centre with moistened finger tips to shape the échaudés.

Cook in a pot of boiling water, remove them as soon as they rise to the surface. Strain them and glaze them with the egg yolk using a small brush.

Place them in the oven on a buttered or non-stick tray for 35 minutes at 220°C -(gas mark 7-8).