Amanda on January 2nd, 2011
Game Pie

Game Pie

Serves eight hungry hunters

Boxing Day, and despite your massive efforts in the kitchen during the previous twenty-four hours, more food is required to feed your healthy-walking, out-hunting, let’s-all-get-fit outdoor types.  Game pie is the answer.  It is filling, beautiful, utterly delicious and makes a jaw-dropping centrepiece for the cold table.  You can – indeed you should – make it two or three days in advance.  Fill in the spaces with salad, chutneys and some baked potatoes and you’re all set.

Of course all game pies are made with that mysteriously tricky-sounding pastry, a hot water crust.  Well I’ll let you into a secret, it’s a doddle.  Follow the rules and you can’t go wrong.  Just one pointer – there is no substitute for lard.  It’s not common here in southern France, so I have to trot along to the butcher and winkle some out of him.  What a sweetie, he spent a good five minutes digging some out, putting it in a tub, sealing it, wrapping it and then asked if I wanted anything else… I didn’t of course.  He charged me sixty cents and I felt an absolute heel! Read More »

Easy Peasy Pheasant Game Pie from French Life

Amanda on September 15th, 2006
Wild Cep

Wild Cep

Automne Porc aux Cèpes Sauvage

Autumn is the perfect time for this delicious recipe, cèpes abound in the countryside and there are always plenty of enterprising locals in the markets who’ve taken the back break out of the endeavour for you! Autumn is also the time for inexpensive pork. You can find huge trays of it prepared by the excellent butchers in the supermarkets and in the markets you’ll find the smaller farmers have dropped their prices accordingly. In France loin is the definitive roasting joint and there are always plenty of long, luscious rolled and tied rotis available.

A friend of mine uses them to make an excellent pork confit at this time of year, in the traditional way, in glass preserving jars. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m going to have a crack as soon as I find time. Once I’ve perfected the recipe I’ll pass it on. Meanwhile try this one. It’s quick, easy, utterly delectable and just the thing for a special supper. Read More »

Pork Loin with Wild Ceps Recipe from French Life

Amanda on September 7th, 2005
Pork and Walnut Pate

Pork and Walnut Pate

Pâté Maison Quercynois

There are as many deliciously different Pâtés in France as there are households to make them. Pâté Maison is a traditional family staple. The recipe varies enormously from region to region according to the seasons, the ingredients available and local tastes and every farmhouse, auberge, charcuterie and chateau has its own version.
This is one of mine. Studded with local walnuts and flavoured with the famous wine of the region it’s another lovely way to celebrate the bounty of the Quercy.

Ingredients Read More »

Pork and Walnut Pate Recipe from French Life

Amanda on July 16th, 2005
Roast Pork

Roast Pork

Roti de Porc avec Pommes et Noix

This is my own autumn version of a French classic. After the children of the Quercy have returned from their weekend walnuting expeditions this is a delicious way to use them. Apples come from the bottom of the garden, or the cheap little ones sold in the markets for just a few centimes, are an excellent alternative. At this time of year the Reinettes are in season. Reine des Reinettes are pretty easily available in France. In England try Orleans Reinette if you can find them. If you can’t, use another variety this year and invest in a little bare-rooted tree! You’ll never regret it. Read More »

Roast Pork with Apples and Walnuts from French Life