Monday, February 24, 2020

Potée Comtoise + Andre & Michel Quenard Quenard Savoie Chignin Gamay 2018 #Winophiles


I initially tracked down a bottle of wine labeled - through an online vendor - as coming from the Jura in preparation for David's, of Cooking Chat, French Winophiles October event. Then I paired it with a new-to-us dish. Upon further reading, however, I realized that while the wine was from the wrong region, the dish was from the region where the wine was made. Boo. At least the dish and the wine matched!

So, now, you don't have to wait till October to get this recipe. It's perfect if you're still in the throes of winter where you live. Plus I was able to locate two bottles of wine from the correct region. Stay tuned for those...

In the Glass

In retrospect, I should have known that the wine was from the wrong region as I just poured a bottle of Quenard wine for our focus on the Savoie earlier this month. You can read that post A Taste of #vindesavoie: Älpermakkaronen + 2018 JP & JF Quenard Vin de Savoie Chignin where I write about both Savoie and Michel Quenard.

I found this bottle online and it retails for less than $20. Made from the Gamay grape varietal, Gamay is most well-known for its use in the lighter, fruit red wines of Beaujolais. However it is grown in the Maconnais, where most Macon Rouge is based on the grape. And, in the Loire, it's used to make Rosé wines in the Anjou and Saumur appellations; the Remy Pannier Rosé d'Anjou 2017 I paired with Roasted Rack of Lamb with Spiced Nectarine Chutney in August 2019 for #BakingBloggers included Gamay in its blend.

Outside France, Gamay is often blended with Pinot Noir in Switzerland and there are a few examples of its cultivation in Canada, Italy, and New Zealand. Also Gamay is an important varietal to the winemaking landscapes of Croatia, Kosovo and Serbia.

This wine was a delicious balance of herby and fruity with a hint of tart that was a great flavor foil to my meat-heavy dish. So, even though it didn't work for the event I thought it would, Jake and I really enjoyed this sip.

In the Bowl 

When I was researching dishes from the Savoie earlier, I came across mentions of Potée Comtoise, a hearty dish that was filling and kept peasants going during their work days. Although the ingredients varied, depending on the season, there are a few ingredients that would be present all year long, including smoked meats, pork, potatoes, cabbage, and carrots.

One thing that was mentioned in several versions was to stud the onions with whole cloves. That lent an amazing aroma to this dish while it cooked. I will definitely be using that technique in the future. Traditionally this would include turnips in the winter, but I didn't have any. Next time!

Ingredients serves 6


  • 1 pound pork (I used some boneless pork ribs)
  • 2 whole onions, peeled and studded with whole cloves
  • 4 to 5 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 4 green onions
  • 3 whole bay leaves
  • water
  • 1 pound ham, cut into large chunks
  • 2 to 3 links of smoked sausage, sliced into thick coins
  • 4 carrots, sliced into 3" lengths
  • 4 celery ribs, sliced into 3" lengths
  • 5 or 6 scrubbed organic potatoes (I used Yukon gold)
  • 1/2 head organic green cabbage, cored and cut into wedges
  • olive oil, approximately 1 to 2 T
  • freshly ground salt, as needed
  • freshly ground pepper, as needed
  • Also needed: bread for serving (optional)


Procedure

Heat oil in a large pot; I used a Dutch oven. Brown the pork on all sides until nicely browned. Add garlic, clove-studded onions, and green onions to the pot. Fill with enough water to cover the meat by at least 2".

Bring liquid to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for two hours, skimming fat and foam off, if needed. After two hours, add in the ham chunks and sausage coins. Simmer for another 30 minutes.

Add in the carrots, celery, and potatoes. Cover and cook until the vegetables are almost tender, approximately 30 minutes. Then add in the cabbage wedges. Press down so they are fully submerged and simmer for 10 more minutes.

Remove all of the meat and vegetables and keep warm in the oven. Turn the heat up to high and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce the cooking liquid by half, then adjust seasoning by adding salt and pepper, as needed.

To serve, place meat, sausages, and vegetables in the center of a deep platter. Ladle some broth over the dish and sprinkle with more salt and pepper, if desired. Serve with remaining broth and toasted bread on the side.

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