Friday 14 June 2013

Traditional Dunkirk Recipe : Potjevleesch

I just told you in this week's menu plan that we'll be eating potjevleesch (pronounced potchaflesh - or just potje (pronounced potch) as it's known locally). Well, I have to admit, I've never tried making potjevleesch myself because you can buy it ready made in the local butchers' around Dunkirk, but many people do. They all have their own top secret ingredients - often a splash of vinegar, juniper berries or local juniper liqueur. Some people take all the bones out, some leave the meat on the bone, it's all down to personal taste, so if you're screwing up your nose at the mention of rabbit, just leave it out. It's eaten cold, with chips that make the jelly melt into a slightly tart sauce. Potjevleesch means "little pot of meat" in Flemish. It should be made the day before you want to eat it.


Ingredients : (for 6 people) :

1/2 rabbit
200g boneless pork loin
2 chicken fillets
200g veal shank
5 cloves of garlic
2 stalks of celery
3 sprigs of thyme
3 bay leaves
2 tbsp juniper berries
1 tbsp peppercorns
75cl bière brune (dark beer, such as stout)
2 carrots
3 sheets of gelatin

Method :

Remove the meat from the rabbit carcass. Roughly chop the pork loin, chicken and veal shank.

Peel the garlic cloves, cut them in half and remove the stalks. Dice the celery.

In a bowl, mix the garlic, celery, thyme, bay leaves, juniper berries and peppercorns. Add the meat, mix and cover with the dark beer. Leave to marinate for 24 hours, stirring every 6 hours.

After marinating, drain the meat, reserving the marinade. Slice the carrots and put the gelatin into a bowl of cold water.

In a terrine, place three layers of meat with gelatin sheets in between. Finish with a gelatin sheet. Cover with marinade and lay carrot slices all over the top of the meat.

Put a lid on the terrine (make sure it is perfectly sealed) and cook for 3 hours at 150°C/gas mark 5.

Allow to cool, then chill in the fridge. Serve with chips, salad and a glass of Belgian brown beer. 

Bon appétit !

I'm joining in with the World Cup recipe challenge over on the Cooking Around The World blog

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  1. This sounds delicious! Love the idea of having it with hot chips too :) - and I'd have mine with the rabbit please!

  2. Thank you for sharing a fab recipe. Grew up around those regions and it takes me straight back to my childhood !

  3. However, even if you can buy it around, you have to at least make it yourself once. I guess sometimes that also helps for the appreciation.

    1. That's very true - the problem is, our local butcher has award winning potjevleesch so trying to beat that would be hard ! Trying to get the perfect balance of vinegar, juniper and beer in the jelly is the hardest part.

  4. Would love to try it, though maybe skip the rabbit. I love the idea of jelly and juniper berries. Sounds very tasty


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