Pot’je Vleesch

… or as it else known, the meat casserole. Lately we have been more busy with furniture and paints than cooking. This didn’t stop us though from going to restaurants and the occasional one-day travel, north or south.Last weekend we took a day trip to Lille, a city which has more Flemish influences than I would have thought. Still very French. An interesting (and confusing) combination.

Our main aim was of course … furniture, but that didn’t stop us from trying out the local gastronomic delights. The reason I don’t post this under restaurants, is that the brasserie we went to was a total disappointment. The service was bad, the place was freezing and the food was cold (cold and warm dishes alike). But we made a delicious discovery: the pot’je vleesch. Ordering it off the menu we had no idea what to expect. Tourists in the true sense of the word!

The mystery was soon solved as a meat terrine arrived. The pot’je vleesch is a regional dish, originally from Dunkerque. A Flemish dish, it is known in Belgium as ‘potjevlees’. Not so sure about the looks of this dish, but the taste was great.

Pot’je Vleesch (serves 6)
white meat: 300gr chicken, 300gr rabbit, 300gr veal or 300gr porc
1 big onion
10 juniper berries
2l water
1/2l white vinegar
salt and pepper, thyme, bay leaves,

There seem to be many different recipes for the pot’je veelsch, so I guess as with every dish personal tastes prevail.

Cube and season the meat. Mix the water and vinegar. Cut the onion into rings and place at the bottom of the casserole.

Add the thyme and the bay leaves to the onion rings. Cover with mixed pieces of meat. Alternate the onion rings and herbs with the meat till all ingredients are used. Cover the meat with the vinegar and water mix.

Bring to the boil, then let it cook for 3 to 4 hours.

Leave the casserole to cool, then chill the pot in the fridge for at least 12 hour. This will allow the gelatin to form and cool.

If all the cooking and cooling goes according to plan, then you should be able to turn the casserole upside down and have a firm meat terrine.

No Flemish dish is complete without the fries, which accompany the pot’je vleesch very well. With such terrines a personal favorite of mine is also horseradish sauce or very hot mustard.

If you come across this post, read it, like it, find it useful, please let me know … and do recommend it further :). You can find this blog also under www.onfoodandwine.com
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