A typical dish from the Languedoc: “ragoût d’escoubilles” (leftovers casserole)

I have had this recipe in the corner of my mind for a long time. It is a typical dish from the Languedoc, from the “Hérault” area more specifically, near Montpellier. “Escoubilles” in the local dialect means “trash”. In my childhood my brother and I used to hang around the “escabouilles” in Vendémian, before there were any proper waste disposals in each town, trying to find some old bikes, abandoned toys, etc. Let’s come back to the main subject of this post: The “ragoût d’escoubilles” is a casserole made from various leftovers. Each person makes it their own way. As far as I am concerned, I asked my grandmummy’s recipe because hers’ is the best one 😉

  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes – Cookong Time: 2h30 – Serves 10

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken wings 4 chicken drumsticks
  • 1kg Pork shoulder (with the bone – gives more taste)
  • 2 handfulls of poultry gizzards and livers (or any poultry offal – anything that’s cheap actually…)
  • 250g minced meat (beef, pork, veal… anything)
  • 2 large onions
  • 500g carrots
  • 1 bunch of celery
  • 500g potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato concentrate
  • 1 handfull of dried ceps
  • 1 handfull of black and one handfull of green olives
  • Olive oil
  • Salt, pepper

Preparing the casserole

  1. Peel and dice all the vegetables (onion in small pieces, celery and carrots into sticks). Rehydrate the dried ceps in a bowl of lukewarm water. Precook for a few minutes the celery in salted boiling water and keepon the side (with the water).
  2. In a large cast iron pan, let the chicken drumsticks and wings golden with olive oil for a few minutes. Keep on the side. Do the same with the pork shoulder. Keep on the side.
  3. Add a bit more oil, then add the onions and carrots, stirring well to mix the meat juices at the bottom of the pan with the vegetables. Cook for about 10 minutes. Add the potatoes, cook for a few more minutes, then the meat, celery (with water), drained mushroom, boiled oilves and tomato concentrate. The liquid must cover it all. If not, add a bit more water. Cook for 2 hours.
  4. Season the minced meat and shape into small balls (about the size of a walnut). Flour them lightly and cook in a pan with olive oil. Add them to the casserole 10 minutes before the end.
  5. Serve like this or in a “croustade” (puff pastry pie), well drained, to make the “vol au vent”, which is a traditional dish in our region for family meals.

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