(Pots de Confit)
Le Barn’s exquisite antique Pots de Confit, originating in southern France, proves to be striking additions to any collection.
We carry a cluster of assorted size and color confit pots, which are in various stages of condition. A dark-yellow mustard glaze appears inside the pot and continues over the outside rim and down the neck of the vessel giving the impression of a thick honey coating that has naturally overflow.
The outer lower portion of the pottery was left unglazed because after the cooking process, the urn was traditionally sealed and buried in the cool fall ground or stored in stone-lined larders, thereby preserving the meat without refrigeration. Throughout the winter months, these vessels were popped open; the contents prepared and enjoyed as delightful and hearty family feasts. To this day, this still remains the oldest method of preserving meat.
In modern times, these historic culinary confit pots can be used to adorn a bookcase, or a corner of a room. They make wonderful holders for kitchen utensils or dried or fresh flowers.
We thought it would be fun to include a recipe for a traditional duck confit in order for you to experience the earthiness of a farm fresh meal, perhaps, as it was prepared over a century ago.
*Traditional French Duck Confit
(Cooking time: 2 days)
- 3 tablespoons salt
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 shallot, peeled and sliced
- 6 sprigs thyme
- Coarsely ground black pepper
- 4 duck legs with thighs
- 4 duck wings, trimmed
- **About 4 cups duck fat
1. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of salt in the bottom of a dish or plastic container large enough to hold the duck pieces in a single layer. Evenly scatter half the garlic, shallots, and thyme in the container. Arrange the duck, skin-side up, over the salt mixture, then sprinkle with the remaining salt, garlic, shallots, and thyme and a little pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 days.
2. Preheat the oven to 225°F. Melt the duck fat in a small saucepan. Brush the salt and seasonings off the duck. Arrange the duck pieces in a single snug layer in a high-sided baking dish or ovenproof saucepan. Pour the melted fat over the duck (the duck pieces should be covered by fat) and place the confit in the oven. Cook the confit slowly at a very slow simmer (just an occasional bubble), until the duck is tender and can be easily pulled from the bone, 2-3 hours. Remove the confit from the oven. Cool and store the duck in the fat. (The confit will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks.)
** Duck fat can usually be found in the freezer section of some of the finer supermarkets, at specialty foods stores, and online at dartagnan.com.
Pair this meal with Chateau La Vieille Cure, a Merlot full bodied with complex earthy tastes made in Fronsac, a neighbor of St. Emilion.
Come see our collection of fine antique French confit pots. Call Le Barn to schedule an appointment with Nana or Kathy: 203-253-7286.
*Recipe borrowed from Epicurious, 1999, Chef Tom Colichhio, Gramercy Tavern, New York, NY.