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Potée Champenoise

  • 1 pound lean salt pork or 1 pound ham hock
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces bacon, sliced in small pieces
  • 4 large carrots, scraped and sliced
  • 4 turnips, peeled and cubed
  • bouquet garni
  • 1 cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 4 large potatoes, scrubbed and cubed
  • 1 pound sausages (Toulouse sausage work well, but you could try others)
  • 1 teaspoon black ground pepper

Blanche the salt pork to remove the salt by soaking in cold water for two hours and changing the water several times.

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil on medium heat and cook the onion for several minutes. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, for five minutes. Add 1 quart of water, then the desalinated salt pork (or ham hock), carrots, turnips, and the bouquet garni. Bring to a boil then turn heat down and let the stew simmer for 90 minutes. If the water gets very low, add a bit more, but you don't want to end up with a lot of liquid.

Meanwhile, cook the sausage according to package directions. The Toulouse sausage is boiled for about 20 minutes to cook it through. Boiling is a great method for cooking sausage that allows it to retain all of its juice.

After the stew has simmered for 90 minutes, add the cabbage, potatoes and sausage. Another cup of water may be added as well. Cover with a lid, but stir often. At first stirring may be difficult - more like rearranging things in the pot - but as the cabbage gradually shrinks, it becomes easier. You can then stir in the pepper.

Simmer another 90 minutes and serve hot. To serve I like to slice the sausage and pork into bite sized pieces and return them to the pot.

Makes 6 servings.

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