Saucy Little Dish welcomes Johnny: another culinary Bushwick, Brooklyn resident, painter extraordinaire, and Dish Paige!’s main Meatball!
Hey everyone! John Szlasa here with the latest edition of… “A SPICY SIDE of MEATBALL!” So today I’m going to make SOUPE AUX CHOUX otherwise known as Garbure. I’m using three different recipes. I’m mostly following Julia Child’s recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, but I was inspired by my father who sent me his own rendition of Jacques Pepin’s from Jacques Pepin’s Table. I also perused the Joy of Cooking‘s version as well. All three of these cookbooks mention the famous version from Bearn, which uses Confit d’ Oie or preserved goose, which is added to the pot at the end of cooking to warm up (we’re not goin’ this crazy here y’all!). So I guess we’ll be making the classic Basque version of this peasant cabbage and bean soup. This is a soup that is ideal for the winter season, but I’ve been waiting to make this for quite some time. Now that I get a chance to be “A SPICY SIDE of MEATBALL,” I see it as a great excuse to finally make it – despite the 90 degree heat movin’ on into our town.
2 Medium Potatoes (cut into 1.5 inch cubes)
1 Boneless pork shoulder trimmed of skin and surrounding fat (Julia Child makes a point of telling us that, “In the Basque country, a good cabbage soup must always have a chunk of lard rance, their slightly rancid and much appreciated salt pork; otherwise, the dish is considered to lack distinction”)
12 cups of water or enough to cover the pork.
1 Leek (cut into 1 inch pieces)
2 Celery Stalks ( cut into 1.5 inch pieces)
3 Carrots (cut into 1.5 inch man pieces)
3 Parsnips (cut into 1.5 inch man pieces)
1 Onion (Chopped into 1.5 inch man pieces)
1 8oz. Savoy Cabbage (sliced and shredded into 1/2 or 1 inch pieces)
1 pinch ground chili Pepper ( or 8 peppercorns)
A few sprigs of Parsley (tied)
1 Bay leaf
4 cloves garlic (smashed)
1/2 tsp Thyme
3 pork Sausages (you can use any kind you like, including a variety, my Father used Kielbasa because he’s all about his Polish heritage)
2 cans of Navy Beans (drained and rinsed)
1 Tablespoon bacon fat
Coarse ground black pepper
Thick country bread (We used Old Poland Foods Farmer’s Bread Chleb Farmerski.)
Gruyere or Jarlsberg Cheese
Buy all of your ingredients. I went to the Ridgewood Pork Store on Seneca Ave. for my Pork shoulder, and sausages. This place is really special. Our picture doesn’t do it justice because we took it after they closed, but it’s like walking into a time warp. It feels like a butcher store in a small European village that has been in the family for generations. Check it out! The rest of our ingredients are from the Associated super market.
Put the potatoes and pork shoulder (I cut mine into quarters) into the pot and cover it with the water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes, periodically skimming the foam off the top.
After 20 minutes drop all ingredients into the pot except for the sausages, beans and bread.
Simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours or until the meat is tender. Add the sausage 30 minutes into cooking. Add the canned beans 15 minutes before end of simmering.
So My father served it this way, which is the way I would have liked to have finished things off, but I don’t own an enameled cast-iron pot or casserole dish:
“At serving time, pre-heat the broiler, bring the 2 quarts of soup you’re going to serve to a boil on top of the stove, and pour it into a 2 ½ quart casserole dish or enameled cast-iron pot.
Arrange bread slices on top to cover the soup in one layer and push them gently into the liquid until they are moist.
Sprinkle the cheese on top, place the dish under the hot broiler, about 4 inches from the heat. Broil for about ten minutes, until the cheese on top is bubbly and golden brown. Carry the dish to the table and serve in 4 to 6 bowls or soup plates.”
We toasted the bread slices with the sprinkled the cheese on top and placed them gently into the liquid.
My father also adds that if you’re vegetarians, leave out the meat, start with a vegetable stock, and it should
We were going to listen to a soundtrack of manly 80s French Oi! but we stuck with Django Reinhardt and Le Quintette Du Hot Club De France instead – seeing as I’m working with a Saucy Little Dish. I figured Django was sufficiently manly:
“Returning from a performance late one night, Reinhardt apparently knocked over a candle on his way to bed. While his family and neighbors were quick to pull him to safety, he received first- and second- degree burns over half his body. His right leg was paralysed and the third and fourth fingers of his left hand were badly burned. Doctors believed that he would never play guitar again and intended to amputate one of his legs. Reinhardt refused to have the surgery and left the hospital after a short time; he was able to walk within a year with the aid of a cane.” (Wikipedia)
One tuff mothah!!!!
Now if only I was in the basque region eaten’ this shit…