Giant Dumpling

I was chuffed to hear about ‘La Mique’, a quickly-becoming-forgotten dish from the Périgord area in France. It is basically a huge dumpling, usually cooked in a stew. This dish perfectly represents traditional Périgord cuisine, involving as it does; meat, goose fat, seasonal vegetables, comforting flavours, and wholesome, cheap ingredients.

 

Serves 8 very generously. You will need a ginormous cooking pot!

 

Ingredients for the dumpling:

  • 500g flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 80g melted goose fat
  • 200ml warm milk
  • 20g yeast
  • Pinch of salt

 

Ingredients for the stew:

  • 1kg shoulder of pork, salt-preserved, if possible. If salted, soak in advance.
  • 1kg pork ribs
  • 1 small cabbage, cut in chunks. For Christmas spirit, use sprouts.
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 onions
  • 2 cloves, poked into the onions
  • Thyme, rosemary and a few bay leaves
  • 4 leeks, cut into big chunks
  • 4 turnips, cut into big chunks
  • 4 carrots, cut into big chunks or whole, depending on size
  • 500g potatoes, cut into chunks

 

What to do:

  • Stir the yeast into the milk, and leave for a few minutes.
  • Make a well in the flour, add the eggs, salt, fat and yeasty milk, and mix with a wooden spoon, before bringing together in your hands.
  • Kneed thoroughly, until you have a very smooth and elastic dough, sprinkle with flour, wrap with a tea towel, and leave in a warm place to rise for two hours.
  • Put the meat in a pot large and cover with water, then bring to the boil and simmer for an hour.
  • Add all the rest of the stew ingredients, and simmer for a further 15 minutes.
  • Carefully place the delicate mique on top of the meat and vegetables, and simmer for another hour, turning it over once during cooking.
  • Check that the mique is cooked, by inserting a metal skewer or thin knife. If it comes out clean, it is done.
  • Serve the mique in the centre of a large platter, surrounded by its majestic meat n’ veg.