Cooking Specialties from the Périgord | EUROtoday

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Co-authored together with his spouse, the meals author and novelist Julia Watson, Martin Walker, the bestselling writer of the Bruno, Chief of Police novels set within the Périgord, has written a cookbook filled with Périgourdin culinary favorites.


Potato Sarladaise

It could be unthinkable to go to the Périgord with out consuming this, one in every of its star dishes. Garlicky, unctuous and mottoed within the medieval city of Sarlat, from which it takes its title, it's the pure accomplice to duck confit. Potatoes are thinly sliced, then slowly sautéed in duck fats, with a parsley, a finely chopped mixture of a beneficiant handful of parsley leaves and copious peeled cloves of garlic (the cook dinner chooses what number of), which is folded by way of simply earlier than serving. Bruno likes it with a few fried eggs on high for a weekend breakfast.

Serves 4


  • 1 lb (500 g) waxy potatoes, peeled
  • 6 to eight cloves garlic, peeled
  • Large bunch of recent flat-leaf parsley. stalks eliminated
  • 4 tbsps duck or goose fats or, at a pinch, unsalted butter


  1. Thinly slice the potatoes on a mandolin or with a pointy knife. Wash them in a number of rounds of recent water, till the water is evident of starch. Spread the potatoes on a clear tea towel to dry.
  2. Roughly chop the garlic, add it to the parsley leaves and finely chop the 2 collectively to make a persillade.
  3. Melt the duck fats in a sauté pan until it's sizzling however not smoking and add the potatoes.
  4. Toss gently till the slices are all lined in fats. Lower the warmth and proceed cooking to melt the potatoes, turning the slices usually and punctiliously. When they’ve change into a light-weight golden colour, in 30 to 40 minutes, add the persillade, fold it by way of the potatoes and switch the combination onto a warmed platter to serve.

Note: In the basic model of this dish, sliced ​​truffles are added with the persillade. Another model has skinny slices of duck-fat-sautéed ceps (porcini) folded in quarter-hour earlier than the top to cook dinner together with the potatoes. A persillade can be used so as to add punch to roast rooster, grilled steak, tomato-sauce-dressed dishes, or a easy buttered potato baked.

Read More

An Interview with Martin Walker, writer of “Bruno, Chief of Police”


Vines with potatoes, garlic and Crottin

After autumn rain showers, Périgord mushroom- hunters go foraging. Cars park alongside the yards of forested lanes and their passengers disperse furtively searching for vines (porcini). Everyone has their favourite secret place. There is a gentle controversy, pointless from a Périgourdin's perspective, over the proper spelling of 'ceps'. In Paris, the place the mushrooms don't develop within the metropolis parks, they’re spelled 'cepes'.

Serves 4


  • 8% oz (250 g) fingerling, Ratte or different waxy potatoes, scrubbed or peeled and quartered
  • 1 lb (500 g) vines
  • ¼ cup (2 oz / 60 ml) additional virgin oil, plus 2 tbsps duck fats or extra-virgin olive oil for taste
  • 1 small shallot, peeled, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp nice breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsps roughly chopped recent flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ lemon
  • Salt and freshly floor black pepper, to style
  • 4 rounds of goat's cheese, equivalent to Crottin or Rocamadour


  1. In a big pot, boil the potatoes till simply cooked. Drain and reserve them.
  2. Wipe the vines clear with a moist paper towel. Remove their stems, slice off their bases, roughly chop them and set them apart.
  3. Thickly slice every vine's cap.
  4. Heat the oil and the duck fats, if utilizing, or the additional 2 tbsps of oil in a big pan, add the cep caps and potatoes and sauté them over medium warmth for about 8 to 10 minutes, tossing incessantly. Add the chopped stems, shallot and garlic and toss repeatedly for an additional 2 to three minutes, Lower the warmth, cowl and proceed to cook dinner, one other 5 minutes. Remove the lid and spoon off any remaining oil. Add the breadcrumbs and two-thirds of the chopped parsley. Stir all the pieces and go away it cooking over low warmth so the breadcrumbs soak up the remaining juices. Squeeze the lemon juice over it, season and stir.
  5. Slice the goat's cheese into 1/4-inch (3 cm)-thick rounds, lay these excessive of the vines and canopy the pan with the lid. Continue to warmth this for two to three minutes, to permit the cheese to hunch, melting simply sufficient so it retains its form. Sprinkle the remaining parsley over all the pieces and serve it immediately from the pan with heat crusty bread to mop up the juices.


Rabbit with prunes

When Bruno's troupe of searching associates deliver down a wild autumn rabbit or two, that is the dish they make. Rabbit, stewed or roasted, and sometimes served with a grainy mustard sauce, makes a typical dish throughout the Périgord, with locals breeding them for the pot in giant huts on their allotments.

Serves 4


  • 1 rabbit, 3 lbs 3 oz (1½ kilograms), jointed by your butcher
  • Leaves from just a few sprigs of recent thyme, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsps duck fats or oil
  • 3 giant shallots, peeled, finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 20 pitted plums (ideally pruneaux
  • d'Agen, or substitute any good-quality natural plums)
  • I cup (8 fluid oz / 237 ml) Bergerac crimson or different strong crimson wine
  • I cup (8 fluid oz / 250 ml) rooster or veal inventory
  • I clove garlic, peeled
  • Salt and freshly floor black pepper, to style


  1. Rub the rabbit items with the chopped thyme leaves and place them in a ziplock bag to infuse for an hour on the counter or in a single day within the fridge. Return to room temperature earlier than cooking.
  2. Warm the duck fats in a lidded casserole with a lid over medium-high warmth and brown the rabbit throughout. Add the shallots and bay leaves, sauté briefly, then add the prunes, wine and inventory.
  3. Smash the garlic with the flat of a knife, add it to the pan, season all the pieces with salt and freshly floor pepper and canopy tightly with the lid. Ember very gently for 1½ hours.
  4. Take the lid off, take away the rabbit joints and put them on a warmed platter and canopy loosely with foil, then flip the warmth as much as scale back the liquid by half.
  5. Distribute the prunes across the rabbit joints, pour the sauce over them and serve with a potato puree or with an equally plain facet dish – ideally one which is able to assist mop up all these scrumptious juices.


Walnut meringue cake

Gâteau aux walnuts is a Périgord specialty, a one-layer cake, just a little mealy and dense, produced from floor walnuts. Pamela, with whom the still-devoted Bruno as soon as had a cheerful affair, launched him early of their courtship to this a lot lighter nut cake from her Scottish childhood which is made with hazelnuts and served in a single layer with a topping of cream and wild raspberries. She has tailored it to make two layers that are then sandwiched collectively across the filling.

Serves 4


  • Unsalted butter, softened for greasing
  • 4 egg whites
  • 8 oz (225 g) sugar
  • 24 oz (75 g) walnuts, or hazelnuts, floor
  • 1 cup (1½ pint/ 240 ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 8 oz/250 g raspberries
  • 1 scant tbsp confectioner's sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C.
  2. Generously butter two 7 in (18 cm) sandwich tins and line them with buttered parchment paper.
  3. Whisk the egg whites to delicate peaks after which add the sugar, I tbsp at a time, all of the whereas beating until stiff. Fold within the nuts.
  4. Divide the combination evenly between the 2 tins and distribute it by tapping them on the kitchen counter to settle. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes most, until the highest is crisp however the inside remains to be delicate. Set them on racks of their tins to chill; then fastidiously carry them out and peel the paper from each bottoms.
  5. Whisk the cream till it's thick and easy it excessive of 1 cake. Cover it with raspberries and place the second cake layer on high. Sieve just a little confectioner's sugar over that, and serve.

From France Today Magazine

Bruno's Cookbook

Bruno's Cookbook, Recipes and Traditions from a French Country Kitchen

By Martin Walker and Julia Watson

Buy the Book

Lead photograph credit score: Martin Walker

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Cooking Specialties from the Périgord