A Post by Pete Thibault
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Pete here, reporting live in the aftermath of the annual debauchery spectacle known as the Holiday Season. Let me tell you folks, it’s not a pretty sight! Cleanup efforts are underway, yet evidence of the devastation can still be clearly observed in recycling bins filled to the brim with empty wine bottles and bags full of wrapping paper. Floors littered with pine needles and fridges stocked with leftovers tell tales of the carnage that was. The storm has subsided, but in its wake, locals are left struggling with severe exhaustion, bloating and intense feelings of self-loathing. One survivor, speaking on the condition of anonymity, offer up this account.
“It was horrible, there was food everywhere. Tiny morsels of cheese and fruit, cured salmon and crackers, terrine of duck with peppers and caramelized onions etc. Those were just the appetizers!! Beer and wine flowed freely, even the chocolates tasted of booze. The hits just kept on coming, there was a ham hock ragout, tourtiere, turkey with stuffing and all the accoutrements. I knew I shouldn’t be going back for a third second serving, but I couldn’t help myself.” When pressed on what prompted this abundance of food, the young man answered, “tradition”.
In other news, I’m dropping the reporter shtick from here on out….
Ah the holidays, spending time with friends and family, a little time off work, it does the body good. Save for the constant eating of course. One tasty feast after another, each more decadent than the next pretty much guarantees that I’m carrying a little extra padding by the time it’s all said and done. Listen to me, sounds like I’m complaining. Truth is, I love every minute of it. You know why? Cause mama breaks out the heavy hitters for the holidays. Chief among them is one of my favorite dishes, Cipate. Cipate or Cipaille is a typically Quebecois dish made with various cubed meats and potatoes. It’s a very simple dish but one that’s been a staple at my family’s table. This year, I decided it was high time that I finally learn how to make it myself. What follows is a basic recipe but I highly recommend throwing some wild game meats in there. I made mine with deer, pork, chicken and partridge but you could easily include rabbit, moose, boar, or caribou. Here goes….
2 lbs beef, cut in cubes
2 lbs chicken, cut in cubes
2 lbs pork, cut in cubes
4 onions, finely chopped
4 cups potatoes, cut in cubes
2 chicken stock
Bunch chopped Parsley
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon allspice
2 cups all-purpose white flour
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch of salt
1/3 cup of water
- Mince onion
- Cube all meats
- In a large bowl, add meats, onions, vinegar, spices, & chopped parsley. Mix well and a place in the fridge overnight.
- Make your pastry. Mix flour, butter, baking powder & pinch of salt.
- Gradually add water and form your dough into a ball. Wrap in Saran wrap and place in the fridge.
- The following day. Peel and cut your potatoes into medium sized cubes.
- In a dutch oven, start with a layer of the meat mixture
- Top the meat mixture with half of your cubed potatoes
- Cut half of your dough and roll it out to the size needed to cover the first layer
- Lay out another layer of the meat mixture topped with the remaining potatoes
- Roll out the remaining dough for the top of the pie. It should be slightly bigger than your pot.
- Cut a small 1 inch hole in the center of the dough and place it over the pot. Roll the overflow.
- Preheat your over to 350F
- Gently pour your chicken stock into the hole until slightly overflowing
- Bake for 1 hour at 350F and then reduce heat to 250F and bake for another 6 hours until the top crust is a rich golden brown.
The smell in the house as this is cooking absolutely intoxicating. Serve it up with homemade ketchup and enjoy. This recipe yields roughly 10-12 servings so you can most certainly scale it down but I’d advise against it. Cipate might just be even better reheated. Remember, this recipe can easily be tweaked depending on what meats you have available. Be nice to your hunter friends and maybe they can be convinced to donate a little something special.
Happy New Year!
And now back to your regularly scheduled programming….
Categories: Pete Eats