This a very ancient recipe, already found written down in the Middle Ages! Still eaten in the flemish Ypres region and indeed in the very North of France AKA French Flanders. The name "Potjesvlees" is actually flemish and means -as you could guess- potted meat. It's usually made of the "3K's", being kip (chicken) konijn (rabbit) and kalf (veal), all white meats. It's a delicious terrine, obviously eaten cold, cut in slices on some excellent bread.
Here's an old authentic recipe I found. It was in dutch. I'm sure there will be only a few french sources which publish that recipe.
- Chickenmeat 300 gr
- Rabbitmeat 300 gr
- Veal 300 gr
- pork belly
- onions, salt & pepper, thyme, laurel, white wine or (more probably authentic) white wine vinegar mixed with water
Preparation; 15 minutes - cooking time 3-4 hours!
- Spread out a layer of onionrings on the bottom of the terrine.
- Add salt, pepper, thyme and laurel
- Cut the meats in 2 different ways; one in small to medium chunks or long strips, the other in 2-3 mm thin slices
- Start filling the terrine now with a layer of chunks and cover with a layer of thin onionrings
- Cover with a layer of meatslices
- Repeat until the terrine is filled
- Add white wine or a mixture of water and wine vinegar untill just covered with liquid
- put on the stove and let simmer for 3-4 hours. Add liquid when necessary.
- Let cool down slowly and put in the fridge at least 12 hours.
As you can see, the original counts on the natural gelatine to thicken. Seems they also served it with caramelized apples.
Here's a modern version made with rabbit only;
- 1 rabbit, cut to pieces
- aromates; 2 onions, 1 good chunk of leaks, 1 carrot, 1 piece of celery, 2 leaves of laurel
- 20 gram gelatineleaves per liter bouillon
Put pieces of rabbit in cold salted water and bring let simmer. Keep removing the floating foam. Only then add the aromates. Let simmer 1-1,30 hour.
Let this bouillon cool down slowly. Carefully remove the meat from the bones and put in a terrine. Sieve and degrease the bouillon and measure it. Bring to boil again. Meanwhile soak the gelatineleaves in cold water (quantity according to the measured quantity bouillon). Add gelatine to the bouillon. Pour over the terrine and let cool in the fridge for at least 24 hours.
Mezzaluna, personnaly, I would use the 3 meats and add a good quantity of lemonjuice. When you taste Potjesvlees from a butchershop, they all are rather acidic, and always made of the 3 meats.
Also, as always, each cook makes his or her own version, so quantities are mostly just a guideline. Anyway, I learned that good Potjesvlees contains around 70% chicken, 15% rabbit and 15% veal.
Edited by ChrisBelgium - 10/3/10 at 6:04am