My first encounter with Alex Magnol took place 10 years ago at Les Faux Bourgeois, a French restaurant, bistrot style, cooking a South West casual delicious French cuisine. At that time Alex was one of the waiters, we spoke about his place of birth in France, Sarlat in Dordogne and the connection was made. We kept in touch, now Alex is one of the owner of the restaurant and just before Christmas we chatted over coffee about the Perigord region and its culinary traditions as we always do.
Alex mentioned La Mique. The what?... La Mique! A traditional Périgord recipe made with old bread instead of throwing it away. But more than the recipe, what intrigued me was the fact that it was a way to connect people.
And so we reproduced the same idea in Vancouver. This time, Alex came over with all the ingredients to make the Mique, he cooked it and we all enjoyed an amazing evening. As he said, the Mique... it's all about sharing!
La Mique, mainly cooked as the main dish, can also become a dessert when paired with delicious home made jam or can be eaten grilled with fried eggs and a salad.
As far as wine pairing, a côteau de Bergerac is fantastic.
Here is the recipe (serving 6) – Provided by Alex Magnol.
For the Mique:
500 g of old bread
100g of flour
16 g of baker yeast
1 big duck fat table spoon grosse
Salt and pepper
Preparation time: 3h30 to allow the Mique to raise.
Cooking time: 2h15
For the soup / pot au feu:
800 g of beef shank with bone marrow
400 g of beef chuck
600 g of beef short ribs
8 carrots, 7 parsnip, 5 leaks (the white part), 8 potatoes, 1 onion nailed by two cloves, garnished bouquet, salt and pepper
How to cook the Mique:
Mix the old bread with the eggs, the duck fat, salt and pepper. Reserve for one hour.
Add the yeast and knead for a while in order to obtain a smooth and homogeneous dough adding bit by bit the flour. You can use more than recommended if needed.
Drop flour on the ball, put it in a bowl with a cloth on top.
At room temperature (or a bit higher), let it raise for 3 hours minimum till it doubles size with little cracks at the surface.
In the meantime (i.e. during the 3 hours...):
Wash and cut the vegetables. carrots in halves, leaks attached together.
In a big pot, cook the meat at high temperature but not for too long.
In a 10 litres cooking pot, put the cooked meat at the bottom, salt and pepper, then put 2 carrots, 2 parsnips, 2 potatoes, 1 leak and the onion (nailed by two cloves).
Pour 7 litres of water, when the water is boiling, slow cook it for 2h15min.
After 1h30, take the cooked vegetables out and replace them by the uncooked ones for 30 min. Keep the cooked vegetables warm by pouring the soup from the pot on top.
After 2 hours, put with care the Mique in the boiling soup, leave it for 30 min, flip it over and cook it for another 30 min.
Slice the Mique in a large dish with the vegetables and the meat.
Put on the table and enjoy your evening!