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Romance is in the Air with these heart-warming food recipes

Now in her 13th year, Marlène teaches the how’s and the why’s of traditional French cooking and baking at Le Gargantua cookery school, in the heart of Gascony.  Drawing inspiration from her grandmother’s recipes, she covers techniques that give lifelong cooking and baking skills from traditional rustic French cuisine to refined pastry making.  Here she gives us some heart-warming recipes for lovers of food and romance.

heart warming food recipes

Marlène teaches at Le Gargantua cookery school

Here is the first of her heart warming food recipes:

Pâté de Campagne

(Serves 20)

1.2kg Lean pork meat

1kg Pork throat

500g Pork liver

2 Medium onions

5 Garlic cloves

50g Dry bread crumbs

4tbs Herbes de Provence

4 Cloves, ground

4tsp Salt

1tsp Pepper

50ml Brandy, Armagnac, port or dry sherry

Crêpine (fat webbing)

Pork fat, cut in strips

Preheat the oven to 220°C.  Trim and dice the meat, pass through a meat grinder.  Peel and mince the onion and garlic.  Sweat in a frying pan until tender, leave to cool.  Mix breadcrumbs, herbs, cloves, salt and pepper together in a food processor.  Thoroughly mix the seasoning and the alcohol into the meat with your hands.  Check the mix by frying a small portion, it should taste slightly over-seasoned.

Line a terrine dish with fat strips then the webbing, let it fall over the edges.  Pack the pâté mix into the dish and cover with the excess fat and webbing.  Cover your pâté with foil, then place in a bain-marie.  Bake for 40 minutes covered, then remove the foil and reduce the temp to 120°C.  It will take about another 2h.  Check that the temperature in the centre has reached 84°C.

Heart warming food recipes

Daube de Boeuf

Daube de Boeuf

(Serves 6 people)

1.2kg Braising beef

2 Carrots, chopped

200g Lardons

1/2 Stick celery, chopped

2 Onions, finely chopped

3 Garlic cloves, chopped

1 Bouquet garni (bay leaf, thyme, parsley)

1 Bottle Red Wine/Cooking Wine

1 Beef stock cube

Brown the meat in batches in a heavy pan, reserve.  Sweat the lardons, add the onions, celery and carrots and leave to sweat.  Add the garlic.  When sweated properly, deglaze with the wine.  Return the meat to the pan, add the bouquet garni and stock cube.  Add water to just cover if necessary.  Cover the pan, and place in the oven for 2h30 at 140°C.  Check the seasoning.


Pan fried Radishes

1 Bunch radishes

1 Knob of butter

Olive oil

Salt and Pepper

Carefully wash the radishes, removing any earth or grit, and trim all the roots and leaves, leaving just a small stem at the top.  Add a knob of butter and a drizzle of olive oil to a preheated pan.  Once melted and just starting to bubble, add the radishes.   Cook for 6-8 minutes depending on their size, giving the pan a little shake from time to time.  Once coloured, add a little salt and pepper to taste and serve.

heart warming food recipes


Which set of heart warming food recipes would be complete without a delicious pud?


(Serves 6-8)

1.5kg Apples

85g Butter

8-12 Large prunes, without stones

2tbs Armagnac

1tsp Vanilla extract

50g Caster sugar

8 to 10 Sheets of Filo pastry

Peel, core and slice the apples.  Cook on a low heat with 25g of sugar and vanilla extract, covered until the heat builds up, then uncovered to let the steam out.  Move them gently on the heat until cooked but still firm.  Do not let them break down.  Melt 60g of butter and leave to cool.  Melt 25 g of butter with the Armagnac and 25 g of sugar.  Leave to cool.

Fold the Filo sheets in half lengthways.  Arrange them in a tart tin, like a sun, overlapping each other at the centre of the tin.  Brush every sheet of filo with plain butter.  Place the drained apples on the pastry, scatter the prunes on top.  Fold the pastry over, twisting once, and crunching up the end of each sheet.  Brush the top with the butter and Armagnac mix.  Bake in preheated oven (200°C) for 10-12 min, then lower the temperature to 180°C and bake for a further 20 min, or until golden brown.

Serve warm or at room temperature, sprinkled with icing sugar.

First published in the Jan/Feb 2020 issue of The Local Buzz

Images: Le Gargantua cookery school

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