The recipes of our grandmothers Gers: alicuit and foie gras with figs are on the menu of Solange, in Marsan

the essential
For this second part of our series highlighting the recipes of our grandmothers Gers, Solange Pomès welcomes Rémi Dispersyn to Marsan with a foie gras with figs, an alicuit and a homemade crisp.

A pleasant scent of grilled meat already hangs in the kitchen of the Solange Pomès this Sunday morning when Rémi Dispersyn enters the house. “I’ve already cooked the duck pieces, indicates the retired farmer. After that, he has to simmer for a long time.” La Marsannaise has invited relatives and friends for the Sunday meal and is preparing an alicuit. “We usually put the less noble parts of the duck, such as the neck, thighs or muffs,” says Solange, 69. Once the meat is grilled, cover it with water and simmer over low heat. Rémi and Célia, Solange’s granddaughter, then begin to peel the apples for dessert: Gersoise prepares a crunchy with an adapted recipe. Solange likes to cook and there is no shortage of ideas to try.

For her foie gras recipe, Solange starts by removing the veins.
DDM – Sébastien Lapeyrère

The appetizer, for example, has been doing it for a few years after having thought of combining figs with foie gras. “I soak the dried fruit in Armagnac and then I garnish the liver, describes the city councilor. I too often cook it to soak in Muscat. For the salty work of instinct”. Foie gras is his favorite test material. Feeder for more than 40 years with her husband Robert and now with her son Frédéric, who also raises almost 80 Blondes d’Aquitaine, duck is generally not lacking in Coumes, although this year it is rare due to avian flu in she. “This is the first time in 46 years that I will have to force-feed the reeds,” regrets Solange, who has settled with her husband on this Marsan hill since 1976.

Cooking, family business

While Solange puts the liver in a bowl in a double boiler in the oven, Célia, 17, a hotel student at the Pardailhan high school in Auch, and Rémi, a former high school in the same sector, cut carrots, onions and garlic for alicuit. The opportunity for the Bordeaux people to remember some memories of the years of high school and to give advice to the young woman. Carrots and onions end up in the pan and once they return Solange adds the vegetables and herbs, freshly picked in front of the house, to the alicuit broth.

Solange adds onions and carrots to the alicuit broth.

Solange adds onions and carrots to the alicuit broth.
DDM – Sébastien Lapeyrère

Then take the puff pastry out of the freezer. “I tried for the first time to do it with the Thermomix”, she points out, a little worried about the behavior of the preparation. She then she lays it on the table, rather thin, and places the bottom of the cake in a mold. The apples, cut into strips and macerated in Armagnac accompanied by vanilla sugar, are then arranged by Rémi, who never fails to taste a piece of them along the way. Then, the cook covers the fruit with a second circle of dough. “It seems that some reproduce the lace of the traditional crouton with brick sheets. But I prefer to keep it simple.” The foie gras is replaced by the crunchy in the oven, for an hour.

The meal awaits the guests only. The large table is set for 13 guests – “Rémi, you are not superstitious, I hope?” Solange asks. Then the Gersoise takes the winemaker on a tour of the family estate. In the barn, the calves of a few days accompany their mothers while Frédéric and Olivier, his son, check that everything is fine.

The first guests arrive shortly after Rémi and Solange have joined the house. Gradually a couple of friends and neighbors arrive, Robert’s father, Frédéric and his family. Everyone settles on the terrace for an aperitif based on stalks, then around the dining room table. The chefs of the day then bring the dishes, one more garnished than the other. A tradition in Solange, the friend slips: “When we come to eat here, we know that we will not leave hungry”.

Foie gras with Solange figs

The foie gras is garnished with figs in Armagnac.

The foie gras is garnished with figs in Armagnac.
DDM – Sébastien Lapeyrère

Ingredients (for 12 people):

  • a fresh liver of 500 grams
  • dried figs
  • armagnac
  • salt
  • Pepper

Macerate the dried figs in Armagnac for a few hours.
Remove the foie gras from the oven so that it is at room temperature.
Clean the liver, salt and pepper on both sides.
Cover with figs.
Tighten well and put the liver in a bowl.
Cover and cook in a double boiler in the oven for 30 minutes, at 120 or 130 degrees.
Enjoy, vacuum-pack or place in the freezer.

The alicuit of Solange

Pasta cooked directly in alicuit broth.

Pasta cooked directly in alicuit broth.
DDM – Sébastien Lapeyrère

Ingredients (for 12 people):

  • duck meat: 10 necks, 10 wings, 20 sleeves
  • a dozen carrots
  • 2 onions
  • some tomatoes
  • seasoning: salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, bay leaf, parsley, garlic
  • pasta, rice or potatoes

Fry the pieces of meat until they are well grilled. Cover with water.
Brown the carrots and onions in a pan. Once cooked, add to the sauce.
Add the chives, rosemary, thyme, parsley, garlic and bay leaf.
Cook for two hours on low heat.
Add some tomatoes to the sauce (optional).
A few minutes before eating, pour the pasta (or side dish) directly into the sauce so that it cooks in the broth.

Solange’s homemade fries

Solange fries or pie.

Solange fries or pie.
DDM – Sébastien Lapeyrère

Ingredients :

  • two sheets of puff pastry (homemade or purchased)
  • a dozen apples
  • armagnac
  • 3 sachets of vanilla sugar

Peel the apples, cut them into thin strips and soak them in Armagnac and vanilla sugar.
Roll out a dough. Cover it with apples. Arrange the second dough. It binds well.
Bake for 45 minutes at 180 degrees.

Rémi Dispersyn, taster of stories

Rémi Dispersyn grew up in Gers, then left for Paris and Bordeaux, where he is a sommelier. Passionate about his profession and everything that revolves around the transmission of knowledge of the table, he wants to sublimate our grandmothers, refusing to let their anecdotes, memories and knowledge fall into oblivion.

This is why he decided to meet these women and to honor the gastronomy of our territory, telling recipes and moments of sharing, as we could do on a Sunday around a family meal. A desire to pass on knowledge, but also to brush up on ideas received about our elderly. During this series, Rémi sets out to meet these “normal” women and wants to tell their story through their knowledge. He then he imagines putting all these recipes together in a book.

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