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Confit Eating


Tonyfinch
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I always thought a confit was a way of preserving meat in fat,mainly found in areas of Southern France.

Last night,at Cantina Vinopolis in London, my rib eye was accompanied by "confit tomatoes".What arrived appeared to me to be a cooked tomato with a clove of garlic on top.

I've also noticed on menus "confit of vegetables" ,"confit of onions", "confit of beetroot" etc. Is this just modern menu-speak (as in "pan-fried") or is there a special cooking technique being applied?

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Confit is now such a loosely applied term as to be virtually meaningless. When not used it the strict sense of the word you have identified, it will usually either mean slowly poached in olive oil, or slowly cooked until soft. For example Gordon Ramsay's confit tomato recipe is slices of tomato flesh brushed with olive oil and baked on a very low oven for a couple of hours.

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Um. I did a "tomato confit" once but I was a bit embarassed by the ponceyness of that and so just called it oil poached tomatoes. And have ever since.

It's like calling steaming sauteeing or grilling braising or a carrot a potato. Just confused and confusing, I think.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Is there anything else you typically see confited in the traditional sense besides duck and goose?  The only thing I can think of is the crisped pork confit I love to eat at Le Pichet in Seattle.  Duck confit is about as good as life gets, so I wonder if I'm not missing out on some other confit opportunities.

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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There was a discussion of the meaning of confit months back, with Fat Bloke mistakenly claiming that it involved only braising, and me assertingly accurately that it implied preservation too (that's how I remember it, anyway  :raz: ).

But to answer the last question, I prepare rabbit legs in confit in the same way as duck legs, and indeed keep them in the same big jar.   Very good.  I also recall a French person of my acquaintance preserving jointed up small birds - pigeons in particular - but I have never tried that.

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I agree with Tonyfinch's original assertion that confit refers to cooking then preserving a meat product in fat so that we can survive the winter (without having to go to the local restaurant).

But that got me thinking about one of my favourite foods - namely rilletes. How do we define the difference between confit and rilletes. Especially when Wilfred talks about rabbit which is one of my favourite rilletes!

Roger McShane

Foodtourist.com

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So confiture. i.e. duck jam.

It was the practice of my mother to cook sausages slowly in a bath of lard. Does that make them confit of sausage?

Or sausage jam? A plague on these frenchified menus.

Wilma squawks no more

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For that matter, Roger, what I was calling pork confit at my local French place is actually bills as rillons de porc on the menu.  Are rillons the same as rillettes?  Whatever they call them, they sure are good.

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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Rillions are chunky Rillette or more correctly Rillette are little Rillions (the name is a bit of a give away). Rillions are almost confit of lardons, whereas Rillette are more shreddy. They are my favourite food, especially goose Rillette, although rabbit Rillette with prune conserve is a close second. Has anybody ever had lamb rillette?

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And then there are fritons.  I think these are just rillons with some more heavily cooked bits.  I recall them being a bit crunchy.  Perhaps they are made by applying the shredding technique (two forks) to a nicely crusted piece of confit?  But I am open to correction.  Haven't had lamb rillettes, although I can conceptualise them.

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It's like calling steaming sauteeing or grilling braising or a carrot a potato. Just confused and confusing, I think.

It seems similar to how the word "scampi" has changed meaning in the US.  Originally used as a noun to refer to shrimp, it has evolved (devolved?) to refer to sauteeing in oil and garlic.  Irks my Bro to no end ("What!? Shrimp shrimp?").

=Mark

Give a man a fish, he eats for a Day.

Teach a man to fish, he eats for Life.

Teach a man to sell fish, he eats Steak

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Fritons? Interesting. The rillons I have seen cooked are all largeish chunks, it is true (never crunchy though). If you shredded them, I guess they would then be rillette, but much easier to make rilletes in the more conventional way.

Lamb rillette, no I though of it of the top of my head, I just wondered if the existed out side of this though (Wilfid - do not become the philosopher on me now, or I will have to invoke the power of the pie).

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("What!? Shrimp shrimp?").

Mesclun mix. Mix mix.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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I am not sure if this fits exactly under the topic heading :wink:, but I always understood scampi was originally a distinct sea creature of some kind rather than a shrimp (which is not to disagree by any means with Mark's comment about how the term's usage has slipped in the states).  I just recall John Arlott saying scampi "should be scampi, fresh from the Adriatic, and not Dublin Bay prawns.  I like Dublin Bay prawns under their own name, but not when they creep onto the menu of every restuarant in London claiming to be scampi."  I am quoting from memory.

Adam, you know about multi-legged underwater things.  Are scampi a species unto themselves?  Perhaps distant cousins of Balmain Bay bugs?

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"Scampi" is Italian for Dublin Bay Prawn (Nephrops norvegicus), Langoustine (spelling?) in France. Nephrops norvegicus in the Adriatic is the same as Nephrops norvegicus in the North Sea (the name actually means "Norwegian Lobster"). It is more closely related to the lobster then to shrimp/prawns. They taste fantastic, unfortunately in Britian they batter/crumb them to death and the sell them as "Scampi". So some people, quite rightly, have difficulty making the conection between the loverly fresh Nephrops norvegicus and the sad battered/crumbed pub lunch Nephrops norvegicus

As an Australian I would call small clawless prawns "Shrimp" (as in those delicious little brown shrimp you get in the UK), in the USA the would call the large version a "Shrimp", no?

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One thing I have always understood to be part and parcel (Tommy's po-mo deconstructionesque usage elsewhere has got me using the word parcel all the time) of Being Confit is the meat or poultry in question is preserved in its OWN fat.  (Jinmyo does this make confit itself recursive or just the confit conversation so.)

Which does not dilute my interest in, say, pigeons getting the treatment, nor rabbits, neither, however neither of them has much indigenous fat to contribute.  So one COULD say, that they the indigenously low-fat animal products, cooked and preserved in somebody ELSE's rendered fat, risk titular ponceyness in quite the same way oil-cooked tomatoes do.

And, according to The Oxford Companion to Food, Lebanese mountain dwellers traditionally cook and preserve lamb in its own fat, a preparation called qawarma.  So, yeah, Adam Balic thinks it and it is so.  Interestingly, confit d'agneau is given as an appositive.

Priscilla

Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ●  Twitter    Instagram

 

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  • 6 years later...

Does anyone out there who uses duck/goose far for making confit know how many times you can reuse fat? I often make duck leg confit, and have used the same fat each time, straining it through muslin each time. It's quite "ducky" smelling now, and I'm wondering if it's still OK to continue using it!

Any thoughts?

Lee

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