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Potjevleesch with french fries

Potjevleesch is a traditional French Flemish dish, which can be translated into English as "potted meat", although in appearance it is more like a terrine than a pâté.

It is traditionally made in a ceramic dish—such as a marmite—from three or four different types of meat and held together either with gelatin or natural fats coming from the meats used. The meat (along with sliced onions, salt, pepper, thyme and bay leaves) is covered in water or water and vinegar and then cooked either on a low heat in the oven or on a low flame on top of the stove for 3 hours. After cooking the dish is chilled in the fridge and served cold.[1]

It is customary to serve it with French Fries (Br. chips) and often the dish is enjoyed with a glass of jenever or "Genièvre (juniper) of Houlle".


Early recipe[edit]

In 1302 William Tirel gave the following recipe:

Prepare the jelly by boiling calves' feet in 1 liter of white wine, with a score of fresh juniper berries. Reduce heat of coal and let reduce by half. Desalt the pork shoulder. Remove the flesh of a chicken and rabbit. Cut the pork, chicken and rabbit, calf's foot, and as far as pork meat of veal into pieces about the size of half a quail. Minding the flesh at a rate of juniper berries and grated ginger, a little master and an abundance of saffron gâtinais. Salt. Have a melting pot, pour over the broth, a cup of gin alcohol and sour grapes by the device. Lutez cover with flour and egg white. Wear fire coals 3 to4 hours without boiling. At this time, lift the lid, bring to a rolling boil. Throw in earthenware pots that you put in the cellar.

William Tirel, 1302 [1]

Modern recipe[edit]

  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 3 hours

For 6 people:

300 grams each of:

  • chicken
  • rabbit
  • veal
  • pork belly,


  • onions,
  • salt and pepper,
  • thyme and Bay Leaves
  • white wine or wine vinegar
  • water.

At the bottom of the dish place a layer of sliced onions; season with the salt, pepper, thyme and bay leaves. Then add meats and have alternating layers of onions and meat. Add the water and vinegar, or just water along with white wine - the meat must be completely covered. Bring to a boil and cook over low heat for 3 to 4 hours. Add a little extra of the vinegar-water mixture. Allow to cool slowly and refrigerate for at least 12 hours to set.

See also[edit]