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What is Confit?

Learn the history of confit, how to prepare it, and what it tastes like.

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What is confit?

Confit is a type of cooking method that involves cooking food, usually meat, in its own fat. The word "confit" comes from the French word "confire", which means "to preserve", and this cooking method was originally used as a way to preserve food by sealing it in fat. 

What does confit taste like?

Confit dishes are typically rich, savory, and tender, with a depth of flavor from the spices and fat used in the cooking process. The taste of confit can vary depending on the type of meat or other ingredient used and the spices and herbs that are added to the fat.

Duck confit, for example, has a rich, savory flavor with a hint of sweetness from the fat and spices. The slow cooking process helps to tenderize the duck and give it a melt-in-your-mouth texture. Pork confit has a similarly rich, savory flavor, and is often served with a side of potatoes or vegetables.

What is the history/origin of confit?

Confit has its roots in the cuisine of southwestern France, where it was originally used to preserve duck and goose meat. The method was particularly popular in the region of Gascony, where the abundant supply of ducks and geese made confit a common part of the local cuisine.

How is confit served? 

Confit is typically served as a main course or as a component in other dishes. It is often served hot, but can also be served cold or at room temperature.

Duck confit, for example, is often served with a side of potatoes or vegetables, such as roasted potatoes, sautéed greens, or braised red cabbage. It can also be served with a side of fruit or a fruit-based sauce to balance out the richness of the meat.

How do you make confit? 

Here's how to make confit:

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the salt, peppercorns, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme to make a spice mixture.
  2. Place the duck, pork, or goose legs or thighs in a large, oven-safe pot or container. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the meat and toss to coat evenly.
  3. Pour the duck fat, lard, or oil over the meat, making sure to cover it completely. The fat should come up to at least the top of the meat, but it is okay if it goes above it.
  4. Cover the pot or container with a lid or foil and place it in the oven. Cook the confit for 2-6 hours, or until the meat is tender and falling off the bone. The cooking time will depend on the size and type of meat you are using.
  5. Remove the confit from the oven and allow it to cool. Once it is cool, you can store it in the fat in the refrigerator or freezer, or you can remove the meat from the fat and store it in a separate container.
  6. To serve the confit, heat it in a pan or oven until it is hot, and serve it with a side of potatoes, vegetables, or fruit, or use it as a topping for sandwiches or salads.

Confit is a flavorful and indulgent way to cook and serve a variety of meats, and is an important part of the culinary traditions of France and other parts of Europe.

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