Saturday, October 17, 2009

Pavo Con Pulque

My first experience with Pulque was about 10 years ago, driving between Guadalajara and Morelia. At one of the Autopista toll stations we would get inundated with several roadside vendors running along side the car with some kind of wicker bottle of "stuff".
One time we pulled over to use the restroom or to take the dogs for a walk and this guy came over to sell me some Pulque.

What the hell is Pulque?

It is an juice from the Maguey plant that is combine with some fruits and left to ferment. It has a very noticeable pungent ( nice word for it ) odor or smell......

Depending on which fruit is used, commonly pineapple, strawberries and prickly pears are used with the slimy sap from the plant, then left to ferment and sugars are added and your have

Cooking with Pulque is more like marinading with a wine or combine sauce where you use an alcohol liquor.

There are lot of stuff that you can cook with, this recipe uses Duck, but you could substitute the old other plain bird the chicken, for Pulque con Pollo.

The trick to this dish is the sauce, so the duck has the delicate taste and texture, but the sauce give it the extra flavor and is a little time consuming but worth the effort!

The Pulque adds a distinct and delicate nuance to the dish. Try it you may like it!

Pulque is a concoction that goes back to pre Columbian times and can be compared to moonshine or other home made booze.

To start:
Take the whole duck and place breast down in a baking dish. Season with Salt and Pepper, cover with pork lard, garlic and onions, the bay leaves and some of the thyme. Add water to cover the duck and put into a 350 F oven and cover with foil.

After about one hour, remove the foil and turn the duck over so that the other side gets exposed.
Cover with foil and return to the oven for one more hour. During the last 15 minutes remove the foil.

After 2 hours, remove and let cool, discard the water and fat, I usually will put it in another pot and stick it in the refrigerator so it solidifies, which make the disposal easier.

Carefully remove the bones with leaving the meat intact. Set aside.

Now make a Roux. Melt the butter in a 4 qt saucepan, and flour and stir incorporating the flour, on medium heat, be sure and keep stirring so the flour will not burn, when a light brown add some caldo de pollo about one teaspoon, incorporate and set aside.
To assemble the sauce

Take half of the duck bones and cover with water, bring to a boil in a sauce pan. Add the celery and carrot along with the onions, cook for about 30 minutes on medium. This will make a nice broth.

Take the remaining bones, vegetables and the cut tomato and place into a regular pan, do not use a non stick pan since the items will not caramelize properly. Place into a hot oven, until well browned but not burned 450-500 degrees.The will stick to the pan and form a fond. Remove from the oven, put on medium flame, add the Pulque and scrape the bits from the pan and squeeze the vegetables, to emit their juices. Reduce by half.

Add the broth and strain. Then add the liquid to the roux, to combine. Heat, season to taste, and cover the duck on individual servings with the sauce.

You can serve this with white rice, so that it will absorb the sauce.

Stuff you will need:

One large or two small ducks
1/2 lb lard
one onion cut into 8 pieces
1 head of garlic cut into half.
4 bay leaves
2 sprigs of thyme

For the Roux
1 1/2 oz butter
1 1/2 oz flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chicken dry caldo

For the sauce
1/2 leek in pieces, washed and cleaned
2 stalk of celery chopped
1 carrot diced
1 large onion chopped
1 large tomato chopped

1 comment:

Don Cuevas said...

I never knew, until I read your article, that the fruits were fermented along with the maguey sap. I'd always believed that the "cure" was applied post-fermentation.

Can you imagine: beet pulque fermenting? Isn't there some sort of Russian fermented beverage containing beets?

Can I cook in tepache? I have some tepache, which is easy to make and easier to come by than pulque.

I would like to cook with it, as drinking it causes me demasiados pedos and may be implicated in other molestias.

Don Cuevas

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