Pot-au-feu is a traditional French peasant dish where meat, vegetables and delicious broth are all cooked together in one large pot, and your kotlich is a perfect vessel for this. Although most often made with chicken it works brilliantly with belly pork. An easy recipe to cook out camping as the ingredients need minimal preparation or can be prepared at home and easily transported.
1.5kg piece of belly pork, boned and skinned
3 – 4 fresh sage leaves
3 litres water or pork stock or mix of both
4 carrots peeled and left whole
6 garlic cloves peeled but left whole
1 bouquet garni made with 3 bay leaves, 3 thyme sprigs, 2 sage leaves, 1 sprig marjoram tied together with string
3 celery sticks cut into 4 lengths approx. 7cm each
4 shallots peeled and left whole
2 leeks, cut into 7cm lengths
half savoy cabbage cut into 4 wedges
4 medium potatoes but into quarters
generous handful of fresh parsley chopped
salt & pepper to taste
First light your fire. You will need a kotlich pan. Prepare the pork, place it fat side down and season the flesh side with salt and pepper. Lay the sage leaves in a line along a long edge. Then roll up the belly as tight as possible so that the sage leaves are in the middle of the roll. Tie butchers string around the middle then along the whole piece so the meat will stay in shape during cooking.
Without putting any fat into the kotlich fry the rolled belly for 12-15 minutes until its golden brown all over.
Now you’ll need to stoke your fire. Leave the browned meat in the pan and pour over the stock if using and/or water so that the meat is submerged. Season the liquid generously with salt (about 1 tblsp). Bring to the boil then spread out the wood and adjust the pot on the chain so that the kotlich simmers gently. Cook for 1 hour. Fast cooking will make the meat tough.
Add the carrots, garlic and bouquet garni and cook for a further 30 minutes. Then add the remaining ingredients apart from the parsley and simmer for a further hour. The meat will now be meltingly tender and the vegetables will have absorbed the flavour from the delicious broth. Give each diner a generous slice of pork along with vegetables in deep bowls so that they can enjoy the broth and the meat together – sprinkle each portion with chopped parsley.