Confit is the French word that means “to preserve”– the mustard and green pots were used for storing cooked meats and then buried in the ground or stored in stone-lined larders. This storage process preserved the cooked meat without refrigeration and could then be enjoyed throughout the winter months. The bottom halves were left unglazed for burying in the ground since the glaze would normally fall off sealed in the ground. Meats, most often duck, goose, or pork, preserved in this method are often considered a delicacy. Confit d’oie is preserved goose and confit de canard is preserved duck. The meat in these dishes is moist and delicate.
this photo of yellow confit pots courtesy of Old Plank Road
These pots are used today to hold rosemary and other types of flowers or can be displayed as single items or in groups. Either way they make for a beautiful addition to a homes kitchen or book shelf. The placement is limitless. They also make nice utensil holders.
French Pots de Confit in a stunning off white color should not be confused with the mustard and green confit pots we typically see — both have similar uses but the white ones do not get buried. White confit pots where made in the Albigeois region in the south of France and considered the poor man’s Faience. Faience is an expensive high-end form of tin-glazed ceramics made in France and the majority of people could not afford to buy Faience. Confit pots had a type of glaze called terre de fer or a type of ironstone giving it an off white hue because of iron being mixed into the glaze.
AUBERGINE ANTIQUES carries every kind of Confit Pot from white to green to ochre — some with lids and some without. Browse the Crown and Colony website or better yet visit our Aubergine shop so you can see for yourself how wonderful and beautiful the confit pots are.
Now that you have an idea as to how these types of pots were used – we thought it might be fun to include a recipe for DUCK CONFIT courtesy of *Epicurious, 1999, Chef Tom Colichhio, Gramercy Tavern, New York, NY.
*Traditional French Duck Confit
(Cooking time: 2 days)
- 3 tablespoons salt
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 shallot, peeled and sliced
- 6 sprigs thyme
- Coarsely ground black pepper
- 4 duck legs with thighs
- 4 duck wings, trimmed
- **About 4 cups duck fat
1. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of salt in the bottom of a dish or plastic container large enough to hold the duck pieces in a single layer. Evenly scatter half the garlic, shallots, and thyme in the container. Arrange the duck, skin-side up, over the salt mixture, then sprinkle with the remaining salt, garlic, shallots, and thyme and a little pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 days.
2. Preheat the oven to 225°F. Melt the duck fat in a small saucepan. Brush the salt and seasonings off the duck. Arrange the duck pieces in a single snug layer in a high-sided baking dish or ovenproof saucepan. Pour the melted fat over the duck (the duck pieces should be covered by fat) and place the confit in the oven. Cook the confit slowly at a very slow simmer (just an occasional bubble), until the duck is tender and can be easily pulled from the bone, 2-3 hours. Remove the confit from the oven. Cool and store the duck in the fat. (The confit will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks.)
** Duck fat can usually be found in the freezer section of some of the finer supermarkets, at specialty foods stores, and online at dartagnan.com.
Pair this meal with a nice Merlot which would be full bodied with complex earthy tastes to compliment a meal such as this.
Au Revoir!! A La Prochaine!!