Parmentier is a classic French dish of layered potatoes and meat. It seemed like the perfect vehicle for pork confit, so here is my version, layered up in a fancy way for company. It could easily be done in oven proof bowls with the ingredients inverted, the meat on the bottom, potato on top. This recipe makes enough for 8 people.
3 lbs buttery potatoes (we used German Butterballs)
1/4 c butter
1/4 c milk to taste
1/4 c creme fraiche to taste
3/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg to taste
2 lb Tuscan kale (dinosaur)
3 cloves garlic
4 cups shredded pork confit
1 bunch arugula
Peel and boil potatoes until soft. Mash smooth, then add butter, milk and creme fraiche. May need more of each to reach a creamy consistency. Season with salt and pepper, then add freshly grated nutmeg. Taste as you add the nutmeg so you don’t over do it. This can be made a few hours ahead and kept at room temp.
Quickly blanch the kale in salted boiling water for 3 minutes. Shock in cold water. Strip off the leaves from the stems and roughly chop the leaves. Squeeze out the excess water. The kale can be done up until this point the day before and kept in the fridge. Just before forming the parmentiers, heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil, add the garlic until soft, then the kale. Sauté just until warm and fragrant. Season with salt and pepper.
Thinly slice onions and medium dice apples. Saute onions over medium high heat until soft. Add the apples. When apples are cooked but still firm, season with salt and pepper. Add shredded pork and heat through.
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Using a double layer of folded non-stick aluminum foil or buttered foil, create 8 tube molds, 5 inches high. You can also use fancy metal ring molds if you have them. Place on a buttered sheet pan. Add 1/2 cup potatoes to each mold, pressing down with a spoon. Next evenly divide the kale between molds, pressing lightly. Finally, evenly divide the pork confit mixture. Give everything a final press down, then bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes until heated through. Just before their done, toss together a quick arugula salad lightly dressed with a squeeze lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Remove parmentiers from the oven and let stand 5 minutes before unmolding. I used kitchen shears to cut off the foil , then a spatula to plate the parmentier. Add a small handful of arugula to each parmentier and serve. I was so depressed that we did not have leftovers!