I’m in recovery mode today from the Gargantuan meal with the hunters of Montesquiou in the Gers. The village is only a few kilometers away from me and I was invited by Louisa of @littleblackpig, as they hunt on her land and she therefore gets invited to the yearly lunch. She invited me along, as she thought that I would appreciate the menu, mostly made up of sanglier (wild boar) and chevreuil (venison). It’s a special treat, as these meats are not easily obtainable unless you know some hunters. For my English readers, the hunt around here is not at all the same thing as the ‘hunt’ in the English countryside. Here it is local, everyman hunting, in camouflage gear and it is taken very seriously. The average hunter is an older man with a spectacular moustache and rosy cheeks, so Louisa turning up with me, her workaway Spanish girl, Maria, plus the lovely Noemie who is currently helping her develop her farm, created a bit of a sensation. As one chap said, ‘ Je n’imaginais pas voir quatre nanas á un tel repas’, which being translated means ‘I didn’t think I was going to see 4 chicks at this kind of meal!’ Which was a compliment to me at my age!
And so it began, first the apero, with a choice of whisky, pastis or porto (yes, porto, they drink it as an aperitif in France).
Then some kir served out of huge jugs, to accompany the first course of garbure, a cabbage and duck soup which was presented in tureens, one for every 4 people. Oh, and did I mention the jugs of red and rosé wine on the tables? Next up was a few salad leaves accompanying paté de sanglier, saucisson de sanglier and sanglier ham and lots of crusty bread, of course. Then the civet de sanglier. If you are keeping count, this is the third course. Civet is a rich stew of meat usually made with red wine but in this case, with cider. There was an odd carrot or two in evidence but it was basically just meat in a delicious sauce and easily washed down with the local red wine. You may at this point think, as I did, that the meal was almost over, but no……I was then introduced to the ‘trou gascon’. This is a white armagnac, made with the first pressing of grapes and very delicious, and amazingly effective at making you think that you are still hungry (perhaps because you are rather tipsy at this point?). And it is just as well that you feel a bit hungry because next up, grillade de chevreuil, gratin de pommes de terre and stuffed tomatoes. This appeared to be the second main course of the lunch. We all had seconds. (Something I regretted later….). The there was salad with some cheese, and then cider and sparkling wine to accompany the dessert (it is now 5pm) of croustade de pommes and pruneaux ice cream. Finally coffee and some more sparkling wine (which I also regretted later), and the meal was over. I tried, dear readers, to take some pictures and they are not superb mainly because of the trou gascon and those jugs of wine…..
It is now 24 hours later and I am beginning to believe that I might, perhaps eat something tonight. All I need is some of that ‘trou gascon’ to do its work……