The Bombine used to be called the ‘Dish of the Poor’ because it is a complete meal with potatoes and a little meat. Bay leaves give this dish a special aroma, but otherwise the ingredients can vary widely and there are as many recipes for Bombine as there are villages in the Ardèche. Saint-Andéol-de-Berg is the ‘Capital of the Bombine’ with chefs called ‘Maîtres Bombinaires’. Some of them will add carrots, garlic or black olives. Here we offer a recipe from the beautiful village of Labeaume.
- 1.5kg potatoes
- 2 onions
- 4 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 1 glass of white wine
- 800g salted pork belly or smoked bacon
1 Peel the potatoes and cut them into not too small cubes. Cut the meat into smaller pieces and slice the onions finely. Pour a bit of olive oil into a cast iron casserole dish and sweat the onions and brown the meat.
2Then moisten both with half a litre of salted water and the white wine. Throw in thyme and bay leaves and pepper and bring to boiling point.
3 Add the potatoes and cover with the lid and place in the oven at medium temperature for 1½ to 2 hours. Serve the Bombine with a crisp salad for a simple but exquisite meal.
IMAGE © REGINA VON PLANTA
First printed in our sister publication France Today
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