Our Txoko is growing up. We have a good solid core of committed gastronomiques who take the tradition very seriously.

When we decided to give our most recent Txoko a culinary theme it was pretty easy to choose the foods of the Basque people as the focus.

The Basque invented the Txoko and two of the founding members of our Austin group are indeed Basque.

It was clearly time to do some serious research. I spent a week in the Pyranees reading about Basque food ways including some very informative Basque shepherd blogs and other Basque cooking sites

One dish that kept recurring in my studies is called Porrusalda, a stew of sorts featuring lots of potatoes, onions, garlic and either sausage or salt cod.

There are two different camps on the latter option with some Basque claiming that without the cod, it just isn’t Porrusalda while the opposing group maintains that the stew must feature sausage or it simply is not authentic.

As one often does, I had to choose a camp and with a freezer full of high quality Louisiana sausage the choice was an easy one.

In a traditional Basque home a vast kettle of this dish is cooked on Sunday to provide sustenance through the week.

Porrusalda has a thousand fathers, each claiming primacy, the following is the version I prepared for Txoko Four, our Basque gastronomic society meeting on Saturday February 26th 2011

Ingredients

1 c. Oil, Olive,not virgin

12 each Onions, Green, Giant, white part, minced

3 lb Sausage, sliced, Best Stop [from Scott,Louisiana] pure pork works incredibly well

5 lb potatoes, red, peeled, cubed

2 T. Thyme, fresh

1 T. Pepper, white, ground

1 T. Salt

1 each Garlic, bulb

1 each Shallot, bulb

1 c. Flour

4 qt. Stock, Chicken, Scratch

8 each bay leaves

1/4 c. Parsley

Bread for garnish

Method

* In large 8 qt. stockpot, pour in oil

* Heat to medium

* Add in green onions and sausage.

* Stir to brown lightly

* Add in potatoes and seasonings

* Cook 15 minutes

* Add flour.

* Toss together till flour is incorporated

* Cook 15 minutes

* Add in chicken stock.

* Stir till all ingredients are well combined.

* Place bay leaves in pot

* Simmer for 1 hour.

* Stir in parsley just before serving.

* Place in individual serving bowls

* Top each with toasted French bread chunks

This recipe yields a large kettle of some of the best Basque soul food you’re ever likely to encounter. It would make a fine one dish meal or a small bowl could be used as a course in a Txoko type setting

Bon Appetit Y’all

all Txoko coverage here http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/Txoko-A-Basque-Tradition

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