Gayettes de Provence


  • Serves 6 - 8 people

Sort of sausages with a French accent and sans skins, gayettes will brighten your summer barbecue, writes Damien Pignolet.

  • 1 pig’s liver (about 1.2kg; see note)
  • 500 gm lean pork, diced
  • 350 gm pork back fat, diced (see note)
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, crushed to a paste
  • 3 gm white peppercorns, coarsely cracked
  • 2 tsp herbes de Provence (see note)
  • 1 tsp quatre-epices (see note) or ½ tsp ground allspice and ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • Finely grated rind of 1 lemon and ½ orange
  • 60 ml dry white wine
  • 30 ml Ricard Pastis de Marseille
  • 1 bunch swiss chard or silverbeet, leaves only, washed and coarsely chopped
  • 28 gm salt or 2% of the net weight of the meat if less than above
  • 40 gm iced water directly from the freezer
  • 300 gm caul fat, soaked in cold water with the juice of ½ lemon(at least an hour or up to overnight; see note)
  • For cooking: olive oil or duck fat
01   Trim the pig’s liver of all tubes – there are lots of tubes to be avoided but unlike calf’s liver the skin is very thin and impossible to remove. Cut liver into small dice – you should have about 550gm liver.
02   Combine liver, pork, back fat, onion, garlic, peppercorns, herbes de Provence, quarter-epices and rinds in a large bowl, add wine and pastis, mix well, cover and refrigerate overnight. Meanwhile, blanch the swiss chard for 5 minutes or until tender but not too soft. Drain and refresh under cold running water until very cold. Drain and squeeze the leaves dry with a clean tea towel. Chop coarsely and chill well (at least 1 hour).
03   Mince the meat mixture through the medium plate of a mincer directly into a large mixing bowl, working quickly so meat remains chilled, then quickly add the chard, salt and ice water.
04   Beat in a stand mixer or using your hand to emulsify. The mixture should feel sticky between the fingers and appear sweaty. Divide into 16 even pieces (about 110gm each) and, with slightly wet hands, shape them into triangles about 2.5cm thick, placing them on a tray in the refrigerator as you go to keep chilled.
05   Drain the caul fat and rinse well under cold running water. Gently squeeze small mounds fairly dry. Use a water spray to moisten the work surface, then spread out the caul. Wrap each gayette in caul, avoiding double thicknesses except at the joins; it’s important the caul melts as much as possible.
06   Preheat the oven to 180C and heat a barbecue flat plate to medium-high (or heat a flat grill pan over medium-high heat). Add oil or fat and heat until hot but not smoking, add the gayettes in batches and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on both sides (10 minutes).
07   Place the gayettes in the oven until just cooked through (10 minutes; pierce one with a small knife while holding a spoon against it to collect the juices, which should run clear). Remove from the oven and serve with gratin of kipfler potatoes and a mesclun salad.

Note Begin this recipe a day ahead to marinate the meat. Pig's livers weigh 1kg-1.2kg and contain lots of tubes. Unlike calf's livers they don't require skinning. Because less than half the weight is required (and the product is inexpensive) you can be extravagant and select only the pure flesh. Cut 2cm slices across the narrower width, then cut around the tubes to achieve 550gm. Order back fat and caul in advance from your butcher. Herbes de Provence are available from select spice specialists; Pignolet prefers A L'Olivier brand, available from Gourmet Life. He makes his own quatre-épices by grinding seven parts allspice with one part each of nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon in a spice blender.










Jan 2014

Jan 2014

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