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Kig ha farz, which roughly translates to mean "meat with far", is a traditional Breton peasant dish. Far is a large buckwheat flour dumpling that is placed in a muslin or linen bag. The bag is placed in a large pot of boiling pork, beef and vegetables for several hours. After the kig ha farz is cooked, the far bag is rolled on a countertop until the dumpling within has been reduced to a crumbly, stuffing-like consistency. It is served with boiled meat and vegetables from the pot.
Peasants in France's Brittany region would traditionally start preparing kig ha far in the morning before going off to work. They would put any bits of beef and fatty pork they had available in a large pot filled with water. Then they would add root vegetables, such as turnips and carrots, to the pot before finally putting in the far sack filled with the buckwheat flour dough.
They would come home to a complete meal in the one pot. The vegetables in broth functioned as a soup that was followed by the main course of meat and stuffing. Lard or fat would often be poured on the far to give it more flavoring.
Far is made of buckwheat flour that is mixed with eggs, butter, cream, sugar and salt. The mixture is poured into the far sack, leaving about one-third of the area free to allow the dumpling to expand while cooking. It is said that some have used the sleeve of a man’s shirt as the dumpling bag, but one can also use a square cotton cloth. Using modern cooking methods, the sack is closed and cooked in the broth of meat and vegetables for about two hours.
When the far is cooked, it is thoroughly drained while still in the sack. The sack is then rolled on a hard surface to break the dumpling into small pieces. These pieces are served as a side dish to the meats and vegetables that were cooked in the kig ha farz pot. Sometimes the whole far dumpling is removed from the sack and served in slices as one would serve a pate.
Kig ha farz is not an attractive dish by nouvelle cuisine standards. Far resembles a dark stuffing and it is traditionally served with chunks of fatty bacon. More health-conscious diners are switching to leaner cuts of beef and pork. Although many are not familiar with this dish, there is still a demand for it in Brittany and elsewhere in France.
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