3730 Alouettes du Père Philippe

Method

Select as many nice even-shaped Dutch potatoes as there are larks. Clean them well and cut off a slice from the tops about ½ cm ( in) thick; hollow these out to be used as covers; also hollow out the potatoes to a shape large enough to hold one lark and place these into the oven to just half cook.

Colour the larks quickly in hot butter together with, for each bird, 10—15 g (⅓–½ oz) salt belly of pork cut in dice and blanched. Place one of the larks in each potato case along with a few pieces of the salt pork and a little of the fat from the pan. Replace the potato lids, secure these by tying with thread, then wrap each potato thus prepared in a sheet of strong oiled paper.

Place on the hearthstone, cover with a thick layer of hot cinders and cook for 20 minutes renewing the cinders from time to time.

The larks may also be prepared in the following manner: bone out the insides of the larks and stuff with a Gratin Forcemeat made with foie gras and truffles. Cook under cover with butter in the oven. Bake the potatoes under hot cinders and when cooked, remove the top of each. Empty the potatoes and shallow fry the pulp with butter turning over and over until lightly coloured. Refill the potatoes with this then place a lark on top and coat with a little Sauce Chateaubriand.

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