What follows is a small collection of some of my favorite recipes from the Perigord or Dordogne region of southwestern France.
The cuisine of the Perigord is quite distinctive. It is characterized by an extensive use of pork, duck and goose as well as the use of game (rabbit, game birds, etc.). Very little dairy products are produced there so cheese and buttermaking is minimal, cooks in the region instead rely on duck and goose fat for richness. Garlic is another favorite component of many meals.
Confit is a method of preserving meats in the region in which the meat is cooked slowly in rendered fat and then put up in its fat in crocks or jars. It may then be stored in a cool dry place for a lengthy period of time. In the southwest ducks and geese are commonly made into confit and pork may be as well. When a piece of confit is needed, the crock may be warmed a bit to soften the fat and a piece of confit removed. The remainder is covered back up and the jar returned to storage.
Walnuts are a common to the cuisine of the area. In traditional Perigordin cooking they are most commonly encountered as walnut oil, the fat that along with that from ducks is signature flavor of the area. The trees are not overly tolerant of heat so they are not found further south or in the mountains to the east.