Having spent the past few days feeling as though I were at death's door, there was nothing I wanted less than spinach, kale, or any of the iron-rich leafy greens known to be good for the body. No, what I wanted was food that was good for the soul, designed to soothe and heal in equal measure. Fortunately, the perfect recipe can be found in any Dordogne cookbook.
Traditionally served with duck, pommes sarladaise are rich, unctuous, and filled with garlic. But as an invalid, I couldn't stomach the idea of meat. All I wanted was enough garlic to kill off the germs, served on a base of potatoes as familiar as my mother's mash. Fortunately, my daughter is a dab hand in the kitchen. The recipe below is my wife's take on a Perigord classic.
680g waxy potatoes
3 tbsps rendered duck or goose fat
125g chopped flat leaf parsley
2 garlic cloves (more if you're warding off vampires or germs)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Peel potatoes, then cut into ¼-inch-thick slices. Rinse in two or three changes of cold water until water runs clear. Drain and pat very dry.
2. Heat fat in a 12-inch non-stick frying pan over a medium heat until melted. Cook potatoes with ¾ tsp salt, turning gently, until coated with fat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, turning occasionally, until golden in spots and potatoes are tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, finely chop parsley and garlic together. Gently stir parsley mixture into cooked potatoes.