A Near Miss, or Was It?

February 15, 2011

I found this recipe for a dish called baeckeoffe in a book a read recently.  I thought I would give it a try.

This is a type of stew that is usually made with pork, beef and lamb.  I must confess that I don’t like stew.  This version just had pork, which I like so I thought what the heck.  Leeks, pork and wine?  What could be better than that?  As it turns out, quite a few things.

Let me tell you that we didn’t like this dish and here’s why.  The gin.  The gin was a very strong flavor in this dish.  If you like gin, than give this a try.  It’s really simple to make.  I thought that if I made it again I would either cut down on the gin or omit it entirely and just add more white wine.  Good idea, except that my husband told me to never make this dish again.  This was, of course, while he was getting a second helping. 

Talk about mixed signals. 

I liked the tenderness of the meat.  I liked the tenderness of the potatoes.  I liked pairing it with some rustic bread and mustard.

I just didn’t like the strong flavor of the gin.

If I ever make this again, I would also season it more.  I used truffle salt at every layer, but I would use more of it.  The potatoes needed a slight boost in the flavor department.


  • 3 Leeks, white and light green parts thinly sliced
  • 1 C chopped carrots
  • 1 C chopped onion
  • 3 T minced parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 lb pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 3/4 C gin
  • 1 C white wine
  • 1 lb yellow potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 large tomato, sliced
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

In a large bowl, combine the leeks, carrots, onion, parsley, garlic, pork, gin and wine.  Cover and let marinate at least two hours, or overnight in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and remove the pork from the fridge;  allow to come to room temperature while you slice the potatoes.  Lightly oil a 3.5 quart covered casserole, then layer half the potato slices on the bottom of the pot.  They can overlap slightly.  Season with salt and pepper, then, using a slotted spoon, remove the meat and vegetables from the marinade, reserving the marinade.  Layer them over the potatoes, and season with salt and pepper.  Cover the meat and vegetables with the rest of the potato slices, and season with salt and pepper.  Place the tomato slices over the top in a single layer.

Pour the reserved marinade over the whole thing, season with salt and pepper again, cover and bake for two hours, leaving the lid slightly off center to vent it.

Serve with bread and your favorite mustard.

The smell in the kitchen while this was in the oven was fantastic.  Seriously. 

We were so excited to give this a try.  We were also so disappointed when it didn’t turn out as we expected.  Has that ever happened to you?


  1. Believe me, this has happened to me before! It’s so sad when things don’t taste as good as they smell. So sad it didn’t turn out for you, because the recipe does look pretty promising. I liked your honest assessment of it. 🙂

    • Nicole-
      I thought it would be fun to post a recipe that didn’t work out for me instead of one that did. Thanks for the feedback.

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