A useful recipe for using up leftover cooked meat, Pouding de Viande (poo-ding d’vee-ahnd) may be made with lamb, pork, chicken, or a mixture of these. It makes a filling dinner or lunch, served with a green vegetable.
1 pint bechamel sauce
4 egg yolks
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 lb. cooked lean meat, finely chopped
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 oz. plus
1 teaspoon butter 8 oz. button mushrooms, wiped clean and halved 10 slices day-old white bread, crusts removed and thinly buttered
4 oz. Gruyere cheese, grated
Pour the bechamel sauce into a medium-sized mixing bowl and, using a wooden spoon, beat in the egg yolks. Set aside.
In a large frying-pan, heat the oil over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and fry, stirring occasion- ally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until it is soft and translucent but not brown. Add the meat, salt and pepper and fry, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
In a small saucepan, melt 1 ounce of the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and mix the mushrooms into the bechamel mixture. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).
Grease a 3-pint ovenproof mould with the remaining teaspoon of butter. Line the sides and bottom of the mould with the bread, buttered sides facing inwards, overlapping each slice and reserving enough bread to make a lid.
Spoon a little of the meat and onion mixture into the bottom of the mould and cover with a little of the bechamel and mushroom mixture. Sprinkle over a little grated cheese. Continue making layers in the same way until all the ingredients have been used up. Cover with the remaining bread slices, buttered side down, trimming them to fit the shape of the mould.
Cover the top of the mould with aluminium foil.
Place the mould in the centre of the oven and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until the top is golden brown.
Remove the mould from the oven and remove and discard the foil. Run a sharp-edged knife around the edge of the mould. Hold a warmed serving dish, inverted, over the mould and reverse the two, giving the mould a sharp shake. The pudding should slide out easily. Serve immediately.