There are two hearty peasant stews that use the Pardailhan turnip. Le Mourtayrol is an ancient dish that was originally a very thick soup made with bread and milk. Recipes for it date back to the middle ages.
Le Mourtayrol (Chicken, Beef And Bacon Soup with Saffron)
3 lb beef
1 ½ lb gammon
1 pinch salt and black pepper, freshly ground
4 carrots, chopped
4 leeks, chopped
2 small turnips, chopped
3 onions, chopped
½ tsp saffron
1 loaf french bread
2 tbsp olive oil
Put the beef, chicken and gammon into a large pot. Cover with water. Add the salt and pepper and bring slowly to the boil. Skim off the scum and add the whole vegetables. Reduce the heat, partly cover the pot and gently simmer for 4 hours. After 2 ½ hours remove 1 pint of stock from the pot, add the saffron to it and leave it to infuse for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut the bread into slices, toast them lightly and arrange them in a stoneware pot or in a heavy casserole. Pour on the stock and saffron, cover the pot and cook gently for 1 hour in a low oven. Stir occasionally so that the bread dissolves into a creamy yellow paste. If it becomes too dry, add a little more stock from the pot. Finally stir in the oil. Remove the meats and the vegetables from the soup to serve later as the main course. Strain the soup and ladle it into individual soup bowls. Add a large spoonful of the mourtayrol to each bowl and serve.
Ollada (Catalan) or Ouillade, is a beef stew cooked in a heavy pot (similar to those used in pot au feu) and uses haricot beans as well as turnips.
250g dried haricot beans
1kg hock of gammon (ham)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
150g turnip, chopped
350g potatoes, chopped
½ savoy cabbage
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
Soak the haricot beans in cold water overnight. The next day, put the gammon hock into a deep pan with 2 litres of water. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, then cover and leave to simmer gently for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the meat is tender and falling away from the bone. Leave the hock in the cooking liquor until cool enough to handle.
Drain the beans and put into a second pan with 1 litre of cold water. Bring to the boil, skimming off any scum as it rises to the surface, then lower the heat, cover and leave to simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until tender. Drain and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 10 minutes. Add the carrot and cook for 5 minutes until it’s soft. Strain 1.75 litres of the gammon's cooking liquor into the pan, add the turnip and potatoes and simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, discard the skin from the hock and tear the meat into small, bite-sized pieces.
Chop the cabbage, add the gammon pieces, cabbage and beans to the soup and simmer for 5-7 minutes until tender. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the garlic, parsley and plenty of black pepper. Ladle into large warmed soup plates and serve with lots of fresh crusty bread.