Skyrim's civil strife, political intrigue and high adventure are best experienced on a full stomach. Good thing the lands of the north have The Gourmet's Uncommon Taste cookbook. The Potage le Magnifique is described in the in-game book as The Gourmet's signature dish, a simple alchemical culinary concoction of stock, vegetables and flour.
Joystiq editor Dave Hinkle and I went through the process of creating The Gourmet's simple porridge potion that has "caused grown men to weep with with joy." Head on past the break for our text-based culinary adventure, or download our experience in audio form from iTunes, Zune or DnAFoodcast.com. Potage le Magnifique as found in the Uncommon Taste:
• 4 cups chicken broth
• 4 cups beef broth
• 2 1/2 ounces butter
• 1 wooden flagon of flour
• 1 cup diced carrots
• 1/2 cup diced onions
• Stoke the flames of your open-pit fire, and achieve a low heat.
• Combine all ingredients into a large soup pot.
• Stir vigorously!
• Once hot, pour into earthen soup bowls immediately!
As most of us aren't likely to be feeding a banquet hall of citizens, nor have an open-pit fire that doesn't violate city ordinances, feel free to reduce the ingredients and use a saucepan with a stove burner on the simmer setting.
Another perplexity of the recipe is the "1 wooden flagon of flour." A flagon? According to the Oxford American Dictionary, the measurement of a flagon is about 2 pints (1.13 liters). However, since the US and Britain can't agree on what a "pint" is, with the US pint measuring 16 fluid ounces (470 ml) and the British pint being 20 imperial fluid ounces (568 ml), we're just going to accept that we don't exactly have anyone from the College of Winterhold to make a judgment call on the Nord definition.
For the sake of making a sample of the potage, we reduced all measurements to a quarter of the original recipe. We also went with the US measurement of a pint, since the flour is used simply as a thickening agent and even our reduction led to... issues.
Potage le Magnifique of Skyrim (still serves four)
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup beef broth
- 2/3 oz butter (1.5 tablespoons)
- 1/4 flagon = 8 fluid oz. of flour (but eye it while cooking so you don't go from "thick soup" to "paste")
- 1/4 cup diced carrots
- 1/8 cup diced onions
The specific onion isn't defined by The Gourmet. I used a red onion and Dave went with a sweet onion. In the end, he said his potage was too sweet, almost like candy. Since there is no salt added in this recipe, it may be best to use an onion that isn't sweet, since the carrot will naturally add a sugary flavor.
The most difficult step in the potage is adding the flour. The Gourmet gets it right when he says, "Stir vigorously!" Lumpy soup with flour balls in it is a real issue here and not tasty. Use a whisk to incorporate the flour slowly. Have patience, as I went a little too fast and not only ended up with lumps, but also created a paste. Eight ounces of flour is a lot, so just keep an eye out as you mix in the flour, otherwise you'll be stuck adding more water to compensate and then the balance gets all messed up. Potage is a thick soup, not a paste. Stop adding flour as soon as it starts having a consistency beyond cake mix.
If all ends well, you should have a hearty, winterborn semi-sweet thick soup or porridge.
As The Gourmet says, "In order to make the Potage le Magnifique truly magnificent, it takes the imagination of a truly inspired chef." Do you have an idea of other ingredients to add? And, no, daedra hearts, skeever tails and giants toe are not recommended.