Fish lovers have bouillabaisse, those who prefer meat dishes have feet packages. Also called feet and packets, this typical dish of Marseille – which is among a long list of Provençal specialties – has a history as rich as these ingredients. Warm and comforting, we reveal the history and recipe of this good dish which can be enjoyed both in autumn and in winter.
Marseille packet feet, a legendary dish
Where do our feet and packages come from? More than 140 years ago, Louis Ginouvès, a cook from the Pomme district in Marseille, would have cooked this recipe for the first time. If the date retained by gastronomy books is that of 1800, we must nevertheless go back much earlier to find the origin of this winter dish. According to legend, to understand where bundle feet come from we must go back 2600 years, to the time of creation of the Phocaean city.
Remember, we told you in a previous article that ancient Marseille was founded thanks to a love story. Well, it’s this same idyll that would have given us big feet. Indeed, to declare her love for the Phocaean captain Protis, Princess Gyptis offered him a cup of wine and some rolled lamb strips, stuffed with flesh and fragrant herbs. Here is the ancestor of Marseille packages to which we will later add the lamb’s feet. But this is only a legend, and it is much more likely that we owe this recipe to the cook Louis Ginouvès.
A specialty of typical Provencal Christmas cuisine
After being born in Marseille, package feet then seduced everyone Provence. Traditionally eaten by workers in the 20th century, packet feet are found today on the plates of all classes and all families who also make this recipe their own. Cooked in autumn, it is especially in winterthe evening of December 24 or the week before Christmas that the Provencal people love to cook this dish.
The recipe for foot packets for 6 people from Quatre Saisons au Jardin
- 3 kg of packages (i.e. 4 or 5 depending on the size per person)
- 6 lambs feet
- 500g tomato puree
- 1 liter of quality white wine
- 1 packet of carrot tops
- 1 stalk of celery
- 2 leeks
- 3 onions including 1 studded with cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 piece of organic dried orange
- olive oil
- 1 bird pepper
- potatoes as a side dish
- Salt and pepper from the mill
- Preheat the TH 110 oven
- Cut the leeks, three carrots, the celery and the two onions into brunoise. Brown in a cast iron casserole dish with a little olive oil.
- Place the packets (only), pour in the tomato puree, cover with the white wine, salt, pepper, aromatic herbs, bird’s eye pepper, orange peel, vegetable brunoise and onion studded with cloves . Bring to a gentle simmer.
- Place the covered casserole dish in the hot oven and cook for 4 hours. Leave to rest overnight in a cool place.
- The next day, degrease if necessary, add the rest of the carrots cut into seven-centimeter pieces and the stems, then place your casserole dish back in the oven for a good four hours at 110°C.
Cooking potatoes & dressing:
- Steam the potatoes, serve 4 or 5 packets per person and one stalk, then sprinkle with chopped parsley.
And yes, the best dishes take time!