Tips & Techniques: Preparing a Confit

From the French word "confire," confit (silent "t") means "preserved." Traditionally, a confit refers to a food that is slowly cooked in its own fat in order to preserve it. More broadly, this term is used to describe any food cooked over time in fat- though not necessarily its own.


One of our favorite ways to utilize a confit is in our Bacon & Greens Sausage with Hoecakes & Pepper-Shallot Confit dish. Here, peppers and shallots are slowly cooked down in oil to provide a chunky sauce that is then served over The Spotted Trotter's Bacon & Greens Sausage (that's right). The key with a confit is to use much more oil than normal and low heat to really cook down the ingredient whose fat is being rendered. Oil temperature should be around 200 degrees F (much lower than a deep frying temperature).

A confit is one of the oldest ways of preserving foods. Historically, meat could be cooked in this fashion in order to preserve it for months on end. After first being salted, the meat should cook on a low temperature in its own fat before being sealed and stored. Fruit confits, on the other hand, are simply fruits that have been preserved in sugar. This type of confit can last for years!

A confit originated as a preservation method but has evolved to become a cooking technique that consistently produces delicious results. This method seals in both moisture and flavor and only requires a little patience. In the case of a confit, the classic tortoise and the hare tale reigns true: slow and steady wins the {taste}.