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A northerner with smoked pounce, please help!

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Hey all,

A good friend of mine from New Orleans (originally Baton Rouge) brought me a whole smoked pounce, telling me how good it was at a Villa Platt food festival he went to recently. Excited to try it out, I've been looking online for tips on prep for my new item. Google search brings up NOTHING, except for mention in a few smoked meat festivals. I remember he mentioned it's a backwoods down home thing, not a mainstream food item.

Can anyone help? It's in my freezer (just got it yesterday) and I don't know how to cook it (is it already cooked? Do I just let it thaw?), serve it, or what to drink with it (Abita? Turbo Dog? Wine?) Please help, as my instructors here in NYC don't even know what it is-although when I find out, they expect me to serve them a portion...

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  1. It's a PONCE, no "u" in the word. It's like a sausage, except that the casing is a pig's stomach. Sometimes smoked, sometimes baked. Since it is smoked, it's already cooked, so just reheat gently, slice, and serve. Drink something compatible with spicy, smoky, porky flavors.

    1. As Hungry Celeste has offered, it is already cooked and can be re-heated. I was taught that ponce ("chaudin" is another version but we can argue as to whether or not it is the identical item...) should be browned in a skillet on the stove and then finished in the oven in a large pot---unless, of course, you brown it in the oven and then finish it on the stove in a large pot. The key, as with pot roast, is to get the juices. "Green ponce" is another thing entirely but the preparation is not different---it just does not have the armored jacket of the smoked ponce. If you have the opprtunity, watch a butcher make the green ponce: it is an art . Watch him stuff and the wrap the stomach using the spindle of thread(rope). Beautiful.

      For the smoked ponce, I'd brown it just a touch (for the helluvit) and add some water or beer (as my barber used to do) then run it in the oven in a dutch oven to heat it up. Onion, garlic, bell pepper..whatever..can be added to the dutch oven. How can you go wrong? Rice should be around to soak up the goodie juice.

      A friend once described ponce as "a giant vienna sausage" Not an exact description, but I like it.....

      1. Hello there,

        I'll tell you how ponce is cooked in Ville Platte -- home of Le Festivale de la Viande Boucanee -- since I spent the first 18 years of my life there.

        Thaw the ponce, then put a little oil in a pot (here we use a black iron pot), just enough to barely cover the bottom. Medium heat should do. Add the ponce, and brown it well. A staple of cajun food is rice and gravy; if you plan on making a gravy, this step is important. Once it's browned, add a little water, cover it, and place it in the oven at a temperature of 350. An hour to an hour 1/2 later, the ponce should be ready to go. Ca C'est Bon!

        4 Replies
        1. re: trishawar

          That is consistent with what I've seen...I think the oven finishing is the more common version. My barber, who was from Plaisance, did it that way but I've known some Ville Platte Fonetnots to do the stove-top method. I used to get mine from Herbert Dupre's store but that is only a fond memory today.

          1. re: hazelhurst

            What a great series of posts. I dated a Ville Platte Fontenot for several years and it was with them that I ate ponce. It was also the only time I ate ponce. I was not there at the begining but it was finished in the oven then sliced and served like a wedge of meat cake. I was not crazy about it as I think it had been over salted. I was also dreadfully hungover so maybe it was not the best time to eat pig's stomach. Regardless, the experience was wonderful. I think anyway, my head kind of hurt.

            1. re: frankiii

              A Fontenot in Ville Platte? Whoever heard of such a thing?

              I think the town is owned completely by the Fontenots, Dupres, Sylvesters(well, they are Plaisance), Soileaus, Aucoins and the Walkers (of Slap Ya Mama fame)

              1. re: hazelhurst

                And...every Fontenot in Louisiana is related to every other Fontenot. They are all descended from the same man and woman. Most can really do a good job with the Cajun food...

        2. Thanks for the help everyone! I hope I didn't insult anyone (I love Louisiana and try to go down every year), but the package was printed "smoked pounce" from Luke's Meat Market in Ville Platte. It's still frozen, but I'm going to thaw it out this weekend and try making it in my cast iron dutch oven. I'll have a full review for y'all next week sometime.

          1 Reply
          1. re: trueqwest

            wow sorry four years later i see this. I cook and sell smoked pounce at the smoked meat festival. So your friend bought his from me. I think it is so crazy that i googled smoked pounce cause i was curious and it came up with your request. Sorry i couldnt see this in time to tell you how to cook it. I do not cook it in the oven and it is not cooked just because it was smoked but i do hope you enjoyed it however you decided to cook it. Mike Brown, atmmikebrown@yahoo.com