The recipe for the cassoulet and the earthenware pottery originated in the town of Castelnaudry, France, although there are many variations of this dish, Castelnaudry is named the “pere”. In fact, before my orphaned camera arrived, I made a Spanish/Portuguese variety, containing chorizo and blood sausage. Delightful!
I’ve made a cassoulet before but this time I wanted it to be as close to the original as possible, cooked in the pottery and without drastically fiddling with and adjusting the ingredients.
While shopping for my cassoulet meats in the farmers’ market, I noticed that the Ambiance des Halles (Fishmonger) had 3 kilos of Coques St. Jacques in shell (scallops) on sale for 18 euros. I found this impossible to pass up and planned it for a starter, grilled with butter, parsley, garlic and chives.
The scallops were rather large and it took about 5 minutes, top down, on the gas grill for perfection 🙂
Sometimes the wine is so good that it deserves to be hugged as well as drunk 🙂 At least at this picnic table.
I bought 2 kilos of unshelled Paimpol coco beans, my favorites. Shelling beans is one of my favorite activities, a sort of meditation with coffee.
2 kilos of the unshelled beans gives you enough for a very hefty casserole indeed. I love the look of these beans, so plump and white that you want to tasted them immediately, but raw doesn’t work 😀
No matter how many beans I buy, I always get a little surprise of mangetout, romano or fava. Whatever I get, I happily cook it along with the beans.
No vegetarian meal, cassoulet contains, Toulouse sausages, lamb neck, pork loin, garlic sausage, thick bacon, duck fat and is topped with with duck legs confit before baking . The recipe says for 8 but 12-16 is more realistic.
M. Parret didn’t want any dessert, he was barely able to shovel down 3-4 pieces of cheese with baguette after the cassoulet. Poor thing! I gave him a coffee and a Calvados instead.
2 lbs unshelled Paimpol beans or 1 lb dry white beans soaked overnight
1 whole carrot
1 onion, quartered
4 cloves garlic
1 bouquet garni
1lb fresh garlic saucisson
1/2 lb fresh salt pork
1 hefty tbsp duck fat
Put the above ingredients in a large stock pot. If you have dry beans soaked overnight, add them also. Bring the pot to a boil and them low simmer for 1 hour.
If you have fresh beans, add them to the pot after 1 hour and remove from flame.
1 1/2 lb boneless pork loin
1 1/2 lb lamb neck, sliced
1 1/2 lb Toulouse sausages
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 bouquet garni
2 medium cans diced tomatoes
Brown the pork loin, lamb and Toulouse sausages in large skillet in duck fat. Remove and set aside. Brown the onion and garlic in the pan. Add the bouquet garni and tomatoes. Add 2 ladles of broth from the beans, bring to a boil and low simmer for 1 hour.
Slice the cooked pork loin in cubes, the neck chaotically, the salt pork in medium size squares, mix together and set aside. In another plate, slice and set aside the garlic sausisson.
Duck confit legs
Grease a large baking pan/pot/tajine with duck fat. Add a layer of the mixed meats, a layer of Toulouse sausages and sauce, a layer of garlic sausages, a layer of beans. Repeat. Place a tbsp duck fat on top, then top all with the duck confit legs(not degreased). Add 1-2 ladles of of the bean broth. Preheat the oven to 350 F and bake for 2 hours. Put a pan underneath, in case of spills.