("Gourmet Languedoc" Program)
Cassoulet is a traditional peasant dish originating in the south of France (supposedly Castelnaudry, but some say Carcassonne or Toulouse). The dish is named after its traditional cooking vessel, the cassole, which is a large earthenware dish. There are many variations, but all contain beans and meat, most commonly duck or goose and sausages. Here is a modern take on the Cassoulet recipe.
500g (1 lb.) dried lingot beans
3 confit of duck legs
200g (8 oz.) confit of Pork or smoked bacon, cut in to lardoons (small cubes)
50g duck/goose fat (2 oz.)
200 g (8 oz.) Gesiers of duck
300g (12 oz.) Toulouse sausage
2 onions sliced and chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
800g (2 lbs.) tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely chopped (canned plum tomatoes are better than under ripe fresh ones)
1 tablespoon tomato purée
1 tablespoon Harisa
1 teaspoon fresh thyme (chopped)
60g (3 oz.) dried breadcrumbs
25g (1 oz.) chopped parsley
100ml (1/2 cup) white wine
100ml (1/2 cup) chicken stock
Salt and pepper
1) Soak beans overnight in cold water.
2) Put beans in to a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Add salt, and continue to cook for another hour until "al dente".
3) Cut sausage into 20 mm (3/4 inch) pieces, place in a frying pan with the pork (or bacon) and the duck fat. Fry until nicely browned. Set aside the meat.
4) In the same frying pan, sweat the garlic and onion in the residue fat.
5) Gently heat the confit and the gesiers in the oven for 15 minutes. Poor off the fat and remove skin and bones. Set aside.
6) Place tomatoes, onions, garlic, tomato purée, Harisa (chilli purée), thyme, stock and white wine in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes.
7) Drain the beans and place in a large dish. Add all other ingredients, except breadcrumbs and parsley and stir well. Adjust seasoning to taste. Place the mixture in a large earthenware dish, or smaller individual dishes.
8) Mix breadcrumbs and parsley, and sprinkle over the top. Bake for 30 minutes until bubbling and crispy on top.