it's so tasty and nourishing...everyone will love it
Cassoulet is a true family dish which originates from the Midi-Pyrénées area of France. There are many variations of the dish using lamb or mutton, pork, duck and local sausage.
It is a substantial meal, but one that is appetising and sure to be a winner. It is also a great dish to cook for your friends, they will love it too!
If you have a course to start with, make sure it is something light!
I first tried this filling dish while staying in the citadel
in Carcassonne, but later paid a visit to Castelnaudary, which, it is argued,
is the centre of cassoulet perfection. They were both great.
Since then, we've
bought the ingredients and prepared cassoulet at home on a number of occasions.
But, be warned: it takes a long time...but it's worth it.
1 lb ( about half a kg) haricot beans, soaked
8 oz (225gms) garlic or Toulouse sausage
1 lb (about half a kg) shoulder of mutton or
4 oz (125gms) streaky bacon, or lardons
2 cloves of garlic
1 medium onion with 2 cloves stuck in it
Small bunch of parsley
2 fresh tomatoes de-seeded
4 oz (125gms) breadcrumbs
2 oz goose fat or oil if you prefer (enough to
brown the meat)
8oz (225gms) of preserved goose (confit d' oie)
- many supermarkets stock this nowadays, or if you cannot obtain this (from
speciality food stores/or online) you can add more lamb or mutton, pork or even
more sausage or a small duck! Use whatever you prefer or can obtain. The
preserved goose does make a difference but it will still be fabulous!
· Prepare the haricot beans by draining them, then
place in a large saucepan with cold water and boil vigorously for 10 minutes
(instructions are usually on the packet)
Drain the beans and place in a heavy bottomed
stockpot or marmite. Add enough cold water or to cover and bring to
the boil, then lower to simmer.
Simmer for about 1 hour.
Now melt the goose fat in a heavy bottomed pan
and cook the diced meat until it is brown on all sides.
Add the meat, the sausage, the tomatoes and the
parsley tied in a bunch to the beans.
Add the onion stuck with the cloves and put a
lid on the pot.
Simmer for about 2 hours.
Chop the garlic and streaky bacon together and
add to the beans.
Cook for another 1-2 hours.
Now it is almost ready to serve
As the cassoulet cooks, a brown crust will appear on top. Break this several times during cooking and gently push it down to allow new layers of beans to rise to the surface. If it has thickened too much, add a little more
Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the cassoulet and
put in a pre-heated moderate oven and cook for another 30 minutes.
As the breadcrumbs turn brown and crisp, break
them up and allow the juices to mix in with them.
Allow the breadcrumbs to crisp again and serve
And to wash it down, a glass of a good light red wine
makes it a meal to be proud of! Fabulous! I do hope you enjoy this