Cassoulet (Pays D'OC caçolet) is a main meal, a speciality of the region of Languedoc and named after the clay stew-pot in which it is made.
Typical Basic Recipe
There are many variations on a theme,
- 500 g (about 1lb) white haricot/navy beans
- 1 Pigs ear or pork rind if available
- 1 kg (about 2lb) mix of duck or goose meat, Toulouse sausages (strong garlic sausage) other sausages, pork or mutton
- 1 onion
- Bouquet garni bunch or bag (mixed herbs - parsley, thyme and bay leaf base may also include basil, burnet, chervil, rosemary, peppercorns, savory and tarragon. vegetables such as carrot, celery leek and onion )
- A head of garlic
- Salt, pepper Cumin, cloves, juniper berries to taste
- Water or stock
- Blanch the beans for a few minutes by immersing them in plenty of boiling water for a few minutes and then into cold water with cumin
- Sear the meat by frying in the casserole or pan - brown only the outside using duck or goose fat if available otherwise olive oil.
When the meat is seared, remove and deglaze the pan by draining the fat, and dissolve the dark residue caramel in stock or white wine.
- Sauté or stir-fry the onion in the same pan until golden or dark brown.
- Boil water -about five or six times the volume of the beans, add salt to taste.
- Drain the blanched beans and keep the juice. ( Edit?, French may be Drain beans and keep warm, as opposed to keep juice)
- In the casserole or pan place alternate layers of beans and meat, add onion, a whole head of garlic, bouquet garni, whole garlic cloves, juniper berries, and bake at 90 °C (195ºF) for about four and a half hours! (Edit? As it is written the salted water is only used later in the cooking and there is no liquid in the pot at the start of the cooking. It is probably supposed to be added to the pot when all the other ingredients are in and before it goes to the oven)
- If necessary, add boiling water during bake, which takes about four and a half hours!
- When a light crust has formed, and the beans have absorbed all the water, the preparation is done
If necessary, add boiling water during cooking, and leave to stand for about an hour before serving.
If kept cool, Cassoulet may be reheated next day, but thereafter is likely to go sour
Cassoulet de Castelnaudary
A speciality of Langdoc, this is truly a cheap feast in a pot, possibly related to Cocido in Spain. Cocido is said to have originated from the Jewish and Muslim tradition of preparing food the a day or two previously in order to rest on the Sabbath. The pork was reputedly substituted as demonstration of Christian fidelity after the 'reconquest'.
- White kidney beans also known as Navy-beans Haricots-lingots or Cannellini
- confits of pork or
- Sausages including both
- green bacon
- Garlic, salt, black pepper
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