GRANNY’S RECIPE – CASSOULET

An exquisite flavor from the french South West.

« Cassoulet » is a traditional stew of « cannellini beans » and preserved meats … Deliciously tasty, it is usually prepared with duck « confit (preserved meet)  and pork. It is baked in a large cooking pot and grated in the oven ; (preserved chicken may aslo be used). The recipe presented here is made with the local labelled A.O.C. beans from « Tarbes » «Haricot Tarbais Label Rouge ».

Ingredients :

  • 1 kg of dried cannellini beans
  • 350 gr of fresh tomatoes (pealed and seeds removed)
  • 4 pieces of preserved confit goose thighs or drumsticks
  • 600 gr of fresh pork sausages
  • 100 gr of raw pork rind
  • 2 teaspons of arachid oil
  • 6 garlic clove
  • 2 oignons
  • 1 bundle of aromatic herbs
  • 1 clove pricked in one of the oignons
  • fresh grounded pepper
  • khosher salt

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Specific material :

  • stove and oven (or even a traditionnal fire place)
  • 1 large frying pan
  • 1 large saucepan or cast iron simmer pot
  • or a casserolle dish suitable for the oven (or terra cotta pot that goes onto live coal

Preparation :

Soaking the dried beans overnight in plain water is one of the keys of the success of this dish for the beans will be kept tender throughout the cooking. The beans ought to be largely covered by the water.

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The following day, more water shall be poured for the beans will have taken in most of the water and be swollen. Boil the beans in this same water for half an hour; Once cooked, drain.

In a large frying pan, place the pieces of duck – at very mild temperature – in order to remove gently the grease when melting. Then remove and put aside the pieces of meat.

Put the sausages in the frying pan – after having pricked them with a fork or knife – and brown gently on all sides. Put aside.

Pour the fat of the duck and the 2 teaspons of oil, brown in a saucepan, the tomatoes, one chopped oignon. Stir and at the end add some chopped garlic.

Using either a cast iron simmer pot or a casserolle dish (or a terra cotta dish suitable for the live coal fire or the oven) : lay some of the raw pork rind at the bottom of the recipient*, then the beans, the tomatoes, the oignon with the clove pricked in it, garlic cloves the remaining raw pork rind, and the bundle of aromatic herbs.

After having covered with water – from 4 to 5 cm above level – cook for approximately 1,5 hour at medium heat. Add some fresh grinded pepper.

 Then add to this stew, each piece of meat, gently tucked inside the beans.

Add water so that the whole is covered up.

Then comes the moment to put the dish either into the hot oven 110°C to simmer (or onto live coals as it used to be in the past – of course with an appropriate terra cotta or material).

Simmer for about one hour and remove the dish out of the oven (or fire) ; let it cool down and put back onto the stove or oven ; this operation is to be repeated seven times.

Each time the cassoulet is cooled down a slight skin will cover its surface . This skin shall be pealed or bursted and make sure to maintain the water at level.

*Granny’s Tip : laying the pork rind like this at the bottom of the saucepan will prevent the food from sticking !

FOR FRESH VEGETABLES :« Les jardins du Davantaygue » (beans)

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