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Foodie Friday – Cassoulet

by SirLady on February 28, 2014


With yet another snow storm in the forecast and freezing temperatures at night, this weekend calls for a hearty meal – Cassoulet!

 First off, let’s define what cassoulet is, perhaps not everyone is familiar.  For lack of a better term, cassoulet is a stew that originated in the South of France.  A peasant dish from the Languedoc region, made from whatever leftover meat (duck, mutton) combined with sausages and beans and cooked for hours.  Just like Americans have many variety of chili recipes, that same rational applies to cassoulet.

Recipes for cassoulet differ region by region and household by household.

For the purist/traditionalist we direct you to Julia Child’s recipe for the beloved dish of Toulouse.  Julia notes in her recipe, that this dish requires 22 ingredients that are hard to source, like duck confit.   A great shortcut is to call up your local restaurant serving confit and get it to go (locally that would be Le Canard or The Bear Cafe).

Otherwise, our go-to source for all things gourmet and French is D’artagnan.

For the beginner gourmet, we suggest trying the Amateur Gourmet’s version.

There is Thomas Keller (French Laundry/Per Se) recipe, Food & Wine’s take on the classic, and Saveur’s preference.

If your a Mark Bittman fan (New York Times) he devoted a whole article on “How To Conquer the Cassoulet”.

Whichever version speaks to you…..take the weekend to enjoy making and eating this beloved dish.  Oh!  Don’t forget to swing by your favorite wine shop and ask their suggestion for the perfect pairing.  We feel cassoulet pairs well with a forward red such as Côtes du Rhône or other Syrah-based wine.

Bon Appetit!

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