Cassoulet is a very Famous French country cuisine meal the version that i choose today is a rich, hearty casserole includes pork meat, bacon, sausage, chicken and white beans cooked for hours until the beans and meat meld into a dish Prepared in advance especially on cold winter nights when the weather calls for a stick-to-your-ribs kind of meal. or this comforting and flavorful dinner. Add a crusty loaf of French baguette for the ultimate cold-weather meal!
The Origines of Cassoulet :
Cassoulet comes from a region of southwestern France historically known as the Languedoc, a cradle-shaped territory that’s also famous for its sunshine, grapevines, and medieval hill villages. The cuisine matches this rustic landscape, with specialties like duck confit, foie gras and, of course, cassoulet washed down with robust local wine.
The dish takes its name from its cooking vessel, the “cassole,” a wide-mouthed earthenware bowl that traditionally sat upon the hearth simmering constantly for hours or days. According to local legend, cassoulet was invented in the town of Castelnaudary – the self-proclaimed “capital of cassoulet” — during the Hundred Years’ War. Trapped by the English, the villagers pooled their last scraps of meat and beans, cooking everything together in a giant pot. Fueled by the hearty dish, the French soldiers regained their strength and chased the English all the way back to the Channel.
SHOULD CASSOULET BE SOUPY?
While a cassoulet is closer to a stew than a classic American casserole, the dish shouldn’t actually be « soupy. » Instead, you’re looking for a texture that’s somewhere between soupy and dry — without too much liquid — that can be eaten with a fork. Some crusty bread on the side works perfectly for soaking up any remaining broth or juices in your bowl!
How to Serve Cassoulet
Classic Frensh Cassoulet Recipe !!
DUCK CONFIT INGREDIENTS ;
- 6 duck legs or 6 chicken thighs and you can also use rabit meat (optional those duck legs martined in 2 lemons juice)
- 3 thyme leaf(sprigs)
- 2 bay leaf
- 2tsp. black peppercorns
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed
- 2 Tbsp kosher Salt
- 1tsp. juniper berries (optional)
- 1 tsp of dijon mustard
BEANS Ingredients :
- 2 whole cloves minced
- 1 large onion, peeled, halved through root end
- ½lb. dried high quality white beans
- 8 oz. pancetta
- 2 carrots, scrubbed, halved crosswise if large
- 1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1bay leaf
- 1 tsp Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 oz concentrated tomato
- 1 cup chicken broth
- water enough to be soupy
PORK RAGÙ :
- 1½lb. skinless, boneless pork shoulder
- ½tsp sea salt
- ½tsp Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1large carrot, peeled, chopped to rings
- 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 14.5-oz. can crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups of faffron water leave red saffron stigmas in a bowl that holds about two glasses of lukewarm water for a while and add it to the pork ragu preparation
- 4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
- ¼ white wine
- 1lb. fresh pork sausage
- ¼cup finely chopped parsley
- 3 cups medium-fine fresh breadcrumbs, divided
- 1 garlic clove, choped
- 1lb. precooked garlic sausage, sliced crosswise ¼" thick
TWO DAYS AHEAD :
- firstly Cure Duck Legs,secondly Prick skin on duck legs all over with the tip of a paring knife. Rub legs with salt, making sure to massage into flesh and skinPlace legs in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing directly onto legs. Rest a plate on top of legs and weigh down with several 28-oz. cans. Chill at least 12 hours and up to 1 day.thirdlyIf you’re going to cook the beans and ragout and combine tomorrow, soak the beans tonight. If not, just remember to soak them the day before you want to cook them.
ONE DAY AHEAD :
- Preheat oven to 250°. Evenly scatter thyme,bay leaf, garlic, peppercorns,mustard and juniper berries (if using) across a large baking dish or roasting pan and add 2 Tbsp. water.Remove duck legs from bowl. Rinse off salt and arrange legs, skin side down, over aromatics in baking dish. Cover dish tightly with foil and weigh down with a cast-iron skillet or a heavy baking dish. Bake until fat renders out of duck and legs are submerged, about 2 hours.
- Carefully remove baking dish from oven and remove skillet and foil. Turn legs skin side up and nestle back into fat. Cover dish again with foil and continue to cook legs, unweighted, until duck meat is very tender and bones wiggle easily in joints, 2–2½ hours longer.
- Let legs cool in fat until you can handle them, then transfer with tongs or a spider to a plate. Strain ¼ cup fat through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl and let cool. Cover and set aside for cooking the breadcrumbs. Strain remaining fat into an airtight container; cover and reserve for another use (like roasting potatoes).and Remove skin from legs, trying to keep as intact as possible; transfer skin to an airtight container. Cover and chill. Pull duck meat from bones, tearing into 2" pieces; discard bones and cartilage. Place meat in another airtight container; cover and chill. You won’t need the skin, meat, or fat until you’re ready to assemble the cassoulet.Do Ahead: Duck legs can be confited 3 weeks ahead. Transfer legs to a large nonreactive vessel; strain fat through a fine-mesh sieve over meat. Cover and chill. Let come to room temperature before using. Meat and skin can be prepared 3 days ahead; keep chilled.
Cook the Beans :
- Stick a clove into each onion half. Place in a large pot along with beans, pancetta, carrots,concentrated tomato,garlic, thyme, and bay leaf; pour in cold water to cover beans by 2". Season with several grinds of pepper and bring to a gentle simmer. Partially cover pot and cook beans, skimming surface occasionally and adding more water as needed to keep beans submerged and seasoning with a couple of pinches of salt after about 30 minutes, until beans are tender but not falling apart, 45–60 minutes for cannellini and 1–1½ hours for Tarbais or corona. Remove pot from heat; pluck out and discard onion, carrots, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf. Transfer pancetta to a cutting board; let cool slightly, then cut into 1x¼" pieces. Add back to pot and let mixture cool.
Cook Ragout :
- Morton kosher salt and several grinds of pepper. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-high. Working in 2 batches, cook pork, turning once, until browned all over, 10–12 minutes per batch; transfer to a plate as you go.Reduce heat to medium and place onion, carrot, and garlic in pot; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, 8–10 minutes. Return pork to pot and add thyme, bay leaf, tomatoes, and stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, partially cover pot, and simmer gently, skimming fat occasionally, until meat is fork-tender, 1¾–2 hours. Pluck out and discard thyme and bay leaf. Let ragout cool slightly.
Combine Beans and Ragout :
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer bean mixture to pot with ragout. Add enough cooking liquid from beans just to cover. Pour remaining bean cooking liquid into an airtight container and chill; you may need it for finishing the cassoulet later. Let ragout mixture cool completely, then cover and chill at least 12 hours.
- Note: Do Ahead: Ragout and beans can be combined 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.
The Day Of : Temper and Season Ragout Mixture
- Remove ragout mixture from refrigerator and skim fat from surface; discard. Cover pot and bring ragout to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat. Taste and season conservatively with salt and pepper if needed (the duck will add considerable saltiness when mixed in).
Prepare Sausage and Breadcrumbs :
- Remove reserved duck meat and skin from refrigerator. Let meat come to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, arrange skin in a single layer in an 8-qt. Dutch oven or other heavy pot (the same one you’ll cook the cassoulet in). Cook over low heat, turning occasionally, until golden brown and crisp, 20–30 minutes. Using tongs, transfer skin to paper towels and blot away excess fat.
- Prick pork sausages all over with a fork and cook in fat in same pot, turning occasionally, until browned all over and cooked through, 12–15 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool slightly. Cut into 2" pieces.
- Add breadcrumbs to pot and cook, stirring often, until golden in spots and starting to crisp, about 5 minutes. If breadcrumbs seem very dry or are sticking to the pot, add 1–2 Tbsp. reserved duck fat. Transfer breadcrumbs to a medium bowl and let cool slightly. Add parsley and toss to combine. Wipe out pot and let cool.
- Rub inside of cooled pot with cut sides of garlic; ladle in one-third of ragout mixture. Top with half of pork sausage, garlic sausage, and duck meat, then another third of ragout mixture. Top with remaining duck meat and sausages, then remaining ragout mixture. Liquid should come to top of beans or add simply tha saffron water and some of white wine(¼ cup). Add reserved bean cooking liquid if needed.
- Do Ahead: Cassoulet can be assembled 1 day ahead; cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before proceeding. Store breadcrumbs and duck skin separately airtight at room temperature.
Bake Cassoulet :
- Preheat oven to 375°. Scatter two-thirds of breadcrumb mixture over cassoulet. and Bake, uncovered, until a golden crust forms, 25–30 minutes. Remove from oven and use a spoon to break up crust, pressing very gently so crust absorbs a little liquid; smooth surface. Bake until another crust forms, 25–30 minutes; break up again. Repeat process 2 more times (for a total of 4 times). If mixture starts to look dry, moisten with a bit of reserved bean cooking liquid when breaking up the crust.
- Top cassoulet with remaining breadcrumb mixture; bake until golden brown, 15–20 minutes. Let rest at least 25 minutes before serving. Divide cassoulet among bowls; crumble duck skin over.