Classic Cassoulet

The most famous dish from Gascony is without doubt is cassoulet given its name from the dish that it is cooked & served in, Cassol d’Issel an earthenware pot from the town of Issel near Castlenaudary.

Everywhere you go in this region of France seems to have its own variance on the recipe for Cassoulet, originally from the town of Castelnaudary in the Languedoc Roussillon. Castlnaudary holds a Cassoulet fete in august every year where people are inducted into “Le Grand Confrerie du Cassoulet de Castlenaudary ” the brotherhood of Castlenaudary’s cassoulet.

The origins of the dish date back to 1355 originally called “estofat” was served to defenders of the  town during a siege in this year.  However there is still a lot debate in France about wether the Cassoulet comes from  Carcassonne, Toulouse or Castlenaudary & each of these places has it’s own version of this dish with different ingredients & wether it should be topped with chapeleur ( breadcrumbs ). I favour the Castlenaudry cassoulet not topped with chapeleur.

Cassoulet de Caslenaudary

500g        Haricot blanc dried

4 x 80g    Toulouse Sausage

300g        Pork belly skin removed

2              Confit duck legs

4              Cloves of garlic

3 litres     Chicken or pork stock

1 tblsp    Tomato paste

2 tblsp    Duck fat

The night before soak the haricot blanc in cold water.

The next day degrease the confit duck in a large frying pan & remove, reserve for later, add the duck fat to the pan & brown the sausages then place in a cassole, cut the pork belly into for equal pieces, brown in the duck fat, add tomato paste & add all to the cassole, squash garlic cloves & place in cassole with haricot blanc, pour over the stock & mix up.

Cook in an oven preheated to 130 c for 2 hours, place the confit duck legs on top skin side up & cook for a further 30 minutes.

The cassoulet should have a nice crust on top, serve with crusty bread.

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Barge Charters, Paradise Connections says:

    Very interesting information about Cassoulet. Thank you very much for the recipe.

    * *Do you have a picture we can use that shows this dish?*

    We would like to post this on our blog to help promote Rosa.

    All the best, Sheila & Bob Paradise Connections

    1. Mike Crowson says:

      That’s great I would be happy for you to reblog, I will post a photograph in the next few days for you to use.
      All the best, Mike bargechef

  2. Gary and Sue says:

    This cassoulet looks great! I don’t think we can get Toulouse sausage in Chicago. What do you suggest as an alternative?

  3. Mike Crowson says:

    I think you may get Toulouse sausage in Chicago, an American company called terroirs d’Anton sell them in specialist food stores & online, if not an English Cumberland sausage is quite similar or an all pork sausage.

    Good luck

    Mike

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