I'll say right up front - this is a long post. It had quite a few steps in preparing and took awhile to get it together for posting. Love this recipe though... and in this freezing cold.....it was heavenly.
White Bean Casserole with duck, pork, lamb and sausage
The author states, "What baked beans are to Boston, cassoulet is to the southwest of France. Toulouse, Carcassonne, and Castelnaudary have competed for generations for the top honors as the city with the best cassoulet."
Well, I'm not competing with anyone but we do enjoy a cassoulet at our home, especially when the weather turns cold. I confess to making this in late December. The delay in the posting has been the usual, hectic holiday season and time constraints.
There are many cassoulet versions but this one is a total meat fest and expensive....so, we won't do this one too often but I gotta tell ya....it was good. It's in my top 5 of great meals we've had for 2009.
You'll need the following..........
2 duck breasts
2 TB butter or vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds boned pork shoulder, cut into 2 inch cubes
1 1/2 pounds lamb shoulder,cut into 2 inch cubes
(Note: We found lamb tenderloin at Fresh Market!)
1 1/2 pounds Hungarian or Polish sausage, cut into 2 inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
2/3 cup dry white wine
2 or 3 TB beef broth
You will also want to prepare your beans ahead of time so lets do that recipe first.
Haricots a la Bretonne
White beans with garlic and tomato
2 cans of cannelloni beans
1 large carrots
3 onions, chopped
1 head of garlic, chopped
1 Bouquet Garni
4 TB butter
2 large cans tomatoes or 1 1/2 pounds chopped fresh tomatoes
salt and pepper
1 small can tomato sauce
Tip beans in large pot: add carrot, onion, garlic, bouquet garni and simmer. Then add tomatoes and a small can of tomato sauce.
OK, set this aside while you start cooking the meats.
This was a real family affair with everyone getting involved with this meal. That is one of the things that made it so much fun.
Doug sliced up all the meats........
Here is some of it, lamb tenderloin, pork and duck............
See this duck fat? It was shaved off and is in the freezer right now, waiting to be used for roasting potatoes..........
In large skillet heat butter over high heat, being careful not to burn it. Add the duck, lamb, pork and sausage and saute until browned. This will take about 5 minutes - I did it in batches so I didn't crowd the meat in the pan.
Season with salt and pepper, then remove meat from pan. Pour off the fat.
Deglaze the pan by adding white wine and stirring to loosen caramelized bits on the bottom and sides of pan.
Reduce liquid over medium high heat by half, about 1 minute. Add beef broth. Now add this to the beans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In my le Creuset pot I layered the meat and beans then meat and beans again. Cover and cook 2 hours. Adjust as needed for your oven.
If you had time it's even better if you cook it, cool it then refrigerate it for a few hours THEN reheat. Everything is so blended in by then, the flavors mingling.
This is wonderful the second night.
Served with Le Petit Francais bread
and a Cahors table wine.
A bit of Port Salut and Fontina...........
This was a fun meal to prepare as we all worked together cooking, cutting and stirring. Then enjoying it over a good glass of wine on a cold rainy evening. I recommend this version of cassoulet if you have the time and if you are in for a meat fest.
Or shall I say.......bon appetit :-)
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