Monday, January 11, 2010

Cassoulet Maigre

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 was heavenly.

Cassoulet Maigre
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, we won't do this one too often but I gotta tell 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 :-)


  1. Wow - that is one impressive meal! I have heard that cassoulets are very time consuming, but they look like the ultimate in comfort food and therefore totally worth all the work. Good job making such a feast! I enjoyed all the pictures. It looks terrific.

  2. Thanks kim. I just left you a comment on my previous post. I am so glad you got your power cord!

    Oh yeah, it was time consuming but totally worth it.

  3. Delicious!! I have to say that Simon would love you both for the cassoulet AND the Cahors!! Have you ever seen the episode of Rick Stein's meander along the Canal du Midi when he visited Castelnaudry and made cassoulet - delicious!

  4. Laquet, no I have not but would love to see that episode. I love the travel shows, especially when they focus in food. Cahors is one of our favorites..yeah, I think Simon has very similar tastes in wine and beers as Doug. Same for the veggies!

  5. that is great work... I love the idea of everyone getting involved... makes the meal special

  6. Oh wow - that looks delicious! I love anything with duck - this is going in my to try pile (for when I start cooking again).

  7. Yep - same taste! And of course my parents live smack in the middle of the Cahors region - so they'd both be easily pleased ;o)

  8. That looks like a magical meal for these cold nights!!!!

  9. Year on the Grill - that is when it's the most fun...and when you are sipping wine with the finished result!

    Cathy - I really like duck also. Harder to get around here but when we can....I would like to have some grilled, as soon as it's warmer.

    Laquet - why can't we all just go live with your parents? :-) Ha! They'd be horrified to even hear me joke about it.

  10. My husband isn't a huge bean fan, but I think with all of the meat he would gladly eat this!

  11. you know I would just love this one ... all the meat, but what I really like is how I know it must taste - the varying flavors marrying together must be awesome...

  12. I have been wanting to make cassoulet forever...This looks awesome

  13. Wow, this sounds amazing and totally worth the time making! My family would love this meal!

  14. Now T ... you know they'd be happy to have someone to "do the pool" so if either you or Doug wanna apply for the post ;o)

  15. Wonderfully detailed instruction! Love it! The soup looks great!

  16. Janel, I don't think he would actually notice the would be worth trying.

    Drick - You won't be sorry if you try it! I have been loving the recipes you have been posting on your blog.

    Miranda, thank you. It's great for these cold nights I'll tell you.

    5 Star Foodie - I would make it when you have a bit of time, like a weekend, but I have done it during the week and the next day is fabulous.

    Jo - Hells yes...I would gladly take care of that pool if it meant we could live in Cahors!

    Sook - Thank you for the nice comments and for following :-)

  17. Wow, looks like this was worth the labor. Yum!

  18. Now that is a labour of love! Well done!

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