Cassoulet recipe, France

photo of cassoulet

Cassoulet is a staple winter dish in much of the south of France. Recipes in recipe books tend to be much more 'meat intensive' than a local French restaurant might serve, which is often more of a 'soup' of haricot beans in tomato sauce with a piece of duck and pork to keep it company.

Note also the alternative cassoulet recipe posted in the 'comments' below our own recipe: quite different, and I haven't tried it yet myself, but certainly looks interesting.

Ingredients

500gm white haricot beans, soaked overnight

Pork (quantity according to number of people)

*Confit de canard (1 portion per person)

Toulouse (fat) pork sausages (1 per person)

Large tin of tomatoes

5 cloves of garlic

Tomato puree

*Chorizo sausage (15cm if a thumb thickness sausage, 2 cm if a wrist sized sausage, finely chopped)

*10 crushed cloves (I consider these indispensable!)

*Note: from Toulouse, not all regional variations of cassoulet include preserved goose/duck. The chorizo and crushed cloves will make the cassoulet much richer, but are not in a traditional cassoulet recipe)

 

Method

  • Cut the pork into lumps, and fry until browned in some of the goose fat from the tin of confit de canard, in a large pot
  • Add the haricot beans, diced chorizo, garlic, tomatoes, tomato puree, salt, pepper and crushed cloves
  • Add enough water to cover, and simmer for an hour or so
  • During the hour, fry the sausages, again in some of the goose fat
  • At the end of the hour (or when the beans and pork are cooked), add a little more water if necessary, then mix the sausages into the beans and put the duck on top, and put the pan in the oven, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
  • Delicious. It is sufficient to eat just with lots of fresh bread. There are lots of variants on cassoulet recipes so don't worry too much about changing and substituting ingredients.
  • Save any remaining goose fat for next time you make roast potatoes!

The town of Castelnaudary is generally considered to be the 'home of cassoulet'