Preparation – assembling the cassoulet
7) Use the type of flared earthenware bowl that is called a cassole and gives us the name cassoulet, or any other oven-proof earthenware dish.
8) Line the bottom of the dish with the pieces of rind and add about a third of the beans. Then add the meat [excluding the pieces of sausage] and cover with the rest of the beans.
9) Put the pieces of sausage on top and push them into the beans but leave their top surfaces visible.
10) Pour in the hot stock until it just covers the beans. Sprinkle with freshly-ground black pepper and add a tablespoon of the duck fat in which the meat was cooked.
11) Put the cassole into a hot oven at 150-160oC for 2 to 3 hours. During cooking, a golden-brown crust will form on the surface, and this must be pushed down into the mixture several times (the old folk say seven times). When the top of the beans begins to dry out, add a few spoonfuls of stock.
12) If you prepared the cassoulet the night before, it must be reheated in the oven at 150oC for 1½ hours before being served. Don’t forget to add a little stock or a few spoonfuls of water during cooking.
Very important advice!
The cassoulet should be presented bubbling in its dish, and for the best results, served carefully without stirring, and don’t hesitate to take a second helping. This is a dish that will transport you to the paradise of popular gastronomy!
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Colin Duncan Taylor
"I have been living in the south of France for 20 years, and through my books and my blog, I endeavour to share my love for the history and gastronomy of Occitanie and the Pyrenees."
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