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Now don’t laugh at this recipe. (Samuel, our two and half year old son, loved the beans.)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3 bay leaves
- Ground black pepper
- 1 whole, peeled onion studded with 8 cloves
- ¼ cup A1 steak sauce
- ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup tomato sauce*
- Several dashes of soy sauce
- ¼ cup duck fat
- One 15-ounce can pork & beans, drained
- One 15-ounce can great northern beans, drained
- A small pork roast**
- Smoked chicken sausage
Gently mix all ingredients except meat and studded onion in a deep, heavy casserole dish. Best you can gently submerge meatand onion into the bean mix without mashing beans. Cover and place into a 350 degree oven. Check back in about a ½ hour, and once bean sauce is bubbling at a good rate, turn oven down to a temperature (about 275 degrees) where the beans just barely bubble. Baste meat and onion with bean sauce every half hour or so. Total cooking time around 2 hours more-or-less depending on the meats you choose.
- 1/2 pound thick-cut bacon, finely chopped
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 1 celery rib, finely diced
- 2 medium carrots, finely diced, plus 2 large carrots, cut into 2 1/2-inch lengths
- 14 ounces dried cannellini beans (2 cups), soaked overnight and drained
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 1 1/2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Twelve 2-ounce merguez sausages
- 2 large sweet potatoes (1 1/4 pounds), peeled and cut into 2 1/2-inch pieces
- 3 turnips (3/4 pound), peeled and cut into 2 1/2-inch pieces
- 4 ounces rustic peasant bread, crusts removed, bread cut into 1/4-inch dice (2 cups)
- 2 tablespoons minced parsley
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- Plain yogurt, for serving
In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, cook the bacon over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the fat is rendered. Add the onion, celery and diced carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 8 minutes. Add the beans, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer the beans until al dente, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, add a generous pinch of salt and let stand for 30 minutes. Drain the beans, bacon and vegetables and transfer to a bowl reserve 2 cups of the cooking liquid.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°. In a small skillet, toast the cumin, coriander and mustard seeds over moderate heat, shaking the pan, until fragrant and the mustard seeds begin to pop, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder and let cool. Add the smoked paprika and crushed red pepper and grind the harissa blend into a powder.
Wipe out the casserole and heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in it. Add the merguez and cook over moderate heat, until lightly browned all over, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Do not wipe out the casserole.
Add the sweet potatoes, turnips and large carrots to the casserole. Season with salt and black pepper and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, 5 minutes. Add the harissa spice blend and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in the bean mixture and the reserved 2 cups of cooking liquid and bring just to a simmer. Arrange the merguez on top. Cover and bake the cassoulet for about 1 hour, until the beans are tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the oven and uncover the cassoulet.
Preheat the broiler. In a bowl, toss the bread, parsley, lemon zest and the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil season with salt and black pepper. Sprinkle the bread over the cassoulet and broil until golden and crisp. Let the cassoulet stand for 10 minutes before serving. Pass yogurt at the table.
North Portland Cassoulet Recipe - Recipes
Anyone who has indulged in Cassoulet will tell you that between the layers of duck fat and Armagnac sausages𠅌onfit duck legs and bone white Coco Tarbais beans—that there is pure magic. It is easily Gascony’s most celebrated dish, named after the deep earthenware vessel it cooks in, the cassolle, Cassoulet inhabits a romantic place in our imaginations alongside the avant-garde posters of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, who hails from the region.
It has an enviable history, one that we will not attempt to reproduce here, but that can be read at leisure on Clifford A. Wright’sxcellent blog post on the topic.
There is, of course, an origin story about the besieged village of Castelnaudary pooling its meager resources during wartime, and the region’s own reverence of the dish captured in a saying that translates as: ssoulet is the God of Occitan cuisine. A god in three persons: God, the father, is that of Castelnaudry. God the son is that of Carcassonne, and the Holy Spirit is that of Toulouse.”
Learn more about Lange Estate Winery.
Divine it is. The process—the complete process, involves preparing the confit of duck well in advance. The method involves cooking the legs at a low temperature for a long period of time, what we affectionately call “low and slow”, and then preserving the legs in the rendered fat. Prepared correctly, the legs will keep for weeks, or even over the winter. The method, as with many modes of food preservation, is one that allowed for long-term storage in a time before refrigeration. Fortunately, in the modern era, it’s possible to obtain confit duck legs from your local grocer or butcher, or from online retailers like D𠆚rtagnan. Added bonus, D𠆚rtagnan carries most of the specialty ingredients you’ll need.
Our goal, to faithfully reproduce the recipe, comes with the advice that one must check the cassoulet throughout the cooking process to ensure that it doesn’t dry out. Don’t be afraid to break through the crust to add more water if the beans are too dry. Preparing a proper bouquet garni is another step that’s worth the time and effort. One cannot help but feel a sense of reverence for the process, the assembly, and enjoyment of this dish.
Typically, cassoulet is paired a sturdy, well-structured wine such as a Côtes-du-Rhône or a Languedoc red. We paired ours with an elegant and earthy Pinot Noir from our North Block. Our Freedom Hill Pinot Noir also has the structure, depth, and body to stand up to the rich flavors of this dish. Recipe adapted from Chef Ariane Daguin.
- 3 lbs pounds French Coco Tarbais beans (cannellini are a fine substitute) rinsed and soaked in water overnight
- 12 oz whole Ventrຌhe (French pancetta)
- 1 medium-sized head of garlic peeled
- 2 medium Spanish or yellow onionsiced
- 1ꃊrrothopped into 1′ pieces
- 1ouquet garniਅ parsley sprigs, 3 celery leaves, 2 thyme sprigs, 2 bay leaves, ten peppercorns, 3 cloves, and 3 juniper berries wrapped in cheesecloth and tied
- 6uck legs confit
- 1 lb pound Armagnac or Toulouse sausageut into thirds
- 1 lbਏrench garlic sausageut into 1/4″ pieces
- 12 ozuck or veal demi-glaceissolved in 3 1/2 cups water
- 1/4upuck fatਊt room temperature
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
Place beans in a large pot and cover them with water. Leave them to soak overnight at room temperature.
Drain beans then add them to a large stock pot along with the ventrຌhe, garlic, carrots, and bouquet garni. Cover the mixture with 3 inches of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the beans are just tender, about 1 hour.
Drain the mixture and discard the bouquet garni. Remove ventrຌhe and cut it into 1/4-inch cubes and set it aside. Season beans with salt and pepper to taste. Set them aside.
In a medium skillet over high heat, sautພ the Armagnac and French garlic sausages with a dollop of duck fat, until just browned. Remove from the pan, and set aside.
Use some of the duck fat to lightly grease a large dutch oven or casserole. Place half of the bean mixture in casserole. Add duck legs, browned sausages, and ventrຌhe, and rizzle with duck fat. Cover with the remaining bean mixture.
Stir tomato paste into demi-glace and water mixture, stir until its completely dissolved. Pour evenly over the beans, then add the remaining duck fat.
Bake until hot and bubbling, about 2 1/2 hours, checking occasionally, this step is critical, to make sure the beans don’t dry out. Add more water as needed.
- To prepare cassoulet: Combine beans, ham hock, onion, sliced garlic, bay leaves, thyme and salt in a 6- to 7-quart slow cooker. Add broth and juice from tomatoes (reserve the tomatoes). Nestle pork into the bean mixture.
- Cook tomato paste in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until deeply browned in several spots on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Add wine and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the tomato paste and release the browned bits from the pan. Pour into the slow cooker. Coarsely chop the reserved tomatoes and spread over the top so the beans are mostly covered.
- Cook on High for 6 hours or Low for 9 hours. Remove meat from the ham hock and chop stir back into the stew. Discard the bay leaves.
- To prepare breadcrumbs: Cook oil and breadcrumbs in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until starting to crisp, 10 to 15 minutes. Add minced garlic cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in parsley. Serve the breadcrumbs over the cassoulet.
Soak dry beans to ensure even cooking. Start by sorting beans to remove any pebbles rinse well with cold water. Place in a bowl, cover with at least 2 inches of cold water and soak for 12 to 24 hours. If you’re in hurry, use the “quick-soak” method. Place beans in a large saucepan with enough cold water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain before cooking.
Soak beans and prep ingredients for Step 1 up to 1 day ahead. Prepare Step 2 just before turning on the slow cooker.
Smoked Sausage Cassoulet
Make this a day ahead for the best flavor. Serves 8-10.
- 2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 pounds assorted fully cooked smoked sausages (such as kielbasa and andouille)
- 4 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced
- 6 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 medium apple, peeled, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried rubbed sage
- 1/2 cup brandy
- 2 14 1/2-ounce cans diced tomatoes with roasted garlic in juice
- 3 15-ounce cans Great Northern beans, drained, liquid reserved
- 1 10-ounce package frozen baby lima beans, thawed
- 1 cup (or more) canned chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 4 cups diced country-style bread
- 1 pound tomatoes, seeded, diced
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large ovenproof pot over medium heat. Add sausages sauté until brown, about 25 minutes. Transfer to plate and cut into 1/2-inch rounds.
Add leeks and garlic to same pot. Sauté until beginning to soften, about 8 minutes. Mix in apple, rosemary and sage. Add brandy and simmer until almost evaporated, about 5 minutes. Mix in canned tomatoes with juices, canned beans with 1/2 cup reserved liquid, lima beans, 1 cup broth, tomato paste and cloves. Add sausages. Season with pepper.
Bring cassoulet to boil. Cover pot and transfer to preheated oven bake 30 minutes. (Can be made up to 2 days ahead. Uncover cool 1 hour. Refrigerate until cold cover and keep refrigerated. Before continuing, rewarm in covered pot in 350°F. oven 40 minutes, adding more broth if dry.)
Heat remaining 1/4 cup oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add bread and sauté until golden brown, stirring often, about 25 minutes. Combine fresh tomatoes and parsley in large bowl mix in bread. Season topping with salt and pepper. Spoon onto warm cassoulet. Bake uncovered 15 minutes longer.
Georges Blanc and Restaurant Georges Blanc – Vonnas, France
The Georges Blanc story begins before the French Revolution when his family opened an inn at Vonnas, in the heart of the Bresse countryside, fabled for its fine produce, and most especially, its chickens (the only ones with their identity and origin certified by law).
Georges Blanc, a culinary perfectionist, represents the fourth generation of the BLANC FAMILY, as innkeepers and restaurateurs in Vonnas, France since 1872.
In 1933, Curnonsky wrote that “La Mere Blanc” Adolphe’s spouse, was the best cook in the world. Auberge, in Vonnas opened in 1872 by Jean-Louis Blanc and ultimately, several generations later in 1968, it was taken over by Paulette Blanc’s son, Georges.
In 1962 Georges graduated at the head of his class at the Hotel School of Thonon Les Bains. After apprenticing in various great institutions, he succeeded his mother as head of the family enterprise at the age of 25 as we said earlier, in 1968. As the Inn and restaurant have grown in the last half century, it has been heaped with honors, including three Michelin stars.
Great Chefs taped Chef Georges and pastry Chef David Fillat (now at Paul Bocuse Institute in Lyon) in September 1998. Later that month, while the television crew was taping at the Majestic Hotel in Cannes, we ran across Chef Georges visiting his son, who was apprenticing in that same hotel kitchen. We assume he will be the fifth generation at Georges Blanc soon.
Daring Cooks: 3-day Cassoulet in 2 days
Our January 2011 Challenge comes from Jenni of The Gingered Whisk and Lisa from Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives. They have challenged the Daring Cooks to learn how to make a confit and use it within the traditional French dish of Cassoulet. They have chosen a traditional recipe from Anthony Bourdain and Michael Ruhlman. Click here for their full version, and for a 30 min and veggie version.
Cassoulet is one of my all time favorite classic French dish. I have enjoyed this dish a few times before, in France as well. To me it represents decadence: meats galore, rich rare fats and flavor.
I always wanted to make one but knowing it was a long ordeal I never got around to it. But this was a ‘now or never’ opportunity. I did condense the 3 days recipe into 2 days since I had a diner guest coming over. See my recipe and schedule below. It was intense in labor and I also found it exceedingly salty for me, but still is was just awesome. I used chicken legs instead of duck for budget reasons and I used canned beans.
Ingredients for Duck Confit
4 whole duck legs (leg and thigh), size does not matter
sea salt, for the overnight (at least 6-8 hours) dry rub (the amount varies depending on the size of your legs, so just know that you need to have enough on hand for a good coating.)
3cups/480 ml/450 gm/16 oz duck fat
a healthy pinch or grind of black pepper
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
1 garlic clove
Day One morning
1.Rub the duck legs fairly generously with sea salt, place in the shallow dish, cover with plastic and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours.
Day One evening
1.Preheat the oven to moderately hot 375ºF/190ºC/gas mark 5.
2.Render (melt) the duck fat in the saucepan until clear.
3.After seasoning with the black pepper, place the duck legs in the clean, ovenproof casserole.
4.Nestle the thyme, rosemary and garlic in with the duck legs, and pour the melted duck fat over the legs to just cover.
5. Cover the dish with foil and put in the oven. Cook for about an hour, or until the skin at the “ankle” of each leg pulls away from the “knuckle.” The meat should be tender.
6. Allow to cool and then store as is in the refrigerator, sealed under the fat. When you need the confit, you can either warm the whole dish, in which case removing the legs will be easy, or dig them out of the cold fat and scrape off the excess. I highly recommend the former. A nice touch at this point is to twist out the thighbone from the cold confit. Just place one hand on the drumstick, pinioning the leg to the table, and with the other hand, twist out the thighbone, plucking it from the flesh without mangling the thigh meat. Think of someone you hate when you do it.
Ingredients for Cassoulet
10 cups white beans such as Great Northern or Cannelini, canned beans
2 pounds/900 gm fresh pork belly
1 onion, cut into 4 pieces
1 pound/450 gm pork rind
1 bouquet garni (tie together two sprigs parsley, 2 sprigs thyme and one bay leaf)
1/4 cup/60 ml/55 gm duck fat
6 pork sausages
3 onions, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
4 confit duck legs
1. Drain the juice of 3 cans of bean into the large pot.
2. Add the pork belly, the quartered onion, 1/4 pound/115 gm of the pork rind, and the bouquet garni.
3. Cover with water, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes. Season with pepper
4. Let cool for 20 minutes, then discard the onion and the bouquet garni.
5. Remove the pork belly, cut it into 2-inch/5-cm squares, and set aside. (If you plan to wait another day before finishing the dish, wait to cut the pork belly until then.)
6. Strain the the rind and set aside, reserving the cooking liquid separately.
Day Two morning
1. In the sauté pan, heat all but 1 tablespoon/15 ml/15 gm of the duck fat over medium-high heat until it shimmers and becomes transparent.
2. Carefully add the sausages and brown on all sides.
3. Remove sausages and set aside, draining on paper towels.
4. In the same pan, over medium-high heat, brown the sliced onions, the garlic and the reserved squares of pork rind from the beans (not the unused pork rind you’ll need that later).
5. Once browned, remove from the heat and transfer to the blender. Add 1 tablespoon//15 ml/15 gm of the remaining duck fat and purée until smooth. Set aside.
6. Preheat the oven to moderate 350ºF/180ºC/gas mark 4.
7.Place the uncooked pork rind in the bottom of a deep ovenproof non-reactive dish. You’re looking to line the inside, almost like a pie crust. Arrange all your ingredients in alternating layers, beginning with a layer of beans, then sausages, then more beans, then pork belly, beans, duck confit and finally more beans, adding a dab of the onion and pork rind purée between each layer.
8. Add enough of the bean cooking liquid to just cover the beans, reserving 1 cup/240 ml in the refrigerator for later use.
9. Cook the cassoulet in the oven for 1 hour, then reduce the heat to very slow 250ºF/130ºC/gas mark ½ and cook for another hour.
10. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Refrigerate.
Day Two dinnertime
1. Preheat the oven to moderate 350ºF/180ºC/gas mark 4 again.
2. Cook the cassoulet for an hour.
3. Break the crust on the top with the spoon and add 1/4 cup/60 ml of the reserved cooking liquid. (Don’t get fancy. Just pile, dab, stack and pile. It doesn’t have to be pretty.)
4. Reduce the heat to very slow 250ºF/130ºC/gas mark ½ and continue cooking another 15 minutes, or until screamingly hot through and through. Then serve.
I would not have been able to do this dish without a wonderful gift my date purchased for me a few days before: a 5.5 quart sauté pan with glass lid like I have been wanting for years! My date also chose the perfect wine, a Apothic Red wine from California. I asked him to bring a light red wine not to strong in tannins as my research suggested because a strong red will overpower the dish. Apothic Red is a lovely mix of Syrah, Zinfandel and Merlot.
Prawn and Scallop Cassoulette
This lovely dish is not technically a cassoulet, which contains white beans. No one will hold the name against you, however, when they taste the combination of scallops, prawns, and wine butter sauce with tourneed saffron potatoes, zucchini, and carrots. “Tourneed” means turned: the vegetables are carved into small 8-sided football shapes of equal size so that they cook evenly.
- Saffron Potatoes
- Potatoes - 12, small, tourneed
- Saffron Threads - 4 to 5
- Shallots - 2, minced
- Dry white wine - 1/2 cup
- Vermouth - 2 tablespoons
- Cream - 1-1/2 cup
- Unsalted Butter - 1-1/2 cup (3 sticks), cut in pieces
- Virgin olive oil - 2 tablespoons
- Sea Scallops - 12 large
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Prawns - 12, shelled, tails left on
- Carrots, diced - 3 large, peeled and cut in long thin julienne
- Leek Leaves - 4, cut in long thin julienne
- Baby Zucchini - 12, tourneed and blanched
- Baby Carrots - 12, tourneed and blanched
- Tomatoes - 2, peeled, seeded, and cut in small dice
- Chervil Sprigs - 4
To prepare the potatoes: Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil and add the saffron and potatoes. Bring back to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the potatoes are soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and drain. Set aside keep warm.
To prepare the sauce: Combine the shallots, wine, and vermouth in a medium non-aluminum saucepan and cook over medium heat until the shallots are soft and the liquid is almost dry. Whisk in the cream and heat the mixture until it begins to boil. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the butter, a few pieces at a time, until all the butter has been incorporated. Regulate the temperature by taking the pan off the heat as necessary to keep the butter from melting into yellow streaks if yellow streaks appear, remove from heat and whisk in several pieces of butter at once until the sauce recombines. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve. Set aside keep warm.
To prepare the cassoulet: Brush a non-stick saute pan or skillet with olive oil and place over medium heat. Add the scallops, season with salt and pepper, and cook until browned on each side and just done through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Add a little more oil to the pan. Season the prawns with salt and pepper and put in the pan with the scallops. Saute until pink and opaque throughout, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the scallops and prawns on a towel. Put the carrot and leek julienne in the pan, add a little more of the olive oil, and saute until softened, 1 to 2 minutes.
To finish the vegetables: Melt the butter in a medium saute pan over medium heat and saute the zucchini and carrots until warmed through.
To serve: Place a mound of carrot-leek julienne in the center of each plate. Place 3 scallops around the center, and place a prawn between each two scallops. Drizzle sauce over the prawns. Position 3 tourneed potatoes, zucchini, and carrots on each plate. Sprinkle with tomato dice. Garnish with a sprig of chervil.
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Northern German Kale and Sausage (Grünkohl und Pinkel)
Cooked kale and sausage is a delicious winter comfort food. Grünkohl is German for "kale", and this hearty green is a popular choice in East Frisia, the Rhine, and Northern Germany. Everyone has different ways of eating kale, and one of the most famous is called grünkohl und pinkel (also Bregenwurst or Grützwurst).
Germans celebrate winter with a Grünkohlfahrt, which is a brisk hike accompanied by schnapps and a warm kale dinner afterward. Cooked kale is mixed with mustard, bacon, and sausage for a nutritious dinner. Common accompaniments are boiled potatoes or caramelized potatoes, which have been boiled, then sliced and browned in butter and sugar. Give this a tradition a try with your family, or serve it up after a day of skiing.
Pinkel is an East Frisian term that might come from their word for the little finger or from the word for dripping, as in the fat dripping from the sausage. The pinkel sausage traditionally contained brain (not any longer), oats, bacon, and pork, and is flavored with allspice, cloves, pepper and maybe marjoram. The recipes are held secret and every family has its favorite butcher. For this recipe, you can use any type of sausage, including smoked bratwurst.