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Cassoulet

Cassoulet
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  • Post #31 - January 7th, 2017, 7:55 pm
    Post #31 - January 7th, 2017, 7:55 pm Post #31 - January 7th, 2017, 7:55 pm
    I made a great version a couple weeks back. In keeping with the spirit of cassoulet I used locally available ingredients:
    Fresh garlicky polish sausage no smoke

    Chicken quarters I confit'ed.

    The freshest looking dry beans from the Mexican grocery.

    Fresh pork shoulder.

    Steph's French parents declared it delicious.
  • Post #32 - January 7th, 2017, 11:22 pm
    Post #32 - January 7th, 2017, 11:22 pm Post #32 - January 7th, 2017, 11:22 pm
    Sounds fab, Octarine! Did you get the garlic sausage at a Polish market in town?
  • Post #33 - January 8th, 2017, 12:35 am
    Post #33 - January 8th, 2017, 12:35 am Post #33 - January 8th, 2017, 12:35 am
    Got it at Tony's but next time I'm going to Andys on Milwaukee.
  • Post #34 - January 8th, 2017, 10:56 am
    Post #34 - January 8th, 2017, 10:56 am Post #34 - January 8th, 2017, 10:56 am
    annak wrote:Reading and prepping now to get a cassoulet ready for next weekend. Will be sourcing product from Butcher& Larder at Local Foods; any recent advice or recipe discoveries welcomed!
    Made it last New Year's. Best advice I received was, "If you need pork skin go to Cermak Fresh Market at 4234 N Kedzie."
  • Post #35 - January 8th, 2017, 11:48 am
    Post #35 - January 8th, 2017, 11:48 am Post #35 - January 8th, 2017, 11:48 am
    Johnsonville makes Irish O'Garlic Sausage which works well in cassoulet.

    In a pinch, you may confit chicken thighs in duck fat.
  • Post #36 - January 8th, 2017, 7:31 pm
    Post #36 - January 8th, 2017, 7:31 pm Post #36 - January 8th, 2017, 7:31 pm
    I find Kenji's arguments for using chicken instead of duck confit persuasive.
  • Post #37 - January 9th, 2017, 2:27 pm
    Post #37 - January 9th, 2017, 2:27 pm Post #37 - January 9th, 2017, 2:27 pm
    What a weird coincidence that this thread just woke up.

    So, a related cassoulet question. Does anyone have any suggestions for post cassoulet dessert? A lot of people recommend fruit, obviously, and something simple at that, like poached pears, but do any of you have any specific ideas or recipes?

    I was also thinking of offering dessert wine or maybe a digestif in lieu of a solid dessert, but I know next to nothing about dessert wines. Do any of you cassoulet fans (or dessert wine fans) have suggestions for any particular dessert wines to follow such a heavy meal?
  • Post #38 - January 12th, 2017, 2:23 pm
    Post #38 - January 12th, 2017, 2:23 pm Post #38 - January 12th, 2017, 2:23 pm
    I used frozen confit duck (I think I got it at Mariano's) and pork belly and toulouse sausages from Local Foods (Butcher and Larder) - thank you discount coupon! The beans were Rancho Gordo Cassoulet beans and I used a boatload of home-made stock. My recipe was mostly Kenji's from Serious Eats.

    Image
    Last edited by leek on January 13th, 2017, 11:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
    Leek

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  • Post #39 - January 12th, 2017, 3:53 pm
    Post #39 - January 12th, 2017, 3:53 pm Post #39 - January 12th, 2017, 3:53 pm
    Tnx for the link to Kenji's recipe. I like it, and will try it for sure. Probably next month, as an anniversary celebration for my wife and me, who met during one of Geo's Famous Cassoulet Dinners in Pittsburgh (and yes, of course I confited my own duck...). I added a couple of comments to the already-long comment list following Kenji's recipe:
    I can't understand why everyone is having a problem finding salt pork: even in our awful, tiny, upstate NY mountain groceries one can always find Hormel salt pork. Problem is, it ain't at all lean and meaty, as is Kenji's.
    Secondly, any decent unsmoked Polish sausage, or American andouille sausage is perfect. Finally, I'm going to add a browned lamb shoulder chop or two: that's the style I got accustomed to and I'm sure it won't offend Kenji if I make this hack to his otherwise excellent recipe!


    I plan to use Rancho Gordo beans–any recommendation on which would be best? looks like some folks here and in the recipe comments don't think it matters much, so long as they're quality beans.
    I'll report back!

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #40 - January 12th, 2017, 4:06 pm
    Post #40 - January 12th, 2017, 4:06 pm Post #40 - January 12th, 2017, 4:06 pm
    Geo wrote:I plan to use Rancho Gordo beans–any recommendation on which would be best?

    Well, as long as they're available, and they seem to be, these are the ones you want.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #41 - January 12th, 2017, 4:09 pm
    Post #41 - January 12th, 2017, 4:09 pm Post #41 - January 12th, 2017, 4:09 pm
    Tnx Ronnie! Done.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #42 - January 12th, 2017, 4:30 pm
    Post #42 - January 12th, 2017, 4:30 pm Post #42 - January 12th, 2017, 4:30 pm
    Hi,

    I have always wanted to make Cassoulet, though I was hung up by the duck legs. If I could buy duck legs separately, I would have done this long ago. Kenji's recipe had a casual ease to it, so I decided work with what I could easily obtain:

    - Instead of pork belly, I used three ounces of chopped bacon and another six ounces of beef bacon. I do happen to have a piece of pork belly in the fridge, but I have other plans for it.

    - I was intrigued by Tim's suggestion of using Johnsonville's Garlic O'Irish sausage. While the name intrigued the stocking clerk at Jewel, she'd never heard of it. Another customer had, but never saw it. Great minds think alike: we decided a good substitute was fresh Polish, then insert pieces of garlic clove into it.

    - I am using chicken legs and thighs per Kenji's article.

    - Turkey stock leftover from Christmas. It had a good gelatinous quality. However, I really wanted that crust, so I added two tablespoons of gelatin to boost it, per Kenji's idea.

    - Using flageolet beans picked up at a boutique gourmet store a while back.

    I had to add stock at the two hour mark. I added additional stock at 3.5 hours. I pulled a bit of the edge over and added fluid there to avoid messing the crust.

    Dinner will be ready in about two hours.

    This effort is pretty close to Boston Baked Beans.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #43 - January 12th, 2017, 4:37 pm
    Post #43 - January 12th, 2017, 4:37 pm Post #43 - January 12th, 2017, 4:37 pm
    Pix, C2, Pix! or at least a thorough tasting report!

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #44 - January 12th, 2017, 5:35 pm
    Post #44 - January 12th, 2017, 5:35 pm Post #44 - January 12th, 2017, 5:35 pm
    i am soaking my michigan beans sourced at Local Foods and curing my duck legs to get things ready for this weekend!
  • Post #45 - January 12th, 2017, 5:57 pm
    Post #45 - January 12th, 2017, 5:57 pm Post #45 - January 12th, 2017, 5:57 pm
    Johnsonville seems to make several interesting varieties of sausages, especially for foreign markets. Witness these turkey and cheddar sausages I recently saw in a convenience store in Mexico.
    20170112_165447.jpg
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #46 - January 13th, 2017, 9:49 am
    Post #46 - January 13th, 2017, 9:49 am Post #46 - January 13th, 2017, 9:49 am
    I've enjoyed reading about the many variations of cassoulet people are putting together. As Julia Child points out, when the dish is done, the flavors have all blended so that the meats do not taste distinct. Just about any combination will be good, though for my taste it can be easy to achieve an oversalted dish, so it is important to be careful about how much confit and sausage are part of the mix. Another problem to try to avoid is that some meats may dry out. I once used pork loin, which was dry. The next year, I used pork shoulder, trimmed of external fat and it worked much better.

    One thing I will do again is to make the sausage patties that Julia recommends. The Spice House has a very good mix to season them that does make them stand out in the mix of meats.

    An excellent addition is the Lisbon-style chourico that can be ordered from Solmar Market in Hartford, CT. The info on ordering is in the thread entitled "Esmerelda's Turkey."

    One thing, though, that I will do next time is to reserve the duck breasts and sear them at the last minute and serve them sliced on top of the cassoulet. I like the crispy fat of the skin and the rare breast as a counterpoint to the saucy beans.

    Vitesse98, you asked for dessert suggestions. I think that something light and very sweet is the way to go. Something too light and not sweet/intense enough will feel like a let-down after such a hearty meal. Also, I really prefer not to have to fuss at the end of the dinner, so I went with what I consider a bit of a cheat. I made a frozen "terrine" of Ciao Bella Passion Fruit Sorbet and Vanilla Ice Cream with a few purchased plain meringues inserted between the layers of ice cream. For color, I put in a bit of sweetened plum puree I had in the freezer. (This "terrine," made the previous day, unmolded easily due to the lining of plastic wrap in the loaf pan. It also sliced easily and could be served on plates, instead of being scooped into bowls.) The key to the dessert is the intense frozen Goya passion fruit puree. I sweetened it to taste and sauced the terrine with it, which added a pucker to the dessert. If you cannot find the passion fruit sorbetto, I think an orange/blackberry terrine might make a fine substitute.
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
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  • Post #47 - January 16th, 2017, 5:57 pm
    Post #47 - January 16th, 2017, 5:57 pm Post #47 - January 16th, 2017, 5:57 pm
    Love the talk about cassoulet. It used to be a once a year project for me but it's been awhile since I've wanted to put the effort in. I used to make my duck confit with duck breasts as I love the flavor and there is more meat than a leg/thigh. They also fit much better in the storage containers. I would generally store the breasts for about a month before serving.
    "I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day." Frank Sinatra
  • Post #48 - January 20th, 2017, 12:35 pm
    Post #48 - January 20th, 2017, 12:35 pm Post #48 - January 20th, 2017, 12:35 pm
    Two things:

    Josephine, Yelp reports that the Solmar Market is closed... : (

    At the restaurant Cassoulet in Toulouse, they feature a sweet chestnut puree (basically canned creme de marron, with some vanilla, sugar, and thick cream) for dessert.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #49 - January 21st, 2017, 11:45 am
    Post #49 - January 21st, 2017, 11:45 am Post #49 - January 21st, 2017, 11:45 am
    Vitesse98 wrote:What a weird coincidence that this thread just woke up.

    So, a related cassoulet question. Does anyone have any suggestions for post cassoulet dessert? A lot of people recommend fruit, obviously, and something simple at that, like poached pears, but do any of you have any specific ideas or recipes?

    I was also thinking of offering dessert wine or maybe a digestif in lieu of a solid dessert, but I know next to nothing about dessert wines. Do any of you cassoulet fans (or dessert wine fans) have suggestions for any particular dessert wines to follow such a heavy meal?

    Sticking in the region for a post-cassoulet drink, perhaps an Armagnac.
  • Post #50 - January 25th, 2017, 1:11 pm
    Post #50 - January 25th, 2017, 1:11 pm Post #50 - January 25th, 2017, 1:11 pm
    If you can swing it, it's very much worth making your own saucisson a l'ail (french garlic sausage). It's a relatively simple, mild sausage, but not easy to find a suitable version in Chi..

    My wife & I did this during our last crack at cassoulet & it made a good-sized difference. That said, Butcher & Larder and possibly Publican Quality Meats probably have something fairly close.

    A couple other notes: we haven't found home-made duck confit worth the difference (Butcher & Larder sells a great version pre-made), and I wouldn't recommend lining your braising pot with pork belly or bacon (some recipes recommend it, but it adds very little flavor & makes the final product very greasy & fatty).
  • Post #51 - January 25th, 2017, 1:14 pm
    Post #51 - January 25th, 2017, 1:14 pm Post #51 - January 25th, 2017, 1:14 pm
    Possumlad--could you perchance point us toward a recipe for said saucisson? I'd be much obliged.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #52 - January 25th, 2017, 2:09 pm
    Post #52 - January 25th, 2017, 2:09 pm Post #52 - January 25th, 2017, 2:09 pm
    The recipe for Toulouse Sausage that appears in Paul Wolfert's The Cooking of Southwest France: Recipes from France's Magnificent Rustic Cuisine is excellent. If I recall correctly, it incorporates grinding in some cured pork, which I'm told is very traditional (in cassoulet).

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #53 - January 25th, 2017, 7:27 pm
    Post #53 - January 25th, 2017, 7:27 pm Post #53 - January 25th, 2017, 7:27 pm
    I'm in the midst of sourcing things for cassoulet in a couple of weeks as well. Got the faux-Tarbais beans in my Bean Club mailing from Rancho Gordo and looking to confit the duck legs this weekend. I'll be checking out the sausage suggestions as we are likely making sausages closer to the date. This will be my second go-round at this and I'm looking forward to the process.
  • Post #54 - January 26th, 2017, 1:49 pm
    Post #54 - January 26th, 2017, 1:49 pm Post #54 - January 26th, 2017, 1:49 pm
    Geo wrote:Possumlad--could you perchance point us toward a recipe for said saucisson? I'd be much obliged.

    Geo


    Sure thing! We've most recently used this one and it turned out great: http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/91-s ... c-sausages

    Some traditional recipes (such as this one: http://www.goodcooking.com/sausage/saussion.htm) include pistachios but I prefer to omit them, especially if you're making for cassoulet.
  • Post #55 - February 14th, 2017, 11:59 pm
    Post #55 - February 14th, 2017, 11:59 pm Post #55 - February 14th, 2017, 11:59 pm
    Hi,

    I had been holding off on comments on the final results of my recent cassoulet experience waiting on my pictures. Well, there are no pictures.

    Kenji's method has a final 90 minutes of baking the cassoulet undisturbed. This resulted in a crunchy crust, though the beans were not as moist and certainly not soupy.

    Since there seems to be the expectations of soupy beans under the crunchy crust. I will probably insert additional liquid in the last 15-30 minutes by pouring it in near the edge.

    We certainly liked our first version. I believe I need to makes this a few more times before I get all the elements right.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast

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