Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Cassoulet 2013


I absolutely loved making this version of cassoulet in celebration of my blog's anniversary--and enjoyed eating it even more! Courtesy of Saveur magazine, the recipe may be found here

Making cassoulet is sincere, honest work. I fully admit to being slow in the kitchen, but as I have said before, I don't think cooking is a race or a competition. Even though this recipe is very straight forward, despite all the time it took with simmering, stewing, bubbling and whatnot, there was hardly any wait time--I never sat down! You can gun this at seven hours, but this cassoulet should have time to rest overnight, so plan on making it the day before you intend to serve it.

There were already four game limbs of duck confit chilling out in our refrigerator and I devised a very simple way make confit, found here. We didn't have dried great northern (or any small white beans) so I used canned, adding them in later so as not to become overly mushy--and it saves some time too in the cooking process.

Quartered onions and thyme become well-acquainted with ham hocks, covered in water with some salt and pepper.

More onions met up with a browned pork bones (not a ham bone as the recipe suggests) in a heavy bottomed pot. I also subbed bacon ends and bits instead of pork rind.

This part was great: about a cup of garlic cloves went into the blender with another onion and 1/2 cup water to create a paste. I was concerned at first that it was a little watery, but the minute it heated up in the pan with the browned sausage links, it was devastatingly aromatic and so delicious as I dug a spoon into it to give it a taste.

Once everything came together it cooked for three more hours before completely cooling and going into the refrigerator to sleep overnight. It was slowly reheated for another three hours the following afternoon and was timed served to our guests at dinner time without the slightest effort--and more than a moment to catch up over relaxing cocktails. 

Happy Anniversary, Evenings With Peter! And thanks to dear folks for reading!

Soundtrack: C'est Chic! French Girl Singers from the 60's; Diva soundtrack.

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