Traditional French Cassoulet Recipe (2022)

Why It Works

  • Soaking the beans in salted water overnight helps keep them tender as they cook.
  • Chicken used in place of the traditional duck picks up tons of flavor from the cured meat products and comes out meltingly tender and meaty.
  • Adding gelatin to the cooking liquid helps it form a better crust on the casserole as it bakes.

How many times have you seen someone post a photo or recipe of a delicious-looking dish online only to see responses like "Hey! A mini burger is not a slider!" or "That stuff you made with the tiny bit of sugar added to it is not pizza sauce!" or even "If you aren't from [insert locality X], then you can't possibly understand much less make food from [locality X]!"?

I mean, I get it. Food instills passion. Food has history. Food is culture. It should be taken seriously and respectfully. But at the same time, it's meant to be delicious and give pleasure. If someone wants to shove some lobster in a tiny roll, serve it to their friends and family and call it a slider, who am I to tell them otherwise?

That's the logic I'm going to be using today while examining and fully bastardizing what undoubtedly ranks as one of the top 10 most prescriptivist dishes around: cassoulet. What started in the region of Languedoc as a humble peasant dish of dried beans cooked with various sausages and preserved meats—think of it as Southern French Beanee-Weenees—has turned into an all-out culture war with not one, not two, but three towns all claiming to be the originators of the One True Cassoulet.

You thought local sports fans are insane? You should head over to one of those medieval walled cities—Toulouse, Castelnaudary, and Carcassonne all have claims to the dish—and chat with some local cassoulet chefs to see what a true fanatic is like. The comparison is not as crazy as it sounds—members of the Académie Universelle du Cassoulet wear brightly colored uniforms, hand out medals, and wave banners just like sports fans. (I didn't spot any cassoulet cheerleaders twirling confit goose legs along the walls of Carcassonne when I visited a couple years ago, but I wouldn't be surprised if they exist.)

Toulouse chefs insist on mutton, those in Castelnaudary proclaim duck confit and pork make the superior cassoulet, while Carcassonne residents prefer goose and partridge.

Here's the truth of the matter: Cassoulet is not cheffy, prescriptivist stuff. It's a medieval peasant dish designed to make do with whatever was around. In Languedoc, that happened to be dried beans, preserved duck, and preserved pork.

Traditional French Cassoulet Recipe (1)

Classic Cassoulet

The first time I had cassoulet in its home turf (the Carcassonne version, in fact) it was a revelation: The cassoulet I'd known for nearly all of my professional career is nothing like the cassoulet found in Languedoc. It's as if I'd spent my life in the kitchen at Giordano's in Chicago and just found out that there's a style of pizza beyond deep dish and that not only that, but I'm the weird one here. That loose, almost soup-like stew of beans and meat was so far removed from all versions of cassoulet I'd had in the United States, or even in other parts of France. Gone was the stodgy, stew-like broth. Gone were the bread crumb toppings. Gone were the extra vegetables.

Instead, we were presented with a large, bubbling vat of beans and meat, covered in a crust so dark that it was almostblack. Our hostess cracked open the crust to reveal beans swimming in a rich, gelatinous broth with bits of tender duck leg, cured pork belly, pork shanks, and a few different sausages.

Traditional French Cassoulet Recipe (2)

Just as in a good risotto, the cassoulet flowed slowly across the plate, spreading out into a loose sauce. None of that solid-enough-to-mound stuff I'd seen everywhere else. Flavorwise, it was different too. Rich, meaty, and overwhelmingly simple, there were a few background notes from aromatic vegetables—onions, carrots, celery, a few cloves, perhaps some bay leaf and parsley—but the main flavor was just that of the cured meat, a good stock, and beans.

Like I said: simple, peasant fare.

The beans were cooked to the point of maximum creaminess—like a good loose hamburger, they were held together with nothing more than hope, melting on your tongue as soon as they hit your mouth. Similarly, all of the meats were meltingly tender, to the point where the only real texture was from the crust.

The thing is, I thought I knew what cassoulet was before trying it in Languedoc. I made it at fancy pants restaurants. I'd eaten it everywhere from New York to Paris. I'd bought it in ridiculously expensive imported jars. I spent months developing a recipe for Cook's Illustrated that never saw the light of day (people just don't feel like confit-ing their own duck).

But none of them ever came close to the real thing. Too thick, too fussy, too breadcrumb-y.

The version I'm giving you today does. And like any good peasant fare, it requires very little technique or skill, but does require a bit of time and TLC.

So how does one take this simple country dish and bring it home? Come along and I'll show you.

Using Chicken to Make Traditional Cassoulet

I need to get one thing off my chest right away: I am not using duck or goose confit in my cassoulet. I am using plain old chicken legs. Not a true cassoulet without confit, you say? To you I say: "Whoa whoa whoa—back off man. I'm a graduate of the Académie Universelle du Cassoulet, and I have the paperwork to prove it."

Traditional French Cassoulet Recipe (3)

I started tackling this recipe with the thought that I'd use confit—I even developed a recipe for making confit yourself from scratch. Then it struck me: I'm spending days making what is meant to be a simple peasant dish, and not only that, but by doing so, the end result is actually less true to the original. How so?

Well, duck is an ingredient in traditional cassoulet not by choice, but by necessity. Back in the days before refrigeration, duck meat was preserved by heavily salting it, slow-cooking it, then packing it under a layer of its own fat. Now sure, it turns out that this produces a fantastically tasty end product, but it's by no means a requisite for cassoulet. I'd argue that the most important part of the confit process—the slow cooking to tenderize tough connective tissue—is entirely wasted in a dish like cassoulet where the meat ends up getting slow-cooked anyway.

In fact, when tasted side-by-side, a confit duck leg slow-cooked in a cassoulet compared to a fresh duck leg cooked in the same pot comes out much drier and stringier, a consequence of its double cooking. I'll just say it: Fresh duck is better for cassoulet than confit duck.

So why chicken? Well, duck happens to be very common and inexpensive in medieval Southern France. In modern urban America, not so much. You could go out and buy duck legs to use for this recipe, but chicken is cheap, widely available, and easy to work with. And you want to know something else? With so much flavor packed into the cooking liquid—sausages, salted pork, cloves—you actually don't miss the duckiness of the traditional dish.

Here's another thing: Most of the distinguishing flavor in a particular type of meat comes from the fat. Cook a beef steak in lamb fat and it'll taste like a lamb chop. Seriously.

So instead of just using duck, what if I were to incorporate a bit of store-bought duck fat?

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I used that duck fat to brown my meat and bingo: true ducky, cassoulet flavor without any need for actual duck. I'd offer a totally insignificant cash reward for anyone who submits themselves to a Pepsi challenge and blind-tastes a bit of slow-cooked chicken and slow-cooked duck from the same pot of cassoulet prepared with duck fat and can tell me which is which.

Even without the duck fat, a chicken-based cassoulet is killer, so don't sweat it if you can't find or don't want to shell out for duck fat.

Two Porks Make a Flavor-Packed Cassoulet

After the poultry, the pork is the next most important flavoring element in the cassoulet (I decided to not even bother trying to seek out mutton shoulder). Sausages are a must. In Languedoc, you'd typically find a garlicky pork sausage flavored with a bit of red wine. Back here, I like to use whatever mild garlic sausage I can find, though if you want to play Cassoulet Choose Your Own Adventure, you can go with any flavor sausage in the shop. Hot Italian? Chorizo? Go for it. I promise you nobody at the table will turn down your food.

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For the cured, fatty element, I tried various cuts including salted pork belly, regular bacon, pancetta, salted fatback, and salted smoked ham hocks. Both the bacon and hocks imparted too much smoky flavor to the mix. Fatback was just too fatty, and pancetta was immediately identifiable. Salted pork belly (usually sold as "salt pork" in the meat or sausage case) was the way to go.

(Video) How To Make a Cassoulet step by step | French Cooking academy visit south of France

I decided to start my cassoulet by rendering the fat from the pork belly and using it to brown the rest of my ingredients.

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Browning it as a whole piece before slicing it into smaller chunks for slow cooking seemed like a good way to go about it, but in the interest of saving time and streamlining, I settled on cutting it into chunks before browning. This gave more surface area for rendering fat to escape, as well as more surface for browning, which led to deeper flavor in the finished dish.

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I tried various sizes from thin strips to little quarter-inch lardons and found that I much preferred larger, meatier chunks. Pieces about three-quarter-inch square are perfect.

Traditional French Cassoulet Recipe (8)

Rendering them slowly helps them release maximum fat without burning around the edges. Once the meat is golden brown and has rendered most of its fat, I take it back out of the pot.

How to Brown Chicken for Cassoulet

One thing I learned the hard way: You don’t need to salt your chicken. There's already a ton of salt that makes it into the dish from the salt pork and other ingredients, not to mention the liquid that slowly reduces in the oven.

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Salting your chicken separately makes for an inedibly salty dish. Just a few solid grinds of pepper are all it takes before the chicken is ready to go for a swim in the hot rendered pork fat.

One of the biggest mistakes I used to make as a young cook-ling was getting impatient with my browning.

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Ok—the first big mistake I made was fearing the fat. I'd drop pieces of chicken or steak into the pan from afar, thinking that I'd save myself a few burns. Instead, all I did was splash hot oil onto my body. When adding food to hot fat, lower it in gently, letting your hand get down right to the surface.

After that, let the chicken do its thing. You know how you think that by walking into the bedroom every few minutes to check on her progress you can get your wife to put those clothes on her body faster for that dinner you're already late to but really you just make her go even slower? Chicken is the same way. Except it's a pot instead of a bedroom, it's browning instead of getting dressed, and it's a cold lifeless shell of what was once a living, breathing creature instead of... Ok. That bit’s the same.*

*Just kidding Adri, I love you and your warm soul.

Point is: don't poke and prod that chicken too much, and definitely don't flip it until it is deeply, deeply browned. All that flavor is going to go right into your beans. Take out the chicken after browning both sides and set it aside with the pork belly.

Once the chicken is done, it's time to brown the sausage.

Can you see where we're going with this? Building up layers of browned flavors.

Preparing Beans and Aromatics for Cassoulet

Now comes a deeper question: how to incorporate the aromatics. Some recipes I've seen call for onions, carrots, celery, and garlic to all be finely chopped and left in the finished dish. I personally find the little bits of vegetables very distracting.

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Instead, I chop only the onion and add it to the pot after the meat is done browning, using the steam and moisture it gives off to deglaze the pan, scraping up all the flavorful browned bits that the meat left behind. As for the other aromatics—a carrot, a couple stalks of celery, a head of garlic, some sprigs of parsley, a couple bay leaves, and few cloves—I find leaving them in large chunks and using them to flavor the stock that I cook the beans in is the best way to extract subtle flavor without the distracting bits of vegetable in the finished dish.

As for those beans, I tested my recipes using a few different types of dried white beans from actual lingot I brought back from Languedoc to cannellini to small navy beans. Cannellini were the best domestic option. I tried cooking them a number of ways, from canned (no good—they don't develop flavor the way I'd like them to and the liquid doesn't thicken up enough as they cook) to non-soaked to soaked-and-cooked to completely pre-cooked before adding to the rest of the ingredients.

The best method was somewhere in between. I start by soaking my beans in a salty brine. (Despite what you may have heard about salt preventing beans from softening properly, it actually accomplishes the exact opposite goal: salt ensures that bean skins turn tender.)

Bean skins are held together by pectin, a sort of organic glue. Buttressing this pectin are magnesium and calcium ions. It takes a lot of work to take these down. But in the course of an overnight soak, some of those magnesium and calcium ions will get replaced by sodium ions. These guys are sort of like the double agents of the ion world. The beans will seem firm at first, but as soon as you start cooking them, those sodium ions reveal that they are not nearly as good at keeping pectin strong as the magnesium or calcium. Your bean skins will soften in record time and cook more evenly in the process.

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After draining the soaked beans I add them to the pot with the onions along with a quart of store-bought chicken stock and the aromatics. I simmer them until just shy of cooked before fishing out the spent aromatics, adding the meats back in, mixing everything around, and throwing it all into a low oven to finish cooking.

How to Get a Delicious Crust on Your Cassoulet

Traditional French Cassoulet Recipe (13)

Traditional French Cassoulet Recipe (14)

This is where the real magic of cassoulet happens. See, a good stock should be rich with proteins, and just like the proteins in meat, they brown when heated. As you cook a cassoulet in the oven, the top layer of liquid slowly evaporates, leaving an ever more concentrated layer of proteins on its surface. Eventually, these proteins form a raft-like skin.

(Video) Classic French Cassoulet

By occasionally removing the cassoulet from the oven and breaking that skin, allowing fresh liquid to flow above it (traditionalists will tell you that seven times is the optimal number of breaks for the best skin), you build up a significant layer of skin. It's this skin that browns, forming the crust of a traditional cassoulet.

It's these proteins that transform this:

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Into this:

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At least, that's what's supposed to happen.

The sad reality is that most of the cassoulets I've cooked in the past have ended up looking like this:

Traditional French Cassoulet Recipe (17)

A slight indication of skin at the top, but really it looks more like a bug than a feature.

What's the problem?

First off, it's the shape of the pan. A traditional cassole has a tapered shape that gives it an extremely high surface area to volume ratio. More room for evaporation means better skin formation and better browning. In fact, the last two pictures above are of cassoulets cooked in the exact same manner, the only difference being the vessel they are cooked in.

Unfortunately, it's tough to find a good cassoulet pot around here.

A regular cassoulet will form a crust in about four hours of cooking in a 300°F (150°C) oven. What about if you just cook your Dutch oven cassoulet for longer or hotter? I tried a variety of time and temperature ranges. At the very best, what you end up with is this:

Traditional French Cassoulet Recipe (18)

Decent crust alright, but the crust is really formed by the beans and the meat, not by the liquid itself. Underneath, the beans are too dry.

The second problem is the store-bought stock I'd been using. Homemade chicken stock tends to be very high in gelatin, a result of the high amount of connective tissue in the bones and cartilage used to make it. Store-bought stock, by contrast, is thin and watery. It's this gelatin that forms the crusty raft on top of the cassoulet, giving it both crust and body.

It's these two problems—wrong pot, not enough gelatin in the stock—that lead many recipes to resort to using breadcrumbs to create an artificial crust.

So what's the solution? Well the obvious one is to just make your own stock. It's actually way easier than it sounds, though it again requires a bit of a time commitment. I'll admit it: Sometimes even I'm too lazy to make my own stock when I've already got a day-long project ahead of me.

So what's the next best thing?

Just fake it.

By blooming store-bought unflavored gelatin in regular store-bought stock, you can create a rich stock full of body that forms a raft just like the real deal. I don't go easy on the gelatin either (remember, you have to make up for using the wrong-shaped pot as well). A full three packets for a quart of liquid gives it the body and crust I'm looking for.

In order to get a cassoulet that stays nice and loose underneath while still building a crust up top, it's important not to drown that crust out. If your liquid level starts to get too low, add more liquid (just plain water works) to the pot by carefully pouring it along the side of the pot so that it goes under the crust, not over it.

Now there's a cassoulet worthy of rooting for, funny little suits, medieval cheerleaders and all.

Break into that crust, and here's what you've got underneath:

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Creamy, flavor-packed beans with meltingly tender nubs of pork belly and sausage and chicken legs that fall off the bone in moist shreds, all in a rich, sticky liquid that drinks like liquid pork.

This is the kind of fare that demands you sit down and make an event out of, good Languedoc wine and all.

It's the kind of meal so rich and hearty that all you could possibly eat on the side is a simple green salad (preferably with an excellent French vinaigrette).

I mean, just look at it:

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LOOK AT IT:

Traditional French Cassoulet Recipe (21)

(Video) Traditional French Cassoulet

ALL OF THIS CAN BE YOURS.

And it's way easier than it seems. But isn't deceptively simple, delicious food what good country eating is all about, chickens and all?

October 2014

Featured Video

Serves: 6to 8 servings

  • 1 pound dried cannellini beans

  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt; for table salt, use half as much by volume

  • 1 quart homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock

    (Video) Cassoulet - French White Bean & Meat Gratin - Cassoulet de Toulouse Recipe

  • 3 packets (3/4 ounce) unflavored gelatin, such as Knox (see notes)

  • 2 tablespoons duck fat (optional)

  • 8 ounces salt pork, cut into 3/4-inch cubes

  • 6 to 8 pieces of chicken thighs and drumsticks, or 4 whole chicken leg quarters

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 pound garlic sausage (2 to 4 links, depending on size)

  • 1 large onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)

  • 1 carrot, unpeeled, cut into 3-inch sections

  • 2 stalks celery, cut into 3-inch sections

  • 1 whole head garlic

  • 4 sprigs parsley

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 6 cloves

  1. In a large bowl, cover beans with 3 quarts water and add salt. Stir to combine and let sit at room temperature overnight. Drain and rinse beans and set aside.

    Traditional French Cassoulet Recipe (22)

  2. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 300°F (150°C). Place stock in a large liquid measuring cup and sprinkle gelatin over the top. Set aside. Heat duck fat (if using) in a large Dutch oven over high heat until shimmering. Add salt pork and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned all over, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a large bowl, leaving rendered fat in Dutch oven, and set aside. (If not using duck fat, cook pork with no additional fat.)

    Traditional French Cassoulet Recipe (23)

  3. Season chicken pieces with pepper (do not add salt) and place skin side down in now-empty pan. Cook without moving until well-browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Flip chicken pieces and continue cooking until lightly browned on second side, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer to bowl with salt pork.

    Traditional French Cassoulet Recipe (24)

  4. Add sausages and cook, turning occasionally, until well-browned on both sides. Transfer to bowl with salt pork and chicken. Drain all but 2 tablespoons fat from pot.

    Traditional French Cassoulet Recipe (25)

  5. Add onions to pot and cook, stirring and scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Cook until onions are translucent but not browned, about 4 minutes. Add drained beans, carrot, celery, garlic, parsley, bay leaves, cloves, and stock/gelatin mixture. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce to low, cover Dutch oven, and cook until beans are almost tender but retain a slight bite, about 45 minutes.

    Traditional French Cassoulet Recipe (26)

  6. Using tongs, remove carrots, celery, parsley, bay leaves, and cloves and discard. Add meats to pot and stir to incorporate, making sure that the chicken pieces end up on top of the beans with the skin facing upwards. Beans should be almost completely submerged. Transfer to oven and cook, uncovered, until a thin crust forms on top, about 2 hours, adding more water by pouring it carefully down the side of the pot, as necessary, to keep beans mostly covered.

    Traditional French Cassoulet Recipe (27)

  7. Break crust with a spoon and shake pot gently to redistribute. Return to oven and continue cooking, stopping to break and shake the crust every 30 minutes until you reach the 4 1/2 hour mark. Return to oven and continue cooking undisturbed until the crust is deep brown and thick, about 5 to 6 hours total. Serve immediately.

    Traditional French Cassoulet Recipe (28)

Special Equipment

Dutch oven

(Video) Easy French Cassoulet Recipe

Notes

If you are using homemade chicken stock that already has lots of gelatin (i.e., it should thicken and gel when chilled), you can omit the unflavored gelatin here; if your stock is store-bought, or if it's homemade but watery even when chilled, the unflavored gelatin is an essential ingredient.

FAQs

What are the 3 regional styles of cassoulet? ›

There are three primary types of cassoulet:

Cassoulet de Castelnaudary: made with mutton from Castelnaudary, pork sausage from Carcassonne and Toulouse sausage. Cassoulet de Toulouse: made with Toulouse sausage. Cassoulet de Castres: made with goose or duck confit.

What is a French cassoulet? ›

cassoulet, French dish of white beans baked with meats; it takes its name from its cooking pot, the cassole d'Issel. Originating in Languedoc in southwest France, cassoulet was once simple farmhouse fare, but it has been elaborated into a rich and complex dish.

What does a cassoulet have in it? ›

Composition. All cassoulets are made with white beans (French: haricots blancs or lingots), duck or goose confit, sausages, and additional meat. In the cassoulet of Toulouse, the meats are pork and mutton, the latter frequently a cold roast shoulder.

What is traditionally served with cassoulet? ›

Here's the short answer. The best side dishes for cassoulet are roasted duck fat potatoes, sauteed spinach, braised red cabbage, and mashed potatoes. Try serving a celery salad, arugula salad, or navel orange salad for lighter options. For something a little unusual, serve the cassoulet over a cauliflower steak.

What type of bean is used in cassoulet? ›

Tarbais beans were developed by generations of farmers in Tarbes, France. The original seed is a New World bean and most likely originated in Mexico. Out of respect for the French farmers and terroir, we're calling the bean Cassoulet Bean.

How do you thicken cassoulet? ›

Use a very large skillet, at least 12 inches, for sautéing the sausages and finishing the beans before you layer them into the casserole dish. In this recipe, the beans are finished in a tomato purée, which reduces and thickens the sauce of the final cassoulet.

What is the difference between a casserole and a cassoulet? ›

The main difference between cassoulet and casserole is that cassoulet is a French stew made with meat and beans while the casserole is a type of dish that is cooked slowly in an oven. Both words, cassoulet and casserole are types of dishes that got the name after the traditional cooking vessel, the casserole.

What is the French traditional food? ›

Bœuf bourguignon

Bœuf bourguignon is essentially a stew made from beef braised in red wine, beef broth, and seasoned vegetables including pearl onions and mushrooms. Originally a peasant dish, this recipe is now a staple in French restaurants around the world.

Does cassoulet have wine in it? ›

A Perfect Winter Pairing: Cassoulet And The Full-Bodied Wines Of The Languedoc. Cassoulet is an iconic dish of Southern France, essentially a casserole of white beans and duck confit. It was originally intended to fortify peasants after long working days, but it's now held up as one of France's great culinary triumphs.

Can you reheat cassoulet? ›

Cassoulet can be made 3 days ahead and cooled completely, uncovered, then chilled, covered. Reheat, covered, in a preheated 350°F oven 30 minutes. If beans have soaked up the liquid, add some of reserved broth before reheating.

What is cassoulet de Castelnaudary? ›

This classic cassoulet de Castelnaudary is a slow-simmered stew of white beans, sausage, duck confit, and pork that originated in southern France. It's comfort food at its finest.

What is a substitute for Toulouse sausage? ›

Conran suggests Polish kielbasa as a Toulouse substitute, but the smoky sort I use makes everything taste like a frankfurter, so I'd steer clear – basically, you need something with a very high meat content, and preferably a hefty whack of garlic.

What wine do you serve with cassoulet? ›

Cassoulet pairs best with savoury medium-bodied red wines with ample tannin and crisp acidity such as Cahors, Syrah, Bandol, Irouléguy, Côte-Rôtie and Corbières. Cassoulet is a slow-cooked dish consisting of white beans, duck, garlic sausage, pigs feet, and ham hocks.

What cut of meat do you use for beef bourguignon? ›

Beef bourguignon typically features both pork—in the form of lardons, small strips of fatty, thick-cut bacon—and stewing beef, usually beef chuck diced into 2-inch cubes, though any lean cut (like brisket) is acceptable.

Is cassoulet a stew? ›

Cassoulet, a hearty slow-simmered stew of sausage, confit (typically duck), pork, and white beans, is one of the great hallmarks of French country cuisine. The best versions are cooked for hours until the beans and meat meld into a dish of luxuriant, velvety richness.

What is cassoulet Toulouse? ›

A typical dish from the Ville Rose, the cassoulet of Toulouse is made up of a few essentials and other ingredients that vary depending on the cook. There is, of course, pork meat (loin, hock, cooking sausage) as well as duck confit, pork belly, local sausage, neck and breast of lamb.

Can you freeze cassoulet? ›

The good news is that cassoulet can be made well ahead, and the leftovers can be frozen for months. Make a large batch and freeze what you don't use.

What does confit cooking mean? ›

It's a traditional French cooking method, and originally referred to anything preserved by slowly cooking it in any liquid; fruits, for example, would be confited in sugar syrup. Nowadays, however, it tends to refer to food that's been slow-cooked in fat and not necessarily aged or stored.

Why is my casserole so watery? ›

No matter how many times you've cooked a certain stew, casserole or pie filling, sometimes you end up with a little more liquid than you expected and the sauce is too runny. This happens more often with dishes made in a slow cooker, as slow cookers don't allow water to evaporate – they trap in the moisture.

Why is my green bean casserole so soupy? ›

Green bean casserole should have a nice thick sauce that coats the green beans—it should not resemble soup. One common cause of a watery casserole is not adding enough thickener, such as flour or cornstarch, to your sauce.

Who invented cassoulet? ›

The first cassoulet is claimed by the city of Castelnaudary, which was under siege by the British during the Hundred Years War. The beleaguered townspeople gathered up the ingredients they could find and made a large stew to nourish and bolster their defenders.

Can you freeze chicken cassoulet? ›

Cassoulet is a truly delicious meal that you can prepare in batches to ensure you have a portion ready to dig out of the freezer whenever you fancy it! Yes, you can freeze cassoulet. Cassoulet can be frozen for around 3 months.

What's the difference between a stew and a Cass? ›

A purist would say that a casserole goes in the oven, heating the dish from all directions, while a stew goes on the stovetop and is heated from the bottom. Another point of difference is a casserole is the name of the pot used for cooking.

Whats the difference between a hotpot and stew? ›

Hotpot: a mixture of meat and vegetables, usually including sliced potatoes, cooked slowly in a covered dish inside a cooker. Stew: a type of food consisting usually of meat or fish and vegetables cooked slowly in a small amount of liquid.

What is France signature dish? ›

1) Boeuf Bourguignon

There's nothing more comforting and luscious than Boeuf Bourguignon, a classic French beef stew made with red wine, pearl onions, mushrooms and bacon. Once you try it, this dish is guaranteed to become a regular on your menu!

What are the 3 most popular foods in France? ›

Top 5 foods in France
  • Cassoulet. One particular dish that gained popularity in southern France is Cassoulet. ...
  • Oeufs en meurette. If you ever find yourself in Burgundy mid-morning then stop off for brunch and try this French version of poached eggs. ...
  • Religieuse au chocolat. ...
  • Baguette au fromage. ...
  • Bouillabaisse.
22 Jul 2017

How do you moisten a dry casserole? ›

Another moisturizing fix: Melt some butter and drizzle over the top; or season and warm some cream and use that to baste your dish. Finally, serve with a wedge of lemon or lime for squeezing, which can add some acidity balance in addition to a bright hit of flavor.

How many times can you reheat a casserole? ›

Reheating Home-Cooked Meals

There are no limits to how many times you can safely reheat leftover home-cooked meals. However, best practice is to limit the number of times you do so. More often than not, you wouldn't need to reheat one type of dish more than once.

How do you reheat a casserole without drying it out? ›

Heat the casserole in a microwave-safe dish along with a small cup filled with a bit of water to create steam. This will help keep the casserole moist and prevent it from drying out.

What is vegan cassoulet? ›

This Vegan Cassoulet is a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs vegan stew made with white beans and vegan sausage. It's packed with plant-based protein, it's very satisfying on a cold day, and it's quite easy to make. Vegans and non-vegans alike love this hearty stew.

What Flavour is Toulouse? ›

Dating back to the 18th century, early recipes often contained shallots mixed with meat and spices. But now, a traditional 'Saucisse de Toulouse' tends to be made from just three key ingredients: pork, red wine and garlic. And it's known for its heady garlic flavour and strong aroma.

What Italian sausage is closest to? ›

Pork sausage has emerged as the best available substitute, thanks to its striking similarity with Italian sausage. As long as you can season it right, you'll find that pork sausage can be a pretty perfect Italian sausage substitute.

What is a Toulouse sausage? ›

Saucisse de Toulouse (Toulouse Sausage) is a fresh sausage originating from Toulouse in the southwest of France. It is made from pork (75% lean, 25% belly), salt and pepper, has a natural casing of about 3cm in diameter and is usually sold in a coil (like Cumberland sausage).

Where in France did cassoulet originate? ›

What is cassoulet de Castelnaudary? ›

This classic cassoulet de Castelnaudary is a slow-simmered stew of white beans, sausage, duck confit, and pork that originated in southern France. It's comfort food at its finest.

What is cassoulet au canard? ›

This duck-lover's version of the classic southern French casserole includes the bird in the form of rich sausages, bone-in legs and thighs, breast meat, and the traditional confit.

When was cassoulet invented? ›

The history of cassoulet is a history of Languedoc. One legend places the birth of cassoulet during the siege of Castelnaudary by the Black Prince, Edward the Prince of Wales, in 1355. The besieged townspeople gathered their remaining food to create a big stew cooked in a cauldron.

Why is cassoulet so special? ›

This cherished dish was originally the fare of peasants in southwest France, and all the ingredients were chosen accordingly. A simple assembly of whatever was available from sausages and meat scraps to white beans and gizzards, slowly cooked into a hot and flavourful stew; everything was fair game for a Cassoulet.

Is cassoulet famous in France? ›

erhaps there is no dish in Southwest France more iconic, cherished, and controversial than the cassoulet. Cassoulet was originally the food of peasants - a simple assemblage of what ingredients were available: white beans with pork, sausage, duck confit, gizzards, cooked together for a long time.

Is a cassoulet a casserole? ›

The main difference between cassoulet and casserole is that cassoulet is a French stew made with meat and beans while the casserole is a type of dish that is cooked slowly in an oven.

What does confit cooking mean? ›

It's a traditional French cooking method, and originally referred to anything preserved by slowly cooking it in any liquid; fruits, for example, would be confited in sugar syrup. Nowadays, however, it tends to refer to food that's been slow-cooked in fat and not necessarily aged or stored.

What is vegan cassoulet? ›

This Vegan Cassoulet is a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs vegan stew made with white beans and vegan sausage. It's packed with plant-based protein, it's very satisfying on a cold day, and it's quite easy to make. Vegans and non-vegans alike love this hearty stew.

How do you heat cassoulet? ›

Cassoulet can be made 3 days ahead and cooled completely, uncovered, then chilled, covered. Reheat, covered, in a preheated 350°F oven 30 minutes. If beans have soaked up the liquid, add some of reserved broth before reheating.

How do you reheat duck cassoulet? ›

Leftover cassoulet is amazing. When completely cool, cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, gently warm, uncovered, at 300°F for 20 to 30 minutes, until warmed through.

How do you heat canned cassoulet? ›

Empty the contents of the tin into a large saucepan and gently heat through for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. You can also heat up in a covered casserole dish in the oven for around 30 minutes. Serve with a simple green salad or green beans cooked and tossed in butter.

Where does the name cassoulet come from? ›

How was cassoulet invented? ›

During the siege of the city of Castelnaudary, peasants, facing starvation, were said to have thrown whatever they could find—beans, duck, sausage and other odds and ends—into a pot called a cassole to create a stew. They then put the big pot into the oven, and ate the heaping dish that emerged.

Videos

1. The Cassoulet – Bruno Albouze
(Bruno Albouze)
2. The real Cassoulet, cooked "on location" in Carcassonne, France.
(Pete's Pans)
3. Quick Cassoulet Recipe - French Pork and Bean Casserole
(Food Wishes)
4. How To Make Cassoulet: A Traditional French Cassoulet Recipe
(DArtagnanFoods)
5. Chef Eric Ripert Makes Classic Cassoulet
(DArtagnanFoods)
6. Traditional Cassoulet with Duck Confit, Toulouse Sausage and Pork Belly
(The Gourmet Gambit)

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