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Connemara Cassoulet

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Rank attained: Pedunculate oak tree

Joined: 12 May 2010
Posts: 305
Location: Connemara

PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 11:51 am    Post subject: Connemara Cassoulet Reply with quote

A warm winter French classic, with an Irish twist.
In a way its an alteration on the fry.

As always there are more pics, tips and thoughts at my garden blog
- link in signature

2 tablespoons Butter
2 medium (1/2 cup) carrots, chopped
1 medium (1/2 cup) leek, chopped
1 medium (1/2 cup) onion, chopped
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh garlic
800 gm soaked homegrown or 2 cans haricot beans, rinsed, drained
I added some tinned kidney beans to bulk out the white beans.
4 sausages cut into 3rds
- pick what you like, I a mix of apple leek and peppered from a local butcher.
1 can chopped tomato
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
100 gm black pudding (optional)
100 gm bacon or rashers, diced (optional)

Heat oven to 180°C.
Oil a casserole dish casserole.
Melt butter in a pan until sizzling; add carrots, onion and garlic.
Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally,
until onions are softened (3 to 5 minutes).
Brown the sausages, bacon and black pudding.
Combine onion mixture, meats, sausage, tomato's and thyme in prepared casserole.

Cover; bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until bubbly and carrots are crisply tender. Sprinkle with parsley.

Again, I am trying to take a French dish and give it an Irish twist, and it came out quite well.

I grew and dried Haricot and Borlotti beans this year.
But if you cannot find Haricot beans, there is an option
- not great but it's still there -
that is to buy baked beans and rinse off the tomato sauce,
but there will always be a slight hint of that flavour which is
not the idea for me.

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James Kilkelly
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Joined: 30 May 2006
Posts: 2173
Location: West of Ireland

PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had an delicious Cassoulet in Carcassonne, so I'm gonna give this Irish version a twist.
Thanks simonj.

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Location: Connemara

PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Carcassone and Toulouse are the homes of Cassoulet, they tend to use poultry as well, particularly goose - so maybe a couple of chicken drumsticks would be a good addition.

This version is certainly drier than the French
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:28 pm    Post subject: Recipe Cassoulet de Castelnaudary with Duck Confit Reply with quote

Hello, fellow-Cassoulet amateurs,

Just thought I'd give you the traditional recipe for Cassoulet de Castelnaudary (Castelnaudary uses Duck Confit, whilst Toulouse uses mainly Goose Confit and Carcassonne mainly uses both AND Confit Partridge Meat).

Hope you like it,

Enjoy. Very Happy

PS: As a keen organic gardener I was wondering if Haricot Beans would grow in a Dublin (North-facing) garden? Thanks.

Cassoulet de Castelnaudary

The authentic Castelnaudary recipe for Cassoulet: a delicious dish of duck confit and mixed meats baked with a tasty bean stew!

Serves 4

Resting time: 12 hours minimum
Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 2h 40 to 3h30
Difficulty: difficult, time consuming
Utensils: 1 large oven-proof cooking pot

For Cassoulet de Castelnaudary

The meats

4 whole confit duck legs
4 Toulouse sausages
600g neck fillet of lamb
400g rack of lamb
400g pork loin
150g smoked bacon
100g fresh pork rind

For the garnish

500g dried lingot or tarbais beans
3 carrots
2 onions
2 tomatoes
3 cloves
2 bouquets garnis
3 garlic cloves
1 tbsp tomato concentrate
1 pot of goose fat (75g)
Guérande sea salt
Black pepper
Espelette pepper
3 dried bread slices

For Cassoulet de Castelnaudary


Soak the lingot beans overnight in 2.5 litres of water.


Prep the vegetables

Wash and peel the carrots. Slice one carrot and set aside. Slice the other 2 carrots and set aside separately.
Peel the onions and stick 3 cloves into one of them; finely chop the other.
Peel, de-sprout and mince the garlic.
Wash and roughly chop the tomatoes.

Prep the meats

Chop the pork rind in two.
Cut the sausages into chunky slices.
Chop all the meats into at least four pieces, including the pork loin, rack of lamb, neck fillet
Make the aromatic garnish
Drain and rinse the re-hydrated tarbais or lingot beans and place in a large cooking pot. Cover with plenty of water and add one chopped carrot, the "cloved" onion, one bouquet garni, and the pork rind. Add plenty of black pepper, but no salt. Bring to the boil, turn the heat down and simmer for 30 minutes, removing the foam that will form.

Sauté the meats

While your aromatic garnish is cooking, sauté all the meats, except for the sausages: the pork loins, the smoked bacon, the rack of lamb, the neck fillet and the whole duck legs. Add a little Guérande sea salt and plenty of pepper (Cassoulet is a peppery dish!). Remove the meats once they are golden brown. In the same pot, add the two chopped carrots, the chopped tomatoes, the chopped onion, the minced garlic, one bouquet garni and the sliced sausages. Sprinkle with a good few pinches of Espelette pepper to give your cassoulet a nice little kick. Cover and let it cook gently for ten minutes.
Pre-heat your oven to 180° C (gas mark 6)

Bake the cassoulet

Add the sautéed meats to the cooking pot, placing the pork rind and put enough cold water to jut about cover the meat. Taste and rectify the seasoning if necessary. Bring to the boil, and place the cooking pot in a hot oven and let it cook for a minimum of 2 hours. Cassoulet can be cooked for longer (up to 7 hours in the South West of France!!!).
At least two hours later, check that the meat and beans are cooked throroughly: if the meats are melting, they are ready to be taken out. The beans are ready when they feel soft under your finger.

Gratinate the cassoulet

Grate the dried bread slices over the cassoulet and gratinate it under the grill for 3 minutes until a crispy golden crust forms over the top.

Get ready to serve

Place the beans and vegetables on a large hollow serving dish, taking care to remove the clove spiked onion and the bouquets garnis.
Remove the meats, carve into smaller pieces if required, and gracefully arrange over the bean stew.

The Chef suggests

Choosing excellent quality beans and the right duck is vital for the success of this recipe. It is absolutely crucial that you choose confit duck legs instead of ordinary ones, for the wonderful melt-in-the-mouth texture of its flesh and for its delicious flavour. Poor quality beans will desintegrate in the cassoulet, whilst good quality ones like lingots or tarbais will retain their beautiful texture and flavour. Wink

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