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Cassoulet In Pacific NW

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    Cassoulet In Pacific NW

    Cooking Cassoulet today. More or less following Kate Hill’s method, but a couple changes due to lockdowns and ingredients and such.

    Substitutions
    Lovage leaves -> celery leaves
    Pancetta -> an inch of my bacon
    Duck Confit -> chicken thighs
    Sausage Toulouse -> a very mild bratwurst

    I’m on first step, which is cooking the beans. Using Rancho Gordo Cassoulet (originate from Tarbais beans brought from France), so I didn’t bother soaking.

    Assembled a bouquet of bay leaves, thyme, parsley stalks, celery leaves. Added that, beans, ham bone, ham rind, bacon, peppercorns, onion, cloves, carrot and 3 quarts water to the pot. Boiled for 5 minutes, now down to a simmer.

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    Last edited by ecowper; April 16, 2020, 05:50 PM.

    #2
    Nice! What time should I be there? I can pick it up with a 6 ft grabber

    Comment


    • ecowper
      ecowper commented
      Editing a comment
      I wish I could have all my PACNW friends over for a big cook right now

    #3
    simmered the beans for about 90 minutes (since I didn't soak them). then removed all the stuff from the pot, diced up the ham, browned the sausage and chicken. Decided I didn't have enough ham for my taste, so I added a handful of pulled pork ..... now it's BBQ! .... and browned that, too. diced up the onion and bacon, added back to the beans. Added a little salt and some cayenne (a pinch)

    Now to build the Cassoulet .... used my dutch oven since I don't have a proper French casserole. layer of beans first, then the chicken thighs. Another layer of beans, then the sausage, ham, pork. Another layer of beans. Now pour in some broth until you can see the broth in the pot. Reserve the rest of the broth for basting later.

    Into the oven at 300F to cook for 3 hours

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    Comment


      #4
      Oh yea, I'm just a wishin' and a hopin' and patiently awaitin'.....

      Comment


      • ecowper
        ecowper commented
        Editing a comment
        Troutman if you are ever up in the great state of Washington and don’t let me know you’re here, I’m gonna be grumpy

      • Troutman
        Troutman commented
        Editing a comment
        ecowper Oh come on grumpy, I’m being serious. I wanna give this a try. Heck, if I was in your kitchen I’d have my survival spoon out samplin’ your wares👍

      • ecowper
        ecowper commented
        Editing a comment
        Troutman I’m gonna say you should give it a try. I was really intimidated about this for a long time. I finally decided to do it and the smell in my kitchen says OMG .... but you still gotta visit my kitchen if you are ever up this way

      #5
      Man, that's gonna be Great Food, Brother!
      I'll be here!

      Comment


      • ecowper
        ecowper commented
        Editing a comment
        Mr. Bones A mess o’ beans is always great food .... wife actually said about 20 minutes into cooking the beans “that is starting to smell like something”

      • Mr. Bones
        Mr. Bones commented
        Editing a comment
        Oh, I'm bettin my Bottom Dollar that yer house smells bout like Heaven, right about now!!!! ecowper
        Yeah, cain't really go wrong with a good mess o' beans, ime!

      • ecowper
        ecowper commented
        Editing a comment
        Mr. Bones my wife makes some damn fine Boeuf Bourguignon .... she took Julia’s recipe and made it her own. I think it’s the best I’ve had outside France and rivals some of the great ones I’ve had there. I decided I need to take Cassoulet and make it my own like Stacy did, considering how I love beans and all

      #6
      Looks great. You wanna meet me in the middle of the state and drop some off?

      Comment


      • ecowper
        ecowper commented
        Editing a comment
        Man, I’d love to figure out some sort of WA state Meat-Up ... Yakima, maybe .... when everything is open again

      • CaptainMike
        CaptainMike commented
        Editing a comment
        That's a short trip for a Jefferson boy as well!

      #7
      Now, every 30 minutes, I break a couple holes in the crust forming on top, use the stock that comes up through the hole and baste all of the beans nicely. The smell in the kitchen is crazy good. Have a bottle of nice French wine (A Chateauneuf-du-Pape) out to go with it. Maybe another 30 minutes and then the Cassoulet can rest and cool a bit and then serve :-)

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      • ecowper
        ecowper commented
        Editing a comment
        I keep trying to scratch n sniff when people post stuff in here ... never seems to work

      • ofelles
        ofelles commented
        Editing a comment
        Now that's what I'm talking about!👍

      • painter
        painter commented
        Editing a comment
        Whoa--you had me at cassoulet but now you've added Chateauneuf-du-Pape!

      #8
      Going to make a green salad and open a bottle of wine .... dinner as soon as the wife is done with her PTA and School Board meeting

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      • Troutman
        Troutman commented
        Editing a comment
        That’s an excellent wine, I’ve bought a case or two myself !!

      #9
      Just pulled out of the oven to rest for a bit while I make the salad. had my first taste. It’s f’ing amazing. The beans are tender, but not falling apart. The flavor is deep and complex, but all the flavors typical French not American. OMG how have I never tried to do this before.

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      • Mr. Bones
        Mr. Bones commented
        Editing a comment
        WOW! Jus WOW!!!!
        Excellent Job, Great Lookin Food!

      • CaptainMike
        CaptainMike commented
        Editing a comment
        Crack of the bat "It's high, it's deep, IT, IS, OUGHTA HERE!!!!!"

      #10
      That looks amazing and a great use of the leftover ham bone. Puts my split pea and ham soup to shame! I will have to try this.

      Comment


      • ecowper
        ecowper commented
        Editing a comment
        I will write it up as a single method and post :-)

      #11
      Must admit, it’s a bit overcooked ... my own fault. Other than that the flavor, richness, consistency was pretty good. First try, will have to improve

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      Comment


      • Mr. Bones
        Mr. Bones commented
        Editing a comment
        Yup, terrible thing, that
        I'd immediately ship it to somewhere they have distinct lack of poulation density, an can accommodate

        Hazardaous Waste Disposal!

        Kansas Territory comes to mind, coincidentally enough...

        Beautiful Meal, very nicely done, Brother!!!

        My Beloved Cowboy Hat is duly doffed, an I am gently bowin from th waist, t'wards th Upper NW.
        Last edited by Mr. Bones; April 16, 2020, 10:20 PM.

      • fzxdoc
        fzxdoc commented
        Editing a comment
        What overcooked--the beans? It looks awesome.

        Kathryn

      • ecowper
        ecowper commented
        Editing a comment
        fzxdoc I would have liked the beans a bit firmer. But for a first try, I thought it was great!

      #12
      OK now I feel like your guilting my lazy no-count butt. Looks friggin amazing. Need smell-o-vision.

      Comment


        #13
        And this is why I love this forum. Fine French cuisine meets BBQ, and it just works. Will have to try this, thanks for expanding my culinary horizon!

        Looks excellent.

        Comment


          #14
          Here's the method I followed in a single post for anyone that wants to do this

          The approach is based on Kate Hill's Cassoulet recipe from "Cassoulet: A French Obsession". I make a couple of ingredient changes, but no technique changes at all. I will describe each phase of the method for this: Beans, Meat, Build, Cassoulet. The beans are probably the most important piece of the whole thing. I use Rancho Gordo's Cassoulet beans, which are grown from Tarbais beans, but in Napa rather than Southwestern France. Obviously, you could use Tarbais beans, which can be ordered from D'Artagnan (https://www.dartagnan.com) or on Amazon. Alternatively, you could use Lingots, Flageolet, Canellini, or Great Northern beans. This recipe will feed 5-6 comfortably.

          About the dish to cook in. If you happen to have one, use a cassole, which is a traditional French dish for cooking cassoulet. If not, you need a decent casserole dish or a dutch oven. the opening needs to be wider than the dish is tall. I use a 4.5 quart dutch oven.

          Substitutions:
          Lovage leaves -> Celery leaves
          Duck Confit -> Chicken thighs
          Toulouse style sausage -> mild bratwurst
          Pancetta -> thick cut bacon (I actually use my own bacon)

          Ingredients

          Beans:
          1 lb dry Cassoulet beans
          Bouquet Garni: 4 bay leaves, 1 tsp each of parsley and thyme, a handful of celery leaves
          4 garlic cloves, whole
          1 medium onion, whole, peeled
          1 medium carrot, whole, peeled
          1 ham bone or ham hock
          4 whole cloves
          4 slices bacon (thick cut)
          3 quarts water

          Meat:
          2 bratwurst
          4 chicken thighs
          4 oz pulled pork (you always have some pulled pork in the freezer, right? Substitute 4 oz diced up ham.)

          Cassoulet:
          All the above plus salt/pepper per below and a pinch of cayenne or piment d'esplette if you have it

          Technique

          Beans:
          • Rinse and sort beans, removing any rocks or deformed/cracked beans.
          • Soak beans per directions. If using Rancho Gordo beans, do not soak. Instead, add 30 minutes simmer to your cooking
          • stick the cloves tail first into the top of the onion
          • put all ingredients in a pot, cover with water
          • Bring pot to a boil for 5 minutes
          • Do not cover at all
          • Reduce beans to a simmer and cook 45-60 (75-90 for RG beans) minutes. Beans should still be firm, skin should be "papery"
          • remove everything from the pot except beans and stock
          • Taste stock and add salt/pepper/cayenne to taste
          • Dice up onion, carrot, bacon and add back to the beans
          • Remove the meat from ham bone or ham hock, dice up, add back to the beans


          Meat:
          • Brown the sausage, chicken and pulled pork (or diced ham)
          • Not necessary to fully cook, that will happen in the cassoulet
          • Reserve the oil and fat from cooking and add to the bean pot


          Build:
          • Add a layer of beans to the bottom of your cassole, casserole pan, or dutch oven
          • add the chicken thighs and nestle down into the beans
          • Cover the chicken with another layer of beans
          • add the sausages, pulled pork in a layer
          • Cover with remaining layer of beans
          • Now add enough of the bean stock to be able to just see the broth in the pot


          Cassoulet:
          • Heat oven to 300F while building the cassoulet
          • Put cassoulet in oven, uncovered
          • Leave it alone for 60 minutes, at least
          • When a good crust is starting to form on the cassoulet, break a couple holes in the crust and spoon the broth over top
          • Check cassoulet every 30 minutes, or so ..... if it needs it, add some more broth and baste the crust as described
          • Between 2 1/2 and 3 hours the Cassoulet is done when the beans are tender and a deep brown crust is well formed
          • Pull from oven and allow to stand 20-30 minutes
          • Prepare a green salad while it's standing
          • Open a bottle of red wine, preferably from France, from the Rhone or Languedoc
          Awesome Ham Bone I used for a cassoulet
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          Beans assembled and ready to cook
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          These are finished beans, ready to assemble cassoulet
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          Cassoulet fully assembled and ready for the oven
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          Finished cassoulet
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          Served with green salad
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          Last edited by ecowper; April 17, 2020, 09:54 PM.

          Comment


          • ecowper
            ecowper commented
            Editing a comment
            Mr. Bones I did cover it while it rested ... I didn’t want to lose too much heat.

          • Mr. Bones
            Mr. Bones commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks fer th answer; that would have been my own intuition, fer th reason previous presented, but I wanna do this up right....

          • ecowper
            ecowper commented
            Editing a comment
            Mr. Bones use the standing time to make a salad, open some wine, whatever makes sense to you ... when you’re done with that stuff ... serve it and enjoy :-)

          #15
          Beautifully awesome

          Comment

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