Cassoulet Cassoulate


I literally said this to my sister Laura ( the one who taught me the cream sauce ):
” Hey, yeah, I’ll be over soon, I’m just going to wax my car real quick.”

She hung up the phone and probably arranged and set off on a trip to the Oregon Coast, bought some saltwater taffy, ate a bowl of chowder and then returned with enough time to watch the evening news because she knew that I’d be a while.

This is Cassoulet. You think that with all the prebrowning, the pre-confit-ing and skipping the dried beans step by using canned that you could start at four and serve at six-thirty, but sadly for you, you are wrong. Even with your shortcuts, the dish needs an overnight stay in the cool fridge of love that makes flavor happen. You need time ( and a dash of thyme as it so happens ).


When you live in Southwest France, duck is plentiful and pork is cheap. This sets the stage for Cassoulet.

Don’t worry, in the meantime we fed the troops a Butter Chicken I’ve done in the past and quickly pulled together. And it is a small coincidence that Butter Chicken and Cassoulet are but a nub of ginger away from being equally belly warming. Both require this onion-garlic paste dealio.

Oh gooby, googie sausage, how I love thee especially when you are layered with your beany ducky friends.




After your layers of yum, cover with beans and let it gurgle and bubble for an hour.


Then another hour or so at a lower heat. Then, overnight in the fridge. Then cook the next day for an hour. And THEN … Taste and see if it’s ready. Cassoulet is so worth the time and effort. Don’t be fooled by the tin. Live a little, Make it from scratch.


  1. These photos are verging on pornographic.

    You are one of that class of special people who, when being asked why they are so tired, reply that it was because they were up so late cooking something yummy.

    • I have a job to do and the perks are in the pudding (cringe 😉 )

    • That, my dear, is garlic and onion in a blender with a splash of water. The sausage ate it up. I’ve only ever done this with cassoulet. I’m curious how it would do with other recipes.

  2. Blend the onion and garlic, then pour on the hot sausage. This cassoulet was some variation on three recipes: Stéphane Reynaud, Ripailles; Saveur; and some random “The Food of France” cookbook published in England.

    I’m seriously digging the garlic/onion blend. It got all frothy and turned to brown yum in minutes.

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