Cassoulet Day Two, One Hour In


With three more hours of cooking to go, we couldn’t wait. Lunch was approaching fast and I had no alternate plans other than rye bread with “brique” ( I suppose it could have been worse. The Brique de Vache is quite tasty and incredibly filling ).

When I first experienced cassoulet, it was rolled on its very own rolling cart and served to my husband. He ate as much as he could ( cassoulet is a bit moreish ), but still there was plenty leftover. There’s not a bean dish I know that makes an entrance with such pizazz.

It’s not like I’ve been slaving over this dish in the kitchen. It takes care of itself. All cassoulet needs is time. The “hour in” tasting was good, but 1) a little fatty 2) needs more time to become friends ( I’d say the participants are still in the drinks phase )

That fat was scooped out a bit and the temperature lowered for the remaining two or three hours.

It’s not a lot of work, but might seem a bit overkill for French Beans-N-Weenies. But the absolute warm you feel when you eat it is no match, it ain’t the same league, it ain’t even the same f-in sport as anything produced by Heinz.

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.