Now cassoulet is an authentic regional dish from the south of France. Castelnaudary claims to be the birthplace of the cassoulet, others are just ‘imposteurs’. When we were in Carcassonne there was plenty of cassoulet around town so there is a bit of inter town rivalry for this complex dish.
Cassoulet is cooked up in a pot/pots in various stages running over a couple of days. This is the authentic Chez David method. He reckons others create theirs in an “industrial” way and it is therefore not half as good as his! In fact you can buy cassoulet in tins of various sizes, which seems to reinforce chef David’s “industrial” model.
It seems to have 5 main ingredients. It comes to your table in a pot and each serving there from will consist of a duck’s leg, a piece of pork (shoulder perhaps) and a piece of pork sausage from Toulouse. This lot swims in a white bean sauce, with some onions, carrots and special herbs and spices included. Now the meat portions have been slow cooked for several hours in duck fat (the 5th ingredient). The beans are separately marinated in some fluid and desalted. The whole lot is then combined and baked in the oven for a bit longer. This is Allthego’s take on how it is done. It is mostly/probably wrong in parts and I am open for correction from others, including Chef David.
It tastes alright. Allthego and Tony Watt shared a pot. Rosemary and Homealone avoided it. It is a bit greasy. I must say I wouldn’t go looking for it again, but if it found me then I would feel that I needed to give it another go.
What a way to finish our trip on the Canal du Midi! Cassoulet! A regional treat. A must do!
We have had a wonderful 2 weeks of visual and gastronomic experiences on the Canal du Midi but the Watts and us must now go our separate ways. We are off by train to Amiens for 3 nights to visit some of the WW1 Western front battle fields. The Watts go to Edinburgh via train and then plane from Paris.
Next blog from Amiens. Actually, I’m cheating a bit we have been in Amiens for 3 nights already and are heading to Amsterdam today from where I will update the blog on Amiens.