La Grande Confrérie du Cassoulet de Castelnaudary
January 12, 2010 1:26 PM   Subscribe

"Our sole purpose is to defend the glory and the quality of our cassoulet."
posted by Joe Beese (33 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
Ah yes; the ultimate plate o' beans!
posted by TedW at 1:31 PM on January 12, 2010


Yes. Oh dear god, yes.
posted by the painkiller at 1:51 PM on January 12, 2010


Oh, how I love cassoulet—thanks for the post! This, however (from the second link), is just plain wrong:

Puel says it meets an essential requirement of 21st-century cuisine: “It is important to be able to finish a cassoulet, and know you won’t be ineluctably driven to nap afterwards.”

Au contraire, mon frère: if you can finish a cassoulet, and know you won’t be ineluctably driven to nap afterwards, it was not un vrai cassoulet!
posted by languagehat at 1:51 PM on January 12, 2010 [5 favorites]


Dear Lord how I love cassoulet. I'm in a winter-long process of making it entirely from scratch. I've already made my duck confit, which is properly aging at the moment. Next is the garlic sausage, then finally I will move towards fulfilling my destiny!
posted by slogger at 1:57 PM on January 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


I've only actually had cassoulet once, just last fall at my birthday dinner. It did indeed live up to expectations.

Despite my love of French cooking at home, I have not yet attempted it myself. I debate between using Julia Child's recipe, or ordering D'Artagnan's cassoulet kit and using their recipe.
posted by dnash at 2:05 PM on January 12, 2010


D'Artagnan just started advertising their Cassoulet Kit which is pricey but does look yummy :)
posted by vronsky at 2:06 PM on January 12, 2010


hah :)
posted by vronsky at 2:06 PM on January 12, 2010


I just made a cassoulet a few weeks ago, for just the two of us. Spouse was elated and horrified, all at the same time. Holy shit, that was a tasty, debilitating meal.

Great post!
posted by everichon at 2:10 PM on January 12, 2010


I make it every winter. It is to nom.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 2:15 PM on January 12, 2010


Cassoulet:

1. Slice the water...
posted by Splunge at 2:22 PM on January 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Truly a worthwhile cause.

Incidentally, the best cassoulet I ever had was at Bistrot Du Coin in D.C. It was so hearty and filling that I only finished about 2/3 of it at the restaurant. Even though we were heading directly to a bar after dinner, I couldn't stand to see all that great food go to waste, so I left carrying a heavy, inconvenient doggy bag.

About a block away from the restaurant, one of the many D.C. homeless asked us for change. The solution for my doggy bag problem had presented itself.
posted by thebergfather at 2:39 PM on January 12, 2010


Oh, we have cassoulet often here at chez vacapinta. Our local butcher supplies all the essentials - the confit and the toulouse sausages.

One thing we noticed is that it tasted better the day after making it. And then that it tasted even better two days after it is made. And then...that it doesnt taste very good three days after.

So, I offer you the result of much experimentation and research: Cassoulet is best made and then left to sit for 2 days before consuming. Of course, considerable self-restraint is required to achieve this.
posted by vacapinta at 3:12 PM on January 12, 2010


I make cassoulet with peking duck. Don't judge until you've tried it.
posted by acrasis at 3:13 PM on January 12, 2010


I've never tasted this, but I will as soon as possible. Looks and sounds delicious.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 3:22 PM on January 12, 2010


I lived in Toulouse for a few months years ago, and ate a lot of cassoulet. They were all delicious, every time.

I've never made one. Hmmm.
posted by rtha at 3:49 PM on January 12, 2010


Is there a cartoon cassoulet etiquette page?
posted by fixedgear at 4:18 PM on January 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I love eating cassoulet. Making a simplified version is about as easy as boiling water -- the fundamentals are meat and beans, cooked slowly, with lots of savory flavors -- and there isn't much that's nicer on a cold and nasty afternoon.
posted by Forktine at 4:42 PM on January 12, 2010


I've actually eaten cassoulet in Castelnaudary! It is a lovely dish. And it's really best made pretty rustic. Not full-bore peasant: you want good meat. But hearty, and simple, and not overdone. I've been to a few American restaurants that have some "nouveau cassoulet" abomination that is never a good idea.

But the real question: duck or goose?

(PS: first link was to a Google Translate site. Here's the original link in French).
posted by Nelson at 5:02 PM on January 12, 2010


I cannot lie -- I much prefer a choucroute to a cassoulet.

Let the shaming begin.
posted by ltracey at 5:48 PM on January 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Aw, dang it, now I have to make a road trip to France somehow.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:50 PM on January 12, 2010


Not to be confused with Cassolette. (Or is it?)
posted by swift at 6:10 PM on January 12, 2010


here is a 30 minute cassoulet from Jacques Pepin's fast food my way.

I've made it, it's quite good for minimal effort.
posted by vronsky at 6:20 PM on January 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


I have wonderful memories of a birthday dinner cassoulet at the Boat St. Cafe in Seattle. Nom nom indeed. I noted with interest that Cook's Illustrated featured a recipe in a recent issue. Any foodies out there given it a try yet?
posted by sapere aude at 7:00 PM on January 12, 2010


"You know, of course," says Pascal, "that I have always experienced a certain difficulty with the cassoulet."

From Walter Satterthwait - Cassoulet: a short story.

May prove helpful to anyone struggling to create a truly sublime cassoulet.
posted by tula at 7:05 PM on January 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


Oooh, I love choucroute too! If I had to choose....I couldn't.
posted by rtha at 7:08 PM on January 12, 2010


Every now and then I am amazed at how many "traditional" dishes (of any ethnicity) turn out to be glorified leftovers. I mean, sure, there are all sorts of detailed recipes floating around now, but the core is "add the meat bits you have around to the beans you have around and cook them in a crock." In fact, from the linked article, the mythical origin of the cassoulet is what folks could scrounge up in the middle of a siege.

I remember at one point working from a recipe for boeuf bourguignon and realizing that it was essentially what I had grown up calling leftover beef stew. Fondue? It's what you do with bread that's gone stale, cheese that's gone hard, and whatever wine you can scrounge.
posted by Karmakaze at 6:05 AM on January 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oooh, thanks! I finally made this winter's just this weekend.

Mark Ruhlman's sausage techniques + actual veal stock made the usual (Julia's recipe, homemade [duck] confit, and a side-batch with veal for the lamb-averse) one super-spectacular plate of meat and beans, even on the first night.


Despite my love of French cooking at home, I have not yet attempted it myself. I debate between using Julia Child's recipe, or ordering D'Artagnan's cassoulet kit and using their recipe.
You'll need other groceries for D'Artagnan's recipe, and the kit's expensive. Take the money you'll save and then spend a little more to use Julia's -- there's a whole two meats (at least) missing from D'Artagnan's.
posted by mimi at 12:24 PM on January 13, 2010


Ok, so...we went to Mckanna's today and grabbed duck confit and Toulouse sausages. That, along with beans and various secret herbs and a timely box from Abel and Cole means that there's two Cassoulets in the oven right now.

First time a meal has been a direct result of reading mefi.
posted by vacapinta at 1:50 PM on January 13, 2010


there's two Cassoulets in the oven right now.

Hope the house is well ventilated :-P
posted by Nelson at 2:49 PM on January 13, 2010


[moan]
posted by desuetude at 5:26 PM on January 13, 2010


oh cassoulet, you are too good/bad to me. My time in France was an ongoing dilemma between "do I eat this jiggling pile of duckfat?" or "do I retain the energy to actually leave my apartment tonight?"
posted by LMGM at 9:09 PM on January 13, 2010


I'd eat it.
posted by rtha at 10:53 PM on January 13, 2010


One Cassoulet eaten today for lunch. The second one is for tomorrow's lunch.
posted by vacapinta at 10:52 AM on January 14, 2010


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