cassoulet - à l'anglais!

This is taken from The Sunday Telegraph Cookery Book (1965) and uses ingredients that were easily obtainable in the UK at that time. Haricot beans my be replaced with the Tarbes beans, and goose with duck.

Everyone thinks they have the true, the only, and the best cassoulet recipe. Wrong! It is a peasant dish made from what is available, and so there are regional variations. Many are good, and this one has been liked by French from the Toulouse area. The worst I had to eat was in a Michelin starred restaurant whose owner/chef professed to be the king of cassoulet makers. He wasn't :-)

1¼ lbs Haricot beans
4-6 ozs Pickled pork
1 large onion stuck with 4 cloves
4 small onions cut in quarters
Bouquet garni, salt & pepper
2 cloves garlic
1½ lbs Pork spare ribs
1 best end of neck of lamb
¼ lb garlic sausage or boiling ring (or Toulouse sausage)
A leg and wing of preserved goose
1 x 14 oz tin of tomatoes
2 tbs fat (goose, duck, or pork) for roasting
1 oz Butter

Soak the beans overnight in cold water. Next day cover them with fresh water and put them on to simmer for about 1½ hours with the pickled pork, sliced up rind from both fresh and pickled pork, boiling ring, bouquet garni, sliced garlic, salt, and the onion studded with cloves.

About half-an-hour before the beans finish cooking, set the lamb and small quartered onions to roast in the oven, preheated to Regulo 5 (380°F, 180C, 160C fan assissted). At the end of half an hour the meat should be partially roasted and the beans soft and creamy.

Strain the beans, removing onion and bouquet garni, and cut all the meat, both boiled and roasted, into convenient chunks. Place a cushion of beans at the bottom of a deep earthenware pot (I use a cast iron Le Creuset) of not less tha 4 pints capacity. Cover it with chunks of meat, bits of onion, and joints of poultry.

Cover the viands with another layer of beans and continue in this manner, seasoning lightly all the way, until all meat and beans have been used, finishing with a layer of beans. Pour the mashed up tomatoes over the top, and ½ pint of bean liquor. (I find this is not enough)

Sprinkle generously with breadcrumbs, dot the surface with butter and put the cassoulet in a slow over, Regulo 2 (300°F, 140C fan assisted), for at least 1½ hours.

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posted by morrice on 16 Feb 06 - 7096 views


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