Cassoulet is a hearty, slow cooked casserole originating from the South of France. The name cassoulet comes from the word casserole, referring to the clay pot that the meal is cooked in. Originally a peasant dish, this rich meal is usually made with pork, poultry, beans and aromatic vegetables heated for hours in a vegetable stock.
Origin & Cultural Significance
Originating in the French region of Languedoc, the recipe for cassoulet varies slightly depending on the town you are in. The true origin of cassoulet is a contentious subject, with three different towns claiming to have invented the dish, and each town including different ingredients in the recipe.
For instance, in Toulouse mutton is used, whereas in Castelnaudary duck confit and pork is preferred, while in Carcassonne cassoulet is made with goose and partridge. It is impossible to know which recipe is the most authentic, since each town claims that their recipe is the original, so you can choose your favorite elements of each and combine them into a delicious meal.
Cassoulet is such a big part of French culture that there are cooking competitions specifically for chefs to whip up their best cassoulet. There is also an entire brotherhood, the Grande Confrérie du Cassoulet, dedicated solely to protecting the sanctity of the cuisine. When you try the hearty, rich dish for the first time, it’s easy to understand why cassoulet is still so significant today.
Cassoulet is a hearty, slow cooked casserole originating from the South of France. The name cassoulet comes from the word casserole, referring to the clay pot that the meal is cooked in.
- Dried cannellini beans, soaked and drained - 2 cups
- Chicken thighs and drumsticks - 6 pieces
- Salt pork, cut into large cubes - 8 oz.
- Garlic sausages, chopped into slices - 4
- Onion, finely chopped - 1
- Carrot, chopped - 1
- Celery, chopped - 1 stalk
- Chicken stock - 2 quarts
- Parsley - 1 tbsp
- Bay leaves - 2
- Garlic - 4 cloves
- Salt and pepper - to taste
- Preheat your oven to 275°F.
- Heat oil in a large, flameproof casserole dish over your stovetop.
- Brown the salt pork for 5 minutes until crispy on all sides, but not completely cooked. Remove from pan and leave to one side.
- Season chicken thighs and drumsticks with pepper and add to the casserole dish with hot oil, leave to brown underneath for 6-8 minutes, flip over and brown the top for 3 minutes. Remove and put aside with the browned salt pork.
- Next, add the sausages to the same casserole dish and brown both sides for 3-6 minutes. Once browned, remove from the dish and leave with the other browned meats.
- Add your chopped onions to the dish and cook until translucent.
- Next, add your carrot, celery, beans, garlic, parsley, bay leaves and stock to the casserole dish. Bring to a simmer over high heat and mix well.
- Reduce to a low heat, put the lid on the dish and simmer for 45 minutes, until the beans are tender.
- With a mixing spoon, break the crust that forms over the top of the mixture and stir into the liquid.
- Add all of the browned meats back into the dish and stir to combine.
- Put the lid back on the casserole dish and place in the oven at 275°F for 2 hours, remove from the oven to break the crust and stir every 30-60 minutes.
- After 2 hours, replace the lid on the pan and leave it to cook undisturbed on a low heat of 100°F for another 2-3 hours.
- Remove the pan from the heat and serve immediately.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 798Total Fat: 45gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 27gCholesterol: 118mgSodium: 1702mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 11gSugar: 8gProtein: 43g