Cassoulet, the French bean stew, is a gastronomic dish of the Languedoc-Roussillon region, southern France, more precisely the cities: Carcassonne, Castelnaudary and Toulouse.
The three cities vie for the origin and title of best variety of the dish since its origin.
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History of Cassoulet
Probably during the Hundred Years’ War, 1337 to 1453, a period when the siege of the town of Castelnaudary by English troops forced the peasants to feed themselves what they had:
White beans, meat and vegetables cooked together in one pot.
This version is not accepted by many historians who claim that the dish arose from the influence of bean stews introduced into French gastronomy by the Arabs during the Moorish domination of the European continent in the Middle Ages.
Around 1486 Cassoulet was included in Le Viandier, the first printed book of French gastronomy.
Since then, the recipe has been modified over time acquiring different regional, continental and worldwide variations.
Like this recipe prepared with fish typical of our maritime fauna.
- Type of Preparation: Main Dish
- Cuisine: French
- Yield: 6 servings
- Preparation Time: 15 minutes
- Cooking time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes + 12 hours preparing the beans
- Calories: 608.42 Kcal
- 500 grams of white beans;
- 200 grams of calabresa sausage;
- 200 grams of chorizo;
- 150 grams of smoked bacon;
- 250 grams of chicken breast;
- 60 g of lard;
- 6 cloves of garlic;
- 2 large onions;
- 2 bay leaves;
- 3 tomatoes;
- Salt, pepper, thyme;
- 1 Hard or toasted French bread;
- 50 grams of butter.
Cassoulet Preparation Method
The night before, put the beans in a bowl of cold water and let them soak until it’s time to prepare the dish.
Cut the chicken meat and smoked bacon into cubes. Set aside
Slice the calabresa sausage, the chorizo set aside.
Make a not too fine flour by grating the hard or toasted bread. Set aside.
With a rolling pin or dessert spoon, make small balls of butter. Set aside.
Remove the seeds from the tomato and chop into small pieces. Set aside.
Chop the onion finely. Set aside
Drain the beans left to soak the night before.
Put the drained beans in a pan, cover with cold water and add 3 cloves of garlic, thyme to taste and the bay leaf and cook for half an hour.
Add the tomato extract, chopped, plus 3 cloves of garlic and bring back to a boil.
Then remove the garlic cloves and transfer to a pressure cooker.
In a frying pan, sauté the chorizo, sausage and chicken meat in the hot lard with the chopped onion, bay leaves and green smell.
Discard excess fat and pour into pressure cooker.
Cover with a little more water, add salt and pepper to taste, cover the pan and cook over low heat for 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 110° C.
Let all the pressure come off and open the pan.
Arrange the Cassoulet on a baking sheet.
Sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and spread the butter balls on top.
Grill for 10 minutes in the oven.
Then stir very well, sprinkle again with breadcrumbs, spread more butter balls and gratin for another 10 minutes.
Sprinkle and spread the butter balls again and leave to gratin for another 10 minutes.
Transfer the Cassoulet to a réchaud or deep platter and serve hot accompanied by white rice and green salad.
A tip for those who want more flavor
Cassoulet is even better when reheated the next day.
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