Sunday, January 27, 2008

Cassoulet - a Pictorial

We made cassoulet this weekend. It takes three days! As such, I am only posting captioned pictures. You can click the images for an enlargement.

1/28 Editor's Note: In my haste to get this posted, I forgot that I wanted to enter this dish in the Legume Love Affair over at the Well-Seasoned Cook's joint. If it's not too late and not considered cheating, I want to please enter this!

Another Editor's Note: those are my husband's obedient hands in the pictures. I do not have veiny man-hands. Also, I needed to take the photos.

The pot of cannelini beans, onion, bouquet garni and pork (belly and skin) ready for a slow simmer on the stove.

An hour later, the pork belly is curled up and we're bristling with excitement.

Liquid gold - duck fat ready for the confit

Two hours later the duck meat is falling off the bone.

The pork belly is diced and ready for layering into the cassoulet.

Saute the cooked onion and pork skin in a little duck fat until browned.

Meanwhile, line the pot with fresh pork skin.

Puree the cooked onion and pork skin to make the "sauce" for the beans.

Ladle in a layer of beans...

...completely covering the bottom of the pot.

Next add a layer of cooked lamb and lamb sausage.

Then dribble some of the pork sauce over the meat.

Another layer of beans...

...topped with the cubed pork belly...

...and more pork sauce.

Now add the shredded duck meat.

Look at how succulent that duck looks.

More porcine goodness.

Final layer of beans...

...and the pot is finally full. Two hours in the oven, then it sits overnight on a cold porch to let the flavors meld.

The next day, another hour or so in the oven, and enjoy the blissful sound of your arteries slamming shut as you close your eyes and drift off into the headiest foodgasm of your life. Enjoy with crusty baguette and good bordeaux.


Núria said...

Bravo, bravo, bravo!!!!!!
No words left, wow! This is a work of art!
And you are the funniest! The music went perfectly on with the pictures, and your words at the end of the post made me laugh!
THANKS! Great dish!!!!

Peter M said...

Holy S*#T! What a production...please tell me all those steps were well worth the effort, it had to be.

Heather said...

Nuria - haha! I didn't think about the choreography when I posted this!

Peter - Yes, this was a bit of an ordeal, but everything good in life is worth working for. And we have like 10 pounds of cassoulet.

cakewardrobe said...

I love projects that take days. All your focus goes into one dish and all that effort is worth it! The step by step process you've photographed is so thorough!

Thistlemoon said...

Whoa, what a masterpiece, Heather! So most impressive. I am so glad you did something with duck - because I was purusing your duck feather lucking adventures from a while back!

Susan said...

Bravo, Heather! I've never read through a cassoulet recipe that didn't have at least three pages of meticulous instructions. You've got guts, Girl. Happy to have you on board for the event.

Heather said...

Cakewardrobe - It is in the "doing" sometimes, isn't it?

Jenn - Haha! Glad you saw the duck post from last year. We've since found a much more convenient source for duck!

Susan - Thanks for accepting my entry! I try to flag as many of these events as I can, but sometimes I forget that I made a specific dish for a reason other than just craving it.

Emily said...

AHHH! I'm having a foodgasim.

I saw Bourdain make this on No Reservations, awhile back.

It's so much work! I guess it's worth it. I can't believe how much meat is in it. You don't see many people making cassoulet, so, great job.

Heather said...

Emiline - we used the recipe from the Les Halles cookbook as guidance (we tweaked a few things).

Lunch Buckets said...

Hmmmm, and I thought I was hot stuff with my "faux-cassoulet" (pronounced fox castle et)!

For the record, your obedient husband has lovely veinymanhands :)

Heather said...

Lunch Bucket - Yes, the hubz does have rather lovely hands. His hands are actually softer than mine! >:(

Pixie said...

This looks absolutely amazing, Heather!

and you've been tagged...(hope you don't mind!)

Norm Schoen said...

Where on earth did you get the pork skin???

Norm Schoen said...

Have you tracked down a purveyor of Toulouse sausage?
I had Cassoulet while in SW France a few years ago and eating that dish along with local bread, pate and wine is a winner!