Recipe for Classic Cassoulet

Ingredients

----THE PORK----
2 1/2 lb pork loin; boned, excess fat removed
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon sage
1/8 teaspoon ground bay leaf
1 pinch allspice
1/2 centiliter garlic; mashed
----THE BEANS----
5 cup dry great northern or other white b; eans
1/2 lb salt pork rind
1 lb chunk of fresh, unsalted, unsmoked; lean bacon
1 cup onions; sliced
6 sprigs of fresh parsley
4 centiliter garlic
2 nails of cloves
1/2 teaspoon thyme
2 bay leaves
----THE MUTTON----
2 lb breast of mutton or lamb
5 tablespoon goose or pork fat
1 lb cracked mutton/pork bones
2 cup onions; minced
4 centiliter garlic; mashed
6 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon thyme
2 bay leaves
3 cup dry white wine or vermouth
1 quart brown stock
----THE FINISH----
2 cup dry white bread crumbs
1/2 cup parsley; chopped
4 tablespoon goose or pork fat

Instructions

Variations: Add or substitute preserved goose, roast goose, duck or partridge, ham hocks, veal shank, sausage d'ail [use Polish or other sausage.]

This is a classic dish from Southwestern France which is famous for its Pate de foie Gras. This is how they use the rest of the goose! Every French housewife has her own combinations of meats.

Dry rub the roast with the seasonings and let marinade overnight. Roast it and set aside to cool reserving the meat juices.

Meanwhile soak the beans overnight and then drain, rinse and re-cover with water. With a sharp knife or shears cut the pork rind into 1/4" wide strips and then into tiny triangles. In a saucepan, cover the rind bits with water and simmer 30 min to freshen the rind. Add the rind and the bacon to the beans and bring to a simmer. Skim off the scum and cook about 1 1/2 hrs [or more until the beans are tender] adding water if necessary to keep the beans covered at all times. During the last half hour add the onions, garlic, parsley, cloves, thyme and bay leaves. Let the beans sit in the cooking fluid until ready to assemble the casserole.

As the beans cook and pork is roasting, cut the mutton into 2 " chunks. Pour the goose fat into a casserole and heat until almost smoking. Brown the meat. Set aside. Brown the bones and add them to the meat. Lower the heat and cook the onions. Return the meat and bones to the casserole and add the garlic, tomato paste, thyme, bay leaves, wine and stock. Cover and simmer 1 1/2 hrs. Discard the bones and bay leaves.

Drain the beans and discard the bay leaves, reserving the cooking fluids. Add the beans to the mutton and roast pork juices. Add just enough bean juice to cover and simmer 5 min. Drain the beans again.

Cut the roast pork into chunks. Slice the bacon. Alternate layers of the beans, mutton, pork and bacon in the casserole and cover with the pork and mutton juices. Add a little bean juice if necessary , so that the beans are covered. Spread on the crumbs and parsley and dribble on the fat. Bake at 375 until the top crusts and reduce to 350. Break the crust periodically and baste it with the casserole juices. Add more bean juice if it starts to dry out. Bake one more hour and serve.





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