Just the word sounds like an intimidating dish. The food writers who treat it like a holy grail don’t help matters. It’s become almost mythical. But guess what? It’s a bean dish. Flavored with meat. When you get down to it it’s not so terribly different in concept from the soup beans I had growing up.
Cassoulet is named for the cassole, the conical clay dish in which it’s baked. It’s made of white beans simmered with pork and vegetables, then baked with duck confit and sausage. The result is a creamy, extremely hearty winter dish that’s the definition of ‘stick to your ribs.’ While now people will make confit especially for cassoulet, it was initially a dish cooked in order to make use of confit. It’s so interesting how foodies will turn around a dish and go to such lengths to create something that was originally a way to use what people had (myself included!).
Yesterday at Camp Confit at Kitchen-at-Camont we spent making cassoulet. Until I get the recipe down from my notes, here is cassoulet day in pictures and video.