Cassoulet with Lots of Vegetables

cassoulet-6759

This cassoulet was a great recipe to delve into traditional French cooking. It is also my recipe choice for this week’s Food Matter’s Project!

Cassoulet can be made into a week-long project like Julia Child’s recipe or you can choose to conquer this quicker version by Mark Bittman. It is more of a fall/winter dish {not so much April in Miami} as it is extremely hearty and filling, but Bittman makes it lighter by omitting the “cassoulet typical” pork rinds/goose fat and adding more veggies. We served it at a dinner party with our close friends last night and it was a hit!

*Don’t forget to read to the end of this post for information on my giveaway: 4 traditional Cassoulet bowls from Le Creuset!

Fun facts about Cassoulet:
  • The term cassoulet is derived from the name of the handmade cookware it is made in, called a cassole
  • The english word casserole is derived from the word cassole {I love this!!!}
  • The origin of the cassoulet is Southwestern France, the region Languedoc
  • There are many versions of cassoulet. The native French like to compete, even argue, whose is best (similar to a chili cook-off here in the US!)
  • A traditional cassoulet cooks, cooks, and cooks for hours covered in breadcrumbs or slices of french bread to create a crusty top.

Mark Bittman’s recipe cooks in as little as 40 minutes to as much as a couple of hours, depending on the method you choose. I chose the slow cooking method and even threw it in the oven with panko breadcrumbs on top.

 

I also made homemade French bread to go with the Cassoulet. Recipe found here.

GIVEAWAY!!!

Cassoulet is traditionally made in a cassole, which I was very tempted to buy, but refrained. Holy expensive.

What I DID find are these adorable cassoulet bowls from Le Creuset. I thought they would be so much more fun to give away than keep for myself. :)

One winner receives 4 individual 26 oz. cassoulet bowls from Le Creuset in flame

**Purchase these bowls here**

(contest ended April 2012, thanks to those who entered and congrats to the winner!)

 

Cassoulet with Lots of Vegetables serves 6

Adapted from Mark Bittman’s The Food Matter’s Cookbook
*see also Whole Duck Cassoulet for a less “healthy” version
 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound Italian Sausages in casings, bone-in pork chops, confit duck legs, fresh duck breasts, or a combination {I used 1 sweet italian sausage, 1 spicy italian sausage, 2 bone in pork chops, and 1 duck breast… which I bet was more than 1 lb.}
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic {i used 2}
  • 2 carrots, cut into 1 in length {I used 3}
  • 3 celery stalks, cut into 1/2 in pieces
  • 2 zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 4 cups chopped tomatoes (canned are fine; include their juices)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cups cooked or canned white beans, drained, liquid reserved
  • 2 cups stock, dry red wine, bean cooking liquid, or water- more as needed {I ended up using at least 3 cups vegetable stock to cook the beans with the meat and 1/2 cup dry French red wine during the step where you add the tomatoes.}
  • pinch of cayenne, to taste

1. Put the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. A minute later, add the meat and cook, until deeply browned on all sides, 10-15 minutes. Remove from pan and drain off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat

{for the duck breast I cut the fat/skin off and rendered it in the pan so I could cook the meats in the duck fat instead of oil}

 

2. Reduce heat to medium and add the garlic, leeks, carrots, celery, and zucchini; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Coke until softened about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their liquid, the reserved meat, and the herbs. Bring to a boil. Add the beans and bring to a boil again, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat so the mixture bubbles gently but continuously. Cook for about 20 minutes, adding the stock when the mixture gets thick and the vegetables are melting away, about halfway through cooking.

 

3. Fish out the meat, remove the bones and skin as needed, discard the bay leaves. Chop the meat into chunks and return to the pot along with the cayenne. Cook for another minute or two to warm through, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve.

SLOW COOKED CASSOULET: {method I used}

Start with dried beans. After browning the meat in step 1, leave it in the pan and add 8 ounces dried white beans (they will cook faster if soaked overnight ahead of time) and enough stock to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle bubble. Cover tightly and cook, stirring occasionally, for about an hour. Meanwhile in a separate pan with another 2 tablespoons of olive oil, cook the vegetables as directed in step 2. When the beans are beginning to get tender, add the vegetable to the pot of beans along with the tomatoes and herbs. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle bubble. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are fully tender, adding more liquid as necessary to keep them covered by about an inch. This will take anywhere from 15-60 minutes depending on the age of your dried beans.

*** After the slow cooking method above I topped the cassoulet with panko breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and garlic powder and cooked in the oven on 375°F for 30 minutes. This is closer to a traditional cassoulet method from what I have read, but of course takes even longer. I thought it was worth it!

See how the other members of the Food Matter’s Project made their take on Bittaman’s Cassoulet here.

Bon appetit!

Related: You might also like Vegetable au vin Coq last week’s Food Matter’s recipe

 

Like this post? Don’t forget to like my facebook page below!

Follow Me on Facebook

::: keelymarie :::

{ 84 comments… add one }

  • Alissa April 2, 2012, 7:30 am

    I love the fun cassoulet facts and the recipe. It’s good to have a quicker version of this recipe than Julia’s sometimes.

    Reply
  • 20somethingcupcakes (@sassyinthekitch) April 2, 2012, 10:15 am

    Yay, Kee! I love it, and I love you. Just tweeted to enter!

    Reply
  • Margarita April 2, 2012, 10:33 am

    Umm… now that I saw how delicious this recipe looks with all the meat in it, I kind of regret not using the real deal in mine. Your homemade French bread looks delish! The whole time I was eating the soup, I kept wishing I had some bread to go with it.

    Reply
    • Keely Marie April 2, 2012, 12:42 pm

      This was my first bread making experience and I was shocked it turned out. I skipped like half of the last steps and used rapid rise yeast so it could have been a flop but it was delish. And yes this cassoulet needed some French bread for sure.

      Reply
  • thefauxmartha April 2, 2012, 11:18 am

    Your version looks way better than mine! I should have included the meat. Le Creuset?! I’m in! Just tweeted.

    Reply
  • foodandfrederick April 2, 2012, 11:28 am

    Great choice with this week’s recipe Keely! I wish I had thought to grab some crusty bread when I was shopping for all of the other ingredients. Also, totally just tweeted to enter your giveaway :-).

    Reply
  • Morgan April 2, 2012, 11:33 am

    Just Liked KeelyMarie on Facebook! Great giveaway!

    Reply
  • Morgan April 2, 2012, 11:34 am

    Just tweeted about the giveaway! @MorganBayard

    Reply
  • Mireya @myhealthyeatinghabits April 2, 2012, 12:26 pm

    I loved your choice for the recipe. Mine turned out absolutely delicious! Good use of definitions on your post.

    Reply
  • prairiesummers April 2, 2012, 1:08 pm

    Bah I have to move to the US now….sigh LOL IT is very cute.

    Reply
  • Nicole Meyers April 2, 2012, 1:19 pm

    Yum! Looking forward to trying this sometime soon!

    I just liked you on FB – Nicole Connelly Meyers

    Reply
  • Nicole Meyers April 2, 2012, 1:21 pm

    Just tweeted @WoodstreamDream

    Reply
  • Nicole Meyers April 2, 2012, 1:40 pm

    Reply
  • Nicole Meyers April 2, 2012, 1:43 pm

    Just subscribed to your emails.

    Reply
  • Lena April 2, 2012, 2:15 pm

    I really have to try this again, staying closer to the original recipe. I really like the idea of adding breadcrumbs on top and baking the whole dish.

    Reply
  • Micky April 2, 2012, 2:33 pm

    Reply
  • Jessica Wilson (@JessicaEWilson) April 2, 2012, 2:53 pm

    Thanks for catching my tweet and reminding me! Great giveaway!

    Reply
  • Chelsea April 2, 2012, 3:35 pm

    Hey! I love your blog. It’s colorful, and very relateable. I just tweeted about the giveaway and liked you on facebook :)

    Chelsea

    Reply
    • Keely Marie April 15, 2012, 8:27 pm

      Thanks Chelsea! Doing the drawing pick tonight. :)

      Reply
  • mary fran | frannycakes April 2, 2012, 3:36 pm

    I should have made bread…but gluten free bread is so finnicky.

    Thanks for your comment on my post :)

    And I am excited about the giveaway! I just tweeted :) https://twitter.com/#!/frannycakesblog/status/186899080969068544

    Reply
  • Everyday Maven (@EverydayMaven) April 2, 2012, 3:40 pm

    Great pick this week and I love your post about it! I am off to like your FB page – can never have enough Le Creuset!

    Reply
  • Savory Simple April 2, 2012, 4:08 pm

    I liked you on Facebook! Jen Farley

    Reply
  • Savory Simple April 2, 2012, 4:09 pm

    I follow your blog!

    Reply
  • Savory Simple April 2, 2012, 4:10 pm

    I tweeted!

    Reply
  • fifthfloorkitchen April 2, 2012, 4:10 pm

    Great choice Keely! This was delicious- and could be done in so many ways! I love the fun facts- we should definitely try that with more recipes. A good way to learn!

    Reply
  • Brigitt April 2, 2012, 4:21 pm

    I tweeted about the giveaway!

    Reply
  • vanillalemon April 2, 2012, 5:02 pm

    Great recipe and sweet giveaway! I just tweeted :)

    Reply
  • amygraver April 2, 2012, 5:04 pm

    I shared onto my Facebook page …

    Reply
  • amygraver April 2, 2012, 5:10 pm

    …and I tweeted about your giveaway ….

    Reply
  • amygraver April 2, 2012, 5:14 pm

    … And posted your giveaway onto LinkedIn.

    Reply
  • amygraver April 2, 2012, 5:15 pm

    And I liked your Facebook page, too. I hope that covers it! Wish me luck …

    Reply
    • Keely Marie April 15, 2012, 9:07 pm

      Congrats Amy! you won the giveaway. DM me your address on twitter and I will ship them this week.

      Reply
  • Timea April 2, 2012, 5:29 pm

    Great post and recipe! I just Facebook liked you. More soon!

    Reply
  • Timea April 2, 2012, 5:32 pm

    Wohooo I also signed up for emails – will make one if the recipes and send you a pic of the outcome ;-)

    Reply
  • Melissa T April 2, 2012, 5:36 pm

    Just subscribed via email. Looks amazing & great giveaway!

    Reply
  • C April 2, 2012, 9:42 pm

    Thanks for picking a really yummy recipe. Although, I did not include the sausage, this was a wholesome filling meal.

    Reply
  • Rachel Cary April 3, 2012, 12:31 am

    I Liked you on FB….am I all to be entered to win the bowls? I *love* those!!!

    Reply
    • Keely Marie April 15, 2012, 8:30 pm

      yes Rachel you are entered! doing the drawing tonight

      Reply
  • stealthypoo April 3, 2012, 2:47 am

    i liked you on facebook!

    Reply
  • stealthypoo April 3, 2012, 2:48 am

    i followed you on wordpress

    Reply
  • Karen Lynch April 3, 2012, 2:59 am

    I liked you on FB

    Reply
  • Sara April 3, 2012, 8:08 am

    I just joined the food matters project! And I’d love to win this set. Thanks for the giveaway! Just followed you on wordpress.

    Reply
  • Sara April 3, 2012, 8:09 am

    And as you’ll see, I just tweeted about the giveaway!

    Reply
  • auracaplett April 3, 2012, 8:55 am

    Good choice this week, Keely. I felt very rustic with my cast iron pot full of beans and veggies sitting on the table with my crusty bread and salad. My only regret? Not making my own bread–yours looks great.

    Liked you on facebook–would love to be entered to win :)

    Reply
  • mollyparr April 3, 2012, 9:45 am

    Tweeted.

    Reply
  • NJ April 3, 2012, 1:55 pm

    Liked Keely Marie on facebook. My facebook id is : Visitr Kit

    Reply
  • NJ April 3, 2012, 1:56 pm

    Reply
  • NJ April 3, 2012, 1:57 pm

    Reply
  • Camilla Mann April 3, 2012, 2:50 pm

    Just liked you on facebook. I can’t believe I hadn’t done that before! Thanks for hosting the giveaway. Those dishes are adorable.

    Reply
  • Camilla Mann April 3, 2012, 2:53 pm

    Following your blog via email subscription now!

    Reply
  • vandango33 April 3, 2012, 7:17 pm

    I Like KeelyMarie on Facebook.

    Reply
  • vandango33 April 3, 2012, 7:19 pm

    Reply
  • Karen @ My Pantry Shelf April 3, 2012, 10:56 pm

    Your cassoulet looks delicious! I have a hard time resisting anything with sausage and beans. I am new to your site, but followed you on wp. Thanks!

    Reply
  • rusthawk April 3, 2012, 11:50 pm

    I am following you on facebook as Rust Hawk. Thanks!

    Reply
  • rusthawk April 3, 2012, 11:50 pm

    I am subscribed to your through wordpress.

    Reply
  • rusthawk April 3, 2012, 11:51 pm

    I am following you o n twitter and tweeted https://twitter.com/#!/rusthawk/status/187386771603066880

    Reply
  • rusthawk April 3, 2012, 11:52 pm

    Reply
  • Kelly O'Briant April 4, 2012, 7:55 am

    Recipe looks delicious! I can’t wait to try it! Liked Keelymarie on facebook:)

    Reply
  • smallkitchencollege April 4, 2012, 10:51 am

    This looks awesome! Love it with the duck.

    I liked you on facebook!

    Reply
  • smallkitchencollege April 4, 2012, 10:51 am

    And I tweeted!

    Reply
  • smallkitchencollege April 4, 2012, 10:52 am

    That looks awesome. I love it with the duck.

    I liked you on facebook!

    Reply
  • Grace April 4, 2012, 11:33 am

    I tweeted about the giveaway and am following you on Twitter. Thanks for hosting the giveaway!

    Reply
  • mmalavec April 4, 2012, 10:17 pm

    Like KeelyMarie on Facebook

    mmalavec@med.umich.edu

    Reply
  • immortalb4 April 5, 2012, 2:12 am

    Reply
  • immortalb4 April 5, 2012, 2:14 am

    Reply
  • Rhonda Grisham April 5, 2012, 9:29 am

    Like you on FB! THis looks delish!!

    Reply
  • Rhonda Grisham April 5, 2012, 9:30 am

    Reply
  • Natalie J Vandenberghe April 6, 2012, 1:35 am

    I like you on Facebook.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

    Reply
  • Natalie J Vandenberghe April 6, 2012, 1:37 am

    Reply
  • Natalie J Vandenberghe April 6, 2012, 1:38 am

    email subscriber

    Reply
  • Natalie J Vandenberghe April 6, 2012, 1:39 am

    Shared on Facebook

    Reply
  • Kesse April 7, 2012, 8:10 am

    i subscribed via email!

    Reply
  • Kesse April 7, 2012, 8:11 am

    i tweeted your link!

    Reply
  • Kesse April 7, 2012, 8:11 am

    i posted your link on facebook!

    Reply
  • Megan (@megans_madness) April 9, 2012, 2:48 pm

    I “like” KeelyMarie on FB

    Reply
  • Megan (@megans_madness) April 9, 2012, 2:51 pm

    I get your emails.

    Reply
  • Megan (@megans_madness) April 9, 2012, 2:53 pm

    Reply
  • smokley May 8, 2012, 9:47 pm

    Liked you on Facebook

    Reply
  • smokley May 8, 2012, 9:49 pm

    Twitted the giveaway

    Reply
  • smokley May 8, 2012, 9:51 pm

    Subscribed to receive your emails

    Reply
  • smokley May 8, 2012, 9:53 pm

    Follow you on Twitter. @smokley

    Reply
  • smokley May 8, 2012, 9:55 pm

    Reblogged this on SMOKLEY and commented:
    Check out this awesome Cassoulet recipe from a fellow blogger! and Giveaway!

    Reply
  • smokley May 8, 2012, 10:01 pm

    Follow you on Wordpress,” liked” the cassoulet recipe, and reblogged this post.

    Reply

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge