The legendary bean stew of Languedoc, in southern France, enjoys an excellent reputation amongst both amateur cooks and professional French chefs. Although most people describe cassoulet as bean stew, there is much more to it than meets the eye.
First, both confit of duck and goose must be prepared (a lengthy process that must be closely monitored) then pork, lamb, Toulouse sausage, “lingot beans”, and appropriate seasonings must be used.
First, both confit fats are heated in a cassoulet (a specially designed earthenware dish this recipe) than chopped onion and garlic are added for sautéing. Once they are appropriately cooked, preserved duck, preserved goose, pork, lamb, Toulouse sausage and all the seasonings are added. The stew ,must be cooked on low heat, and slowly until every ingredient blends perfectly to create a smooth flavourful, richly-textured, satisfying dish that can be enjoyed right away, or stored for a long time.
Needless to say, cassoulet is a fatty dish and requires an appropriate wine, even spirits to help digest it, or heavy physical form of work.
While most gourmet cooks will stay away from getting involved in such lengthy and laborious preparations, in Languedoc chefs actually compete with one another to create the tastiest and most satisfying cassoulet.
Those lucky enough to visit Languedoc should pay a visit to a specialty restaurant in or around Toulouse to sample it.
Guaranteed, you will never forget the experience, and will want to return even if it is only to eat a well-prepared cassoulet.