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The Classic French Dish That's Perfect for Snowy Days

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In the south of France is the historical Languedoc region, home to vineyards, rolling mountains dotted with cliffs (and sheep), and one of the most comforting dishes in the world.

Traditional French Cassoulet
Traditional French Cassoulet

A cassoulet, traditionally made with white beans and some sort of sausage, is covered and cooked slowly so that all of the flavors meld together. It's incredibly simple to make—after briefly sautéing the vegetables and cooking the beans, the oven does the rest of the work—but requires patience. The cook time can take up to four-and-a-half-hours.

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But on a chilly day, it's the perfect thing, especially if you use the time its in the oven to start your bottle of Burgundy and a book.

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Traditional French Cassoulet

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Serves 4

For the bean and vegetable base:

  • 400 grams dried haricot, cannellini, or navy beans soaked in water overnight
  • 1/2 pound uncut bacon
  • 20 grams goose or duck fat
  • 1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
  • 1 small white onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled but not chopped
  • 1/2 pound andouille sausage
  • 1 plum tomato (fresh or canned), cut into eighths
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 pinches black pepper
  • 1 clove, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

To assemble the cassoulet:

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  • 4 duck confit legs
  • 40 grams duck fat
  • 50 grams bread crumbs
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, to serve

What are you favorite dishes to make when the temperature drops? Have you ever made cassoulet before? Tell us in the comments below!

Tags: cassoulet, french cooking, duck confit, white beans, dutch oven