For 4 people
- -350 to 400 g of white kidney beans (preferably from the Lauragais region).
- -2 confit ducks or goose legs, cut in two.
- -4 pieces (80g) of pure pork Toulouse sausage.
- -4 pieces (50g) of pork from the knuckle, shoulder or breast.
- -250 g of pork rind, half to be used after cooking for serving the cassoulet.
- -A little salted pork fat.
- -1 chicken carcass or a few bones of pork, plus onions and carrots.
The day before : Soak the beans overnight in cold water..
The next day:
Pour away the water, place the beans in a large saucepan with three litres of water and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, pour away the water and set aside the beans.
Prepare the stock with 3 litres of water (use soft water, preferably from Castelnaudary), the pork rind cut into wide strips, a chicken carcass if you have one or a few pork bones, and, according to taste, a few onions and carrots. Add salt and pepper (generously). Cook the stock for an hour, then filter and set aside the pork rind.
Add the beans to the filtered stock and cook until they are soft, but still whole. The stock needs to be boiled for about an hour.
While the beans are cooking, prepare the meat:
- In a large frying pan, brown the confit over a low heat and set aside.
- In the remaining fat, fry the Toulouse sausages and set aside.
- Fry the pieces of pork, which should be nice and golden, and set them aside with the rest of the meat.
- Drain the beans and keep the stock warm. Add a few cloves of garlic and twice their weight in salted lard, all mashed together, to the beans.
Assembling the Cassoulet: Use a deep earthenware dish formerly known as a “cassolo” (and today, a “cassole”), which gave its name to cassoulet, or failing that, a fairly deep earthenware dish that can be used in the oven.
- Spread the bottom of the dish with the pork rind
- add about a third of the beans
- place the meat on top and then add the rest of the beans
- Add the sausages, pushing them into the beans, but with the top of the sausages still visible
- Finally, pour the hot stock into the cassole, just enough to cover the beans
- Add pepper to the surface and a tablespoon of duck fat used to fry the meat.
- Put in the oven at 150°/160° (Thermostat 5 or 6) and cook for two to three hours.
- During the cooking a golden brown crust forms at the top of the cassole, which needs to be pushed down several times (seven times, the old folk say).
- When the top of the beans starts to dry out, add a few spoonfuls of stock.
VERY IMPORTANT !
The cassoulet should be served piping hot in its cassole. Serve carefully without stirring it, as it will taste even better, and don’t hesitate to serve extra helpings. This is a dish that will take you to ordinary people’s gastronomy heaven!