When cold weather hits we count the days to our first cassoulet of the season! This one-pot comfort food is simpler than it looks to prepare; it just takes time for all the flavors to mingle. Take on the cooking project at home and discover the joys of this iconic recipe from Southwest France.
Shop for your cassoulet kit at dartagnan.com and start your own tradition today.
Cassoulet was originally a food of peasants – a simple assemblage of what ingredients were available: white beans (the heirloom Tarbais bean is preferred) with pork, sausage, duck confit, gizzards, cooked together for a long time.
For those in the know, cassoulet is the holy grail of French cooking: rustic, complex, rich, simple, time-consuming to make, and hotly debated. That’s because every village in Southwest France makes cassoulet a little differently, and each of them insists their version is the best. There’s some similarity to the chili competition in Texas.
In cassoulet country (as Southwest France might be called), some will use lamb (a no-no in our rule book), or crumbs on the top (zut alors!), while others will – and this is only in America – use low-fat meats in an attempt to save calories. Blasphemy!
Traditionally cooked in a baker’s oven at low (or residual heat) in a clay bowl, today we use enamel Dutch ovens or any vessel that can go from stovetop to oven.
Our signature Cassoulet Recipe Kit can be purchased with a lovely French clay bowl, that goes from oven to table for an authentic presentation. The easy-to-follow recipe kit has been a best-seller for years, often serving as the center of a dinner party for 12.
With creamy Tarbais beans, duck leg confit, two types of fragrant sausage, cured pork belly, and duck fat, you will be ready to create The One True Cassoulet from Auch, the capital of Gascony, and hometown of Ariane Daguin, founder and owner of D’Artagnan.
But what about smaller parties? We also offer a version of our recipe kit designed for apartment dwellers, couples, and smaller parties, which will feed 4 to 6 people. Using your own heavy enamel pot, a delicious – and truly authentic – cassoulet is now more convenient than ever.
Wines for Cassoulet
In France, it would not be possible to eat cassoulet without a bottle of red wine to accompany it.
Madiran or Malbec make perfect pairing choices with hearty cassoulet. Look for the appellation Cahors, which is an area of Southwest France that produces such dark wines that they are often called “black wine.” If you cannot find Cahors, settle on a fine Argentine Malbec. These heavy red wines are tannin-rich, typical of the region, and are bold enough to stand up to the rich flavors of cassoulet. Any robust red from the south of France would work with cassoulet.
We leave you with the immortal words of Julia Child, herself a huge fan of cassoulet, and hope they will inspire you to make it at home.
Cassoulet, that best of bean feasts, is everyday fare for a peasant but ambrosia for a gastronome, though its ideal consumer is a 300-pound blocking back who has been splitting firewood nonstop for the last twelve hours on a subzero day in Manitoba.
Make the tradition your own. Shop for your cassoulet kit at dartagnan.com today.
Since 1985, D’Artagnan has been at the forefront of the farm-to-table movement, producing superior tasting products by partnering with small ranches and farms. We are committed to free-range, natural production, sustainable and humane farming practices, and no use of antibiotics or hormones. That’s why D’Artagnan products have been revered by America’s most renowned chefs for over 35 years. We offer the same high-quality products to home cooks at dartagnan.com, along with recipes and guides to help you live the tasty life.
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