The next time you are snowed in, cozy up with these comfort food recipes paired with perfect wines.
These pairings are inspired by classic cassoulet recipes and Languedoc wines.
Cassoulet is a rustic dish, traditionally created to feed peasants after long days of work. But whether you are toiling in the outdoors or just toiling at the office, a slow cooked dish like cassoulet can really soothe the soul.
Legend has it that cassoulet originated in the Languedoc region, so naturally cassoulet and Languedoc wines are a perfect pair. The creamy white beans, meats, and spices are a delicious match with rich reds.
Chateau Ste. Eulalie Mingervois Plaisir d’Eulalie 2015 $14
This deep, rich red wine finishes with delicious spiciness that will only enhance the white bean dish. Let its earthy and licorice flavors bring new layers of taste to the cassoulet.
Domaine de Fontsainte Corbieres Reserve La Demoiselle 2015 $16
Full of ripe fruit flavors, this wine finishes with deep leather and smoke notes. With aromas of baking spics, its warmth and depth mirror the comforting flavors of a cassoulet.
- 500 g of white beans ("lingots" in French, preferably dried, otherwise from can or jar. Most important is the creaminess!)
- 1 smoked garlic sausage
- 300 g smoked duck breast
- 6 smoked mild sausages
- 6 confit duck legs
- 70 g of tomato paste
- 2 medium onions or 1 large onion, diced - 2 small heads of garlic
- 2 bunches of each thyme, rosemary and bay leaf (divided)
- Approximately 1 quart chicken broth -- preferably homemade - 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (divided)
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 350F.
- The day before, combine the beans with 1 tablespoon of vinegar, and 1 bunch of thyme and bay leaf to soak. Add water to cover all the beans, cover with cling wrap and leave at room temperature for about 12 hours. Once you’re ready to cook and assemble the Cassoulet, drain the beans.
- Combine the beans together with the quart of broth, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and remaining herbs.
- Cover and cook slowly for about 1h30. Stir from time to time.
- Meanwhile, in a heavy bottomed pan, such as a Dutch oven, melt the duck fat. On medium heat, brown the smoked duck breast, garlic sausage and other smoked sausages (cut into small pieces). Do not overcrowd the pan. Once browned, place the meats aside on a platter. Remove a little bit of oil with a paper towel from the bottom of the pan.
- In the same pan, brown the onions, add the garlic. Once softened, add some broth from the beans, the tomato paste, a little bit of pepper and just a pinch of salt. Scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the beans and remaining liquid then cook slowly for around 1.5 hours. If you feel the beans need more liquid, add a little more stock. Once the beans are cooked, it’s time to assemble and bake the Cassoulet.
- Place the beans in a deep casserole dish. Layer on the duck breast, garlic sausage and sliced smoked sausage. Finish with the duck confit legs. Cover the casserole and bake in a 350 degree oven in a “bain-marie”. Place the casserole in a larger roasting pan and fill roasting pan with water so that the water reaches halfway up your casserole. Bake covered for about 30 minutes.
- Then, uncover and sprinkle with fresh breadcrumbs. Put back in the 350 degree oven to brown for about 15 minutes to make it golden.