Snow Day-Ready Food and Wine Pairings
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Serves: 6 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 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)
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Salt & pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F.
  2. 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.
  3. Combine the beans together with the quart of broth, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and remaining herbs.
  4. Cover and cook slowly for about 1h30. Stir from time to time.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Then, uncover and sprinkle with fresh breadcrumbs. Put back in the 350 degree oven to brown for about 15 minutes to make it golden.
Notes
Each family’s Cassoulet is part improvisation, so use this as a guide. Your Cassoulet will be tastier if you prepare it the day before. And you will have more time to welcome your guests and prepare your table. This recipe is from the Fabre Family who live in Languedoc and produce wines at several different family estates including; Chateau de Luc and Chateau Fabre Gasparets. Look for these wines to pair with the dish as well as those listed above.
Recipe by Honest Cooking at https://honestcooking.com/snow-day-ready-food-wine-pairings/