The Cure for a Cold Winter’s Day – Cassoulet

French Cassoulet

Cassoulet

When it comes to warming the soul in the freezing cold, blustery winter, there are a number of hearty and savory remedies.  However, there is one remedy that you have probably never had the pleasure, nay, the privilege of having in your kitchen – and with good reason.  Cassoulet is a difficult dish to make requiring a skill that is handed down from mother to daughter in the Gascony region (southwest) of France.  However, you can now experience this magnificent dish in your own home thanks to Ariane, the founding owner of one of my favorite gourmet purveyors, D’Artagnan.  She has put everything together in a recipe kit so you just have to bring it all together.  And even better, for the next four days, you get 15% off the the regular price.  So, do yourself and some friends a favor.  Order D’artagnan’s Cassoulet  Recipe Kit with bowl today and treat yourself and 11 friends to an incredibly hearty French masterpiece.  As Ariane states on her website:

Cassoulet is a traditional bean and meat stew that is eaten throughout the Southwest of France, where it takes on an almost religious importance.  Areas have different recipes, and each believes their interpretation is the only real cassoulet.  Some use lamb and some top with bread crumbs.  The D’Artagnan version is based on the recipe perfected in Auch, Ariane’s home town. You will find no lamb and no bread crumb crust here, just the remarkable flavors of duck and pork and the traditional Haricot Tarbais beans, married together in the most authentic cassoulet, bien sur!

For a truly traditional cassoulet experience we are now offering our signature cassoulet kit with a beautiful authentic clay bowl, for a limited time only. This is the traditional way to prepare cassoulet: in a clay cooking vessel.  Ours is hand-crafted in France by a pottery founded in 1875, and is emblazoned with the D’Artagnan name, making it the perfect gift for any food lover. The deep and broad cooking dish holds 8 quarts, which allows for a perfect crust to form over the top of the cassoulet while it’s baking.  Don’t hesitate! We have only a limited supply of these beautiful bowls.

The D’Artagnan Cassoulet Kit works perfectly with our Cassoulet D’Artagnan recipe and serves 12 people.  A $172.99 value, this kit with the clay bowl is specially priced at just $152.99 through January 7, 2012, (that’s just over $12 per person for one of the true gastronomic treasures of French cuisine) and includes:

  • 6 preserved duck legs (Duck Confit)
  • 2 packages of Duck & Armagnac Sausage (4 links, 8.5 oz)
  • 1 Garlic Sausage (1 lb.)
  • 1 Ventrèche (12 oz.)
  • 3 packages of Haricot Tarbais Beans (3 lbs.)
  • 1 container of Duck and Veal Demi-Glace
  • 1 container of Duck Fat

Note: Please see individual product pages for nutritional and allergen information.

Ariane’s Tips for Cooking and Serving Cassoulet:

  • Mix the beans with the meat once all the beans are cooked and some of them start to burst.
  • Use as many confit meats as possible. They will give the most flavor.
  • Don’t hesitate to cut open the crust to check if the casserole is drying out too much inside. The texture should be that of a thick stew.  If the texture seems too dry or pasty, add some liquid, such as stock or demi-glace.
  • Cassoulet should be eaten very hot.
  • And don’t forget to enjoy the leftovers. Cassoulet is always better the next day!
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