Sunday, October 29, 2006

Project Cassoulet est fini!

I'm pleased to report that the cassoulet (see earlier post) turned out pretty well. Especially since I had to make some on-the-fly modifications to the cooking instructions when I was just too busy making chocolates on Saturday to also make and bake cassoulet. (The recipe calls for cooking it one day, refrigerating it overnight, then cooking it again before serving.) But my son woke up WAY early today, so that gave me lots of time to play with today.

Everyone seemed to really like it. It's certainly a completely decadent kind of meal - the beans absorb the fat from the duck and pork, and get a lovely creamy texture. The long slow braise makes all the meat melt in your mouth tender, although much of the flavor of the meat goes to the broth. Definitely a fun experiment to have tried, although I'm not sure if the results are worth the effort or expense (although making my own duck confit would have saved me a bundle).

We served it with the 2001 Domaine de la Tourade Font des Aieux Gigondas. I had planned to decant it, and should have, as it improved quite a lot in the glass. It was a nicely assertive wine with good structure, tannins and acidity, which allowed it to cut through the out-of-control fat content of the cassoulet.

If you'd like to try it for yourself, the recipe I used is here.

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