Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cassoulet our way

 Two years ago we spent two weeks in the Dordogne region of France, exactly as we had the previous year.  And once again, as in 2007, we went to the farm where they fatten ducks and geese for foie gras and confit.  The can of goose confit came home with us as did a can of gizzards for salad.  The gizzards will be another posting someday.  They are dear to my heart and stomach and I am making them last as long as possible.

We found this farm in the village of Tursac in the Dordogne.  Unfortunately, I did not write down how much this can cost.   I am guessing 7 Euro which would be about $10.  You can't imagine my fear of not getting this through customs, but it was professionally canned at this farm, so it passed.  Of course, there is always that little clause on re-entry papers asking if you spent any time on a farm.  Actually, no...just in their sales room, right?

In this can was the cutest and fattest goose leg you can imagine.  It had been roasted to perfection and tenderness and was absolutely swimming in goose fat.  (Be still my heart!)  The fat was carefully drained off and put in a container in the refrigerator.  This is like gold.  Unless you have been to France, you cannot imagine how out of this world fried potatoes taste fried in this goose or duck fat.  It is beyond belief good!!  The potatoes will come later this week.  

The recipe we used for our cassoulet today comes from Gourmet Magazine and we have made it our own with little changes.  Above you see the herbs harvested from our garden this morning to be included in our cooking.  Rosemary, parsley, sage and thyme.  (I changed the order so as not to get you all singing!)

The cassoulet was as great as last time.  Imagine, living in France and being able to eat this as often as you want.  To my blogger friends in are so fortunate.  As for us, we are once again looking forward to being back on your roads and in your shops and eating your food in June.

Sausage and White Bean Cassoulet with Confit

2 bratwurst (from Whole Foods...excellent taste)
1 goose leg - confit
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 medium onions, halved and sliced thin
2 garlic cloves, chopped fine
1/4 cup of fresh herbs; rosemary, sage, and thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 chopped Roma tomatoes or use canned
1 can white beans such as cannellini, drained and rinsed

In a medium skillet cook the sausages in oil over moderate heat, turning until browned on all sides and cooked through, about 8 minutes.  Transfer to drain on paper towels.

In fat remaining in skillet, cook onions and garlic, stirring until golden.  Stir in herbs and bay leaf, tomatoes with juice (I add a splash of chicken broth if using fresh tomatoes), salt and pepper to taste.  Boil mixture, stirring, 5 minutes.  Cut sausages into 1/4 inch thick slices.  Add sausages and beans and goose leg which has been cut into small pieces to tomato mixture and heat through.  Discard bay leaf and transfer to a casserole dish.


1 tablespoon olive oil
2 slices firm white bread, crusts discarded, cut into 1/4 inch dice
1 small clove of garlic, chopped fine
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

In a small skillet, heat oil and saute bread cubes until pale golden.  Stir in garlic and parsley, stirring one minute.  Top the casserole with this mixture.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. 

We enjoyed this with a beautiful French Beaujolais cru from Chiroubles, 2009.


  1. I came back to the UK armed with tins of duck confit :-) Your recipe is quite different to mine but wish I had been there to help you eat it :) I plan on making some over Christmas. Diane

  2. What a treasure of a recipe. It sounds delicious, Susan. I hope you are enjoying the weekend. Blessings...Mary

  3. Anonymous2:51 PM

    Did you see them force feeding the geece? I think that the geece enjoyed it while they were still alive though. We, who grew up on farms are not as squeemish as the 'citified' sissies are I guess. rw

  4. This recipe sounds delicious. Spending two weeks in France next to a farm where foie gras is made sounds even more taste-bud-exciting! You have had such wonderful adventures. I love hearing of them.

  5. I've never made cassoulet but there are several French restaurants that serve it here prepared with duck confit, which I can find locally. We were at one of those restaurants where I had duck and duck fat roasted potatoes last Friday ;) I think we enjoy many of the same taste delights. I can only imagine how wonderful the goose confit would taste!

  6. I have a recipe for cassoulet that is so daunting I've never tried to make it. I like your recipe much better, Susan. It sounds delicious.

    I saw duck fat at WS last week - $18 for a small jar. Sadly I passed on it but can imagine how wonderful potatoes are when cooked in it.

  7. I'm hooked, imagining living in France and eating this as often as I wish. What's stopping us? How about let's go?

  8. Your recipe looks much easier than those that take three days. I've had cassoulet but never made it. It's a nice dish on a cold day.

  9. What a grat recipe; I have never made Cassoulet and always wanted to. Now I really am tempted to try this.

  10. Heaven! I just went to amazon to see if this is available and it is! Only $59.99 for 67 ounces! I may pass just now. But what a lovely recipe!

  11. Kristi, check this out. We have been tempted to buy from this company.

  12. I would love to try that. I've been tempted to order some duck fat... I may just have to do it now!

  13. How marvelous, Susan. I agree about eating cassoulet in was my favorite meal when I was there.
    You've come up with a delicious recipe.

    (Have you checked with D'Artagnan? I bet they have many of the products you are looking for. They supply and we needn't go to France to get our "fix".)

  14. I've made a classic cassoulet once and we loved it. It was quite a process. If only I could find canned duck leg I'd do your recipe immediately!! I'm checking with D'Artagnan right away. I do know the joy of potatoes cooked in duck fat. I did some years ago after rendering my own duck fat. Recently, we found tubs of it at Fox and Obel in Chicago and enjoyed every calorie of more fried potatoes.


  15. This is my idea of comfort food - it looks and sounds wonderful!

  16. Everything sounds delicious. I have a vision of Julia Child using the ingredients you mentioned, I'd love to try those potatoes! And even though you rearranged your herbs - I still sang! Have a great week!