Castelnaudary Cassoulet


The July-August issue of Saveurs magazine has an interesting article on the Midi and in particular the village of Castelnaudary, famous for it’s cassoulet recipe and the locally made Not terra cotta  “cassoule” it is cooked in.


Unfortunately, I didn’t have the cassoule when I made the cassoulet.  After reading the article, I reached out to and ordered the large one that serves 8.  It did not arrive instantaneously and I was in such a rush to make the recipe because I discovered fresh Coco de Paimpol beans in the market!  I thought they weren’t due until August-September!  Happy me 🙂  In addition, the weather man predicted cooler weather for that day, so I pulled out my really large Emile Henry tajine and proceeded. The authentic recipe is made with dried local beans and doesn’t contain bay leaf, but who cares?  Not me 😀


The recipe called for pork couenne or rind and pork bones.  I couldn’t find any the bones or rind in the market, nor did the supermarket butcher have any on hand.  Instead I purchased a piece of pork belly from the supermarket butcher and he cut away the bones from a pork rib roast to help me out.  Nice guy.


At first I was going to use the can of confit duck that the recipe listed but Jean Louis was in the market and he had bags of both confit duck legs with thighs or just the drumstick portion.  He suggested that the drumstick portions would be better for serving individual portions.  I agreed.


I can’t remember where I bought the very good Toulouse sausages!  This time I bought them at the market but they lacked the flavor that I expect from these sausages.  They were okay and looked good after I browned them in the duck fat, but still…..


The weather was cooler but this was a heavy, filling dish and I would never make it again in the summer.  M. Parret loved it and I gave him some to take home for another day, but I think it was overkill.


Pascal Kerleu gifted us with several heads of lettuce from his farm and they were beautiful, even though he has lost thousands of heads due to the extremely hot weather.


A mixed salad of Pascal’s greens was lovely and aided in the digestion of our farm laborer meal.


M. Parret was present, so we had cheese but dessert was out of the question.  This butterfat rich cheese comes from the Lincet store-factory in Saligny, a  few kilometers outside of Sens.  The family has a home in town, not far from our house.


In the authentic recipe this cassoulet, once assembled, cooks in the oven for 3-4 hours. Because the beans were fresh and I found the time in the oven ridiculous, I didn’t do that. Do what you want, but if you are going to cook it in the oven for 3-4 hours, use dried beans to avoid having bean paste instead of individual beans.


Castelnaudary Cassoulet

1 1/2 lb shelled Coco de Paimpol fresh beans

1/2 lb pork belly, skin on, sliced

1/2 -3/4 lb pork bones with a little meat attached

4 carrots, quartered

2 onions, quartered

5 garlic cloves, chopped

3-4 fresh bay leaves

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper


8-10 confit duck drumsticks

8 Toulouse sausages

Bread crumbs

Put the beans, pork belly, pork bones, carrots, onions, garlic, bay leaves, salt and pepper in a large stock pot and cover with water about 2 inches above the ingredients.  Bring to a boil, then simmer for 2 hours.  Drain, reserving the broth separately from the vegetables, beans and meat.  Discard the bones.

Degrease the duck by slowly browning it in a large skillet, remove and set aside to drain. Add the sausages to the skillet, brown then set aside to drain.

Assemble the cassoulet by placing half the bean mixture in the bottom of a large tajine. Add a layer of the duck and sausages, then the rest of the beans.  Sprinkle with a generous layer of bread crumbs, then place in a 350 F oven for 2 hours.














About cookinginsens

An American living in Burgundy, France
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33 Responses to Castelnaudary Cassoulet

  1. i dream about Cassoulets like this…need to make one, thanks for inspiring

  2. Looks delicious. I’ve never made a cassoulet. I’m inspired. Fantastic pictures! Thanks for sharing

  3. Really lovely photography…you’ve used the light so well. I’m afraid I wouldn’t attempt cassoulet in this weather. You should try Patricia Wells’ “Fresh white beans (cocos) with garlic and light basil sauce” from her book “The Provence Cookbook”…delicious and light in this weather.

  4. Mad Dog says:

    Your cassoulet looks delicious. I’d love to cook one in that fantastic cassole 😉

  5. Cindy says:

    Oh my gosh. 😳 You are an amazing chef- the pictures are worthy of a magazine..

  6. jaz says:

    i make cassoulet often but never quite manage to get the crust it should have and i’m not sure why.

  7. Gerlinde says:

    My husband loves cassoulet and it is nice and cool in our little town. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Katrin says:

    I was thinking of cooking my first cassoulet a few days ago, but wasn’t sure, which recipe to use. You’ve made my decision quite easy 😉

  9. Serena says:

    Simply lovely…

  10. FoodBezig says:

    That looks great. On my to do list!

  11. Reminds me of south of my mother’s. It looks delicious!

  12. A wonderful dish (and I need a cassoule now too!) but yes, hot weather to be cooking it in. I suppose that’s the joy of English weather in summer 😉

  13. Hi ! This looks wonderful and I have been loving your blog.. I have nominated you for the Sunshine Award! Please do check it out at
    take care and keep posting 🙂

  14. An amazing looking dish. Isn’t amazing that sausages that look that fabulous don’t have the flavour? I’ve had that happen to me and it can be so disappointing.

  15. safifer says:

    I love to make and eat this, but it is most definitely a winter dish.

  16. yummy scrummy as always, though with the hot weather still here I can’t even think about making cassoulet, leave alone eat it :)!! I bought a second Emile Henry Tagine in a vide grenier recently – thinking it was a size smaller than the one I already had. It was a great bargain, but on bringing it home I found that it was exactly the same size and colour :D. They are so versatile though, used it for paella the other day…

  17. The components of this dish and the way you put them all together is so impressive! Looks great!

  18. Pingback: Cassoule des Haricots | Cooking in Sens

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