Castelnaudry Cassoulet

The recipe for the cassoulet and the earthenware pottery originated in the town of Castelnaudry, France, although there are many variations of this dish, Castelnaudry is named the “pere”.  In fact, before my orphaned camera arrived, I made a Spanish/Portuguese variety, containing chorizo and blood sausage.  Delightful!

I’ve made a cassoulet before but this time I wanted it to be as close to the original as possible, cooked in the pottery and without drastically fiddling with and adjusting the ingredients.

While shopping for my cassoulet meats in the farmers’ market, I noticed that the Ambiance des Halles (Fishmonger) had 3 kilos of  Coques St. Jacques in shell (scallops) on sale for 18 euros.  I found this impossible to pass up and planned it for a starter, grilled with butter, parsley, garlic and chives.

The scallops were rather large and it took about 5 minutes, top down, on the gas grill for perfection 🙂

Sometimes the wine is so good that it deserves to be hugged as well as drunk 🙂  At least at this picnic table.

I bought 2 kilos of unshelled Paimpol coco beans, my favorites.  Shelling beans is one of my favorite activities, a sort of meditation with coffee.

2 kilos of the unshelled beans gives you enough for a very hefty casserole indeed.  I love the look of these beans, so plump and white that you want to tasted them immediately, but raw doesn’t work 😀

No matter how many beans I buy, I always get a little surprise of mangetout, romano or fava.  Whatever I get,  I happily cook it along with the beans.

No vegetarian meal, cassoulet contains, Toulouse sausages, lamb neck, pork loin, garlic sausage, thick bacon, duck fat and is topped with with duck legs confit before baking .  The recipe says for 8 but 12-16 is more realistic.

M. Parret didn’t want any dessert, he was barely able to shovel down 3-4 pieces of cheese with baguette after the cassoulet.  Poor thing!  I gave him a coffee and a Calvados instead.

Cassoulet Castelnaudary

2 lbs unshelled Paimpol beans or 1 lb dry white beans soaked overnight

1 whole carrot

1 onion, quartered

4 cloves garlic

8 cloves

1 bouquet garni

1lb fresh garlic saucisson

1/2 lb fresh salt pork

1 hefty tbsp duck fat

Put the above ingredients in a large stock pot.  If you have dry beans soaked overnight, add them also.  Bring the pot to a boil and them low simmer for 1 hour.

If you have fresh beans, add them to the pot after 1 hour and remove from flame.


Duck fat

1 1/2 lb boneless pork loin

1 1/2 lb lamb neck, sliced

1 1/2 lb Toulouse sausages

1 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, smashed

1 bouquet garni

2 medium cans diced tomatoes

Brown the pork loin, lamb and Toulouse sausages in large skillet in duck fat.  Remove and set aside.  Brown the onion and garlic in the pan.  Add the bouquet garni and tomatoes.  Add 2 ladles of broth from the beans, bring to a boil and low simmer for 1 hour.

Slice the cooked pork loin in cubes, the neck chaotically, the salt pork in medium size squares, mix together and set aside.  In another plate, slice and set aside the garlic sausisson.


Duck fat

Duck confit legs

Grease a large baking pan/pot/tajine with duck fat.  Add a layer of the mixed meats, a layer of Toulouse sausages and sauce, a layer of garlic sausages, a layer of beans.  Repeat.  Place a tbsp duck fat on top, then top all with the duck confit legs(not degreased).  Add 1-2 ladles of of the bean broth.  Preheat the oven to 350 F and bake for 2 hours.  Put a pan underneath, in case of spills.














About cookinginsens

An American living in Burgundy, France
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6 Responses to Castelnaudry Cassoulet

  1. Mad Dog says:

    Delicious – I really want one of those cassoulet dishes (and a seat at your table!). Bon profit!

  2. The cassoulet looks amazing, just our kind of meal! And those scallops were a bargain, they were £44 a kilo in the UK last week…

  3. Stella says:

    What? No breadcrumbs! Just joking, but I think the definitive cassolet recipe doesn’t exist. It’s like paella. There are as many recipes as there are cooks, if not more.

  4. Oh yum on all accounts! What a fabulous meal. I wish we could get scallops on the shell stateside with the coral but no chance.

  5. Conor Bofin says:

    I love the cassoulet pot.

  6. The scallops look fantastic, and the price was fantastic too!! And your cassoulet makes my mouth water…. I’m going to have some next Sunday!! 🙂

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