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Cassoulet, low country French food feast #2

We've been adding a bit of French to our home, mainly some food, wine and vocabulary.  I've been exploring some of the classic French food I had never made at home.  This was our first Cassoulet.

Started on Monday by salting some duck leg quarters.

duck confit for cassoulet

After two days in salt, along with shallot, garlic and thyme, they get sumberged in duck fat and baked low and slow (250) for a few hours.

duck confit oven

the duck is left in the fat, and stored in the refrigerator for almost a week.

duck in duck fat confit

duck confit at home

duck confit meat is liberated from the skin and bone.

marvin and eichler

they were so patient, hoping a scrap would slip from Kat's hands and land on the floor. 

Sunday morning, I combined the duck confit with the two other major components listed below:

1lb of norther white beans, I prepared the beans in the pressure cooker using a rich chicken stock, smoked ham hock and some onion.

Pork Stew (made on friday), 1 lb of pork shoulder (trimmed of fat), onion, carrot, (LOTS of) garlic, and one LB of pork/garlic sausage along with herbs and, tomato, white wine, rich chicken stock...  and it all starts by browning the meat and veg in duck fat, add the liquids and reduce.  there is a lot of fat in this dish.

duck confit cassoulet assembled

Sunday came and everything assembled. I put a dallop of duck aspic and a bit more duck fat on top.  it went into the oven for 3 hours at 300.  Then I applied some bread crumbs and bumped the heat up for another 15 mins till the top was all golden and crusty.

duck cassoulet

After a week of effort and smelling all these fantastic aromas, we finally have our very first duck cassoulet.  It's not very photogenic but it smelled amazing. 

We had other tasty sides and small bites to enjoy before we dove head first into golden cassoulet goodness.

hearts of romain salad with shallot and pecorino

duck cassoulet

It was good!  the top as just a bit crusty with the bottom bits nicely caramelized. 

The weather was cool enough for us to enjoy the hearty low-country French Fare in the screen room.  and of course a friend brought a selection of French wine to sample and complete our French evening. 

jl chave hermitage 2000 france syrah wine

our trio of fancy French vin rouge!


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