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Old 02-02-2007, 07:26 AM   #11
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Here's an interesting article about disputes over what goes in to a proper Cassoulet:

Tales from the Cassoulet Front

But to contradict it, I have had many a fine Cassoulet from Castelnaudry and not one has ever had lamb in it. Before reading this thread and this article, I would have said that lamb was not included in a traditional Cassoulet and I'm still not convinced that it is.
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Old 02-02-2007, 08:45 AM   #12
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I have read that article. But I went to look for the "source" --the authority on the cooking of SW France. Take a look at what Paula Wolfert has to say.
And, back to my original "tweak"--using the pork would fulfill Alex's "need" for the authentic meat. But lamb is darned good in it. And Paula found it too.
http://media.wiley.com/product_data/...076457602X.pdf
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Old 02-02-2007, 10:12 AM   #13
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Cassoulet is peasant stew from the Languedoc region. There is no "one authentic" version. Pork, mutton, duck, goose, game birds, can all be put into a cassoulet. Several 19th century French writers lauded the dish, and several old recipes, each slightly different, can be reconstructed from their descriptions.

My 1961 version of Larousse Gastronomique offers 3 "historical" recipes and 2 "modern" recipes. The one thing they all have in common is white beans in a good broth seasoned with a "bouquet garni" plus onion and garlic, some sort of flavorful meat(s), and a big casserole to hold it all. Some recipes call for tomatoes added at the end, some don't.

There is even some discussion about the different versions of white beans, but let's not go there.
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Old 02-02-2007, 10:28 AM   #14
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D'Artagnan carries duck confit, & it's quite good. In fact, I have yet to purchase any of their products & be disappointed. While I didn't use the duck legs confit in Cassoulet, I did serve them on a bed of white beans, & they were very very tasty. Here in Virginia, the "Whole Foods" grocery chain carries their products, which is where I purchased mine, although you can also purchase directly from them. Here's their website:

https://www.dartagnan.com/search.asp
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Old 02-02-2007, 04:19 PM   #15
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D'Artagnanan's products are very good!
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Old 02-03-2007, 02:49 PM   #16
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Remember that cassoulet is a peasannt dish, that is to say that the ingredients vary from person to person. I made a great version, but turned it over to my husband, who makes a better version in less time (oh, OK, I'll admit to making the stock and roasting the duck). No, it isn't real confit. I just roast the duck, then skim off the fat so he has it for schmaltz. I make a fancy dinner out of the duck breasts, then turn the bones into stock and save the leg/thigh portions for him to stick into the casserole. The dish is great with sausage, smoked meats, and game. Every cassoulet is different. By-the-way, this is the origins of our word: Casserole.
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Old 02-05-2007, 06:35 AM   #17
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"Every cassoulet is different. By-the-way, this is the origins of our word: Casserole"

I agree about the peasant origins of this great dish--every French farmhouse in the Southwest probably has their very own recipe.

I think the name is however, just that. Casserole is a french word on its own.

cas·se·role (kăs'ə-rōl')
A dish, usually of earthenware, glass, or cast iron, in which food is both baked and served.
Food prepared and served in such a dish.
[French, saucepan, diminutive of Old French casse, ladle, pan, from Old Provençal cassa, from Medieval Latin cattia, dipper, from Greek kuathion, diminutive of kuathos, ladle.]
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