A Healthy, Hearty Bean Stew -
Cassoulet Recipes

Cassoulet Recipes abound in Southern France - practically every house-hold has it's own version of this simple stew recipe.
Originally it was a peasant's dish, mostly of beans, simmered on the back of the wood stove and whatever other meat came to hand was added to the pot.

cassoulet recipes, how to make cassoulet

Over the years, it began to evolve into regional dishes and today there are 3 World Famous recipes.(although, even these differ depending on where you get them from)

cassoulet recipes, simple stew recipes

As a rule of thumb, a well prepared cassoulet should have 70% beans and 30% meat. The original cassoulets were prepared in clay stew pots, called cassoles. These were tapered pots designed with a pouring lip(to ease in pouring off fat). The taper was designed so that the famous "crust" had more surface area, while the rest still simmered underneath.

Contrary to what some may people think, a cassoulet is very good for your health and relatively light, 700 to 800 kcal per serving. However it is predominately a winter dish and when you serve one, consider it as a complete meal so do not plan more than a salad and a light dessert or fruit with it.

Although the original Cassoulets were simmered in a stew pot or "cassole" - today, most recipes call for them to be baked in the oven. Maybe this is where the English "casserole" came from.

Castelnaudary Cassoulet

The town of Castelnaudary is the self-proclaimed "Capital of Cassoulet". Legend has it that when the town was under seige during the 100 Years War - that the towns' people all gathered and prepared a cassoulet for the defenders. Each household brought something to add to the pot. Apparently after their meal the defenders routed the enemy and saved the town. Today, the meat ingredients in the Castelnaudary Cassoulet include pork and duck confit.

Toulouse Cassoulet

The Toulouse Cassoulet is richer than the Castelnaudary recipe. In particular lamb and sausages are added to the already existing pork and duck confit.

Carcassonne Cassoulet

In the Cassoulet de Carcassonne Recipe the amount of mutton is doubled & the duck confit is replaced with partridge.

What is Confit?

Confit is one of the oldest ways to preserve food, without refrigeration, and is a speciality of southwestern France.

Confit of goose (confit d'oie) or confit of duck (confit de canard) are usually (but not always) prepared from the legs of the bird. The poultry is heavily salted and seasoned and then cooked very slowly while being submerged in its own fat. It is then "preserved" by allowing it to cool in the fat. Turkey and pork can also be made into a confit. Meat confits are used in a variety of food preparations - most notably cassoulet recipes. Today, Confits can be bought in cans.

Cassoulet Castelnaudary Recipe - legendary & world famous

Cassoulet Carcassonnes Recipe - the richest of the 3 World Famous Recipes

Cassoulet Toulouse Recipe - also World Famous & richer than the Castelnaudary Cassoulet

Chicken Cassoulet - uses pre-cooked meat - a real time saver

Quick Cassoulet Recipe - uses left-over turkey in a simpler recipe, yet retains all the flavour of the originals.

Sausage-Cassoulet Recipe - stewed beans with sausage - a quick alternative

Go to Simply Stews Home Page from Cassoulet Recipes

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