Cassoulet is a substantial stew made with sausage, beans, and confit de canard. For the tastiest cassoulets, simmer the beans and meats in a rich sauce of duck stock, tomato puree, roux, and a blend of spices for many hours. To ensure the freshness and quality of their components, they source their duck meat from local farms.
Cassoulet is best served hot and fresh out of the oven. A simple salad as a beginning and a couple pieces of freshly toasted bread as a side complete this stunning dish. After a substantial meal, serve a dessert of fruit tarts or a fruit tray to help cleanse the palete.
A Marcillac or a Madiran are ideal options for pairings. Wines from the Cotes du Rhône, as well as Malbecs from nearly every area in France, are excellent choices as well. Outside of the Southwest, they tend to be more savory, but any of them would pair well with cassoulet. It’s possible to go into Spanish territory by drinking Rioja Crianza or Mencia.
‘Cassolle’, the French term for casserole, is the inspiration for the name of Cassoulet. It was handcrafted in a little community near Castelnaudry, France. The Languedoc area of France, where cassoulet originated, is home to a wide range of variations on the dish. The dish is supposed to have originated during Edward of Wales’ 1355 siege of Castelnaudary, France. The famine-stricken residents of the town pooled their food supplies to make a huge stew that they could all eat. Cassoulet has long been regarded as a filling stew best enjoyed in intimate gatherings.
Store in a cool dry place. Refrigerate upon opening.