Thursday, April 6, 2017

Mary Quant's Cassoulet

Mary Quant's Cassoulet

1 pound dry white beans (Great Northern)
3 quarts boiling water
1/2 pound Toulouse sausage (or lightly smoked garlic sausage)
2 pounds boned lamb shoulder, partially roasted
1/2 pound salt pork (or fat bacon), diced
1 small yellow onion stuck with 2 whole cloves
1 small tomato, peeled and seeded
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Bouquet garni (bay leaf, 4 sprigs parsley, 3 sprigs celery tops, white part of 1 leek, 1 teaspoon thyme) tied in a cheesecloth bag
3/4 pound preserved goose (or roast duck, cut in serving pieces)
1 cup bread crumbs
1/3 cup minced parsley
2 tablespoons goose fat

Wash beans carefully. Drop in boiling water. Bring back to boil, boil 2 minutes, remove from fire. Let stand uncovered in cooking liquid 1 hour.

Drain beans, discarding water. Put beans in 6 quart stock pot, add 2 quarts water. Add sausage, lamb, salt pork, onion, tomato and seasoning to taste. Bring to a boil, carefully skim off any scum and foam that rise to the surface. When boiling, add garlic and bouquet garni.

Reduce heat, simmer uncovered about 1 1/4 hours or until beans are tender but not falling apart. Add boiling water if necessary to keep beans covered. Remove sausage at end of 45 minutes, prick with fork to release fat, remove from stock pot, set aside.

Remove bouquet garni, discard. Strain beans, skim off all surface fat. Remove lamb to platter, cut in 2-inch pieces. Place beans in deep earthenware (or fireproof baking) dish. Bury meat, sausage and goose in the
beans. Add enough stock to moisten beans. Correct seasonings. Top with bread crumbs, minced parsley and fat. Set in preheated 375 degree F. oven. When the top is lightly crusted in about 15 minutes, reduce oven to 350 degrees F. Break the crust with a spoon, baste the beans with the liquid. Repeat several times but leave final crust intact. Bake about 1 1/4 hours. Serves 6-8.

Thoughts: Preserved goose is available in tins in gourmet shops. Scrape off goose fat, brown pieces in oven then add to beans during final baking. Partridge, fresh goose or duck, oven roasted, may be substituted for preserved goose.

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