Cassoulet (cass-oo-lay'), noun: A traditional French "casserole" with origins in the southwestern Languedoc region and usually containing white beans and several kinds of meat.
In our always humble opinion, cassoulet is THE comfort food. It's rich and creamy, and it will definitely stick to your ribs through a cold winter night!
The word "cassoulet" comes from the word "cassole," which is a shallow dish with slightly slanted sides - that is to say, a casserole dish! Every region has its own slightly-different version of cassoulet, but they all typically contain white beans and several varieties of meat. One of the meats is often confit, which is duck or goose meat that has been cooked, cooled, and preserved in its own fat.
Cassoulet benefits from long cooking at a relatively low heat, almost like a braise. Collagen from the meats dissolve into the broth, giving the dish richness and a silky mouthfeel. All the flavors melt together, so you get a bit of sweetness from the beans and a bit of savory from the meats and aromatics in every bite.
Drooling yet?! Here are some recipes if you'd like to try making it at home:
• Toulouse-style Cassoulet from Food and Wine
• Cassoulet from Epicurious
• Cassoulet from Fat by Jennifer McLagan via Serious Eats
Are you a fan of cassoulet?
Related: How to Cook Beans
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