No sooner had I bought the petite Staub cast-iron pots than I was already ordering my next Staub pot, the 3/4-quart size.
I am such a whore! I feel like I don't even love the 1/4-quart pots anymore. But Cranky reminded me that I do love them, and that I have a dandy idea for food to roast in them, soon. Sort of a deconstructed stuffed cabbage, but Shh. We'll talk about that later.
This new pot, the 3/4-quart? OMG, it is gorgeous. The diameter is only five and a quarter inches, to give you an idea how tidy and natty it is. It is the perfect size for two SANE appetites. A little, teensy bit more than you might need to eat, but two loving bowlfuls nonetheless that will not activate a review by the obesity panel.
Look here: Cranky made an impromptu cassoulet. We have gotten very brave, insouciant almost, in faking cassoulets. This was Cranky's first fake, and he was a little nervous, but he nailed it — if not nailing it is nailing it, because cassoulet without a slavish recipe is the goal, and he scored.
White marrow beans, cooked with bay leaves, other herbs, bacon fat and salt. Half a Merguez sausage, which is African and not traditional, but there are lots of Africans in France now, and the sausage is so tasty and made from lamb, which is very cassoulet. A thigh of duck confit. A few halves of ripe tomatoes. A good glug of chicken stock. Some bread crumbs. More herbs.
See, not a recipe. An approximation, and next time it will probably be different (because there is a Toulouse sausage in the freezer).
The thrill, for us both, was cooking our bean stew in the new metal pot. Lid on part of the time, then off.
Well, no, I think the cassoulet was the thrill.
Or maybe the pot.