Sunday, December 26, 2010

My Recommendation for Next Year

I've found the perfect Christmas Eve supper. So, so perfect.
This was a little cassoulet, cooked in a Staub cocotte (3/4 qt., I think; just right for two appetites with no leftovers). Cassoulet cooks itself, so you can busy yourself elsewhere wrapping gifts or singing along with Brenda Lee.
All you have to do is soak and cook the beans. We used cannellini, and they were just right, with a tender thin skin. Cook them with a little bacon fat and a bay leaf, trust me on this.
Save a little of the bean cooking water.
OK, shred or dice your meat. We used a Toulouse sausage, a confit of chicken thigh, and half a single breast of duck bacon. Fry these all up in, I don't know, duck fat? Yeah, duck fat. Because...
OMG, duck bacon! We'd made it a year ago and stashed it in the freezer. I was grumping because our confit was chicken, not duck, but Cranky remembered this, and... OMG. Can I use the word "perfect" again?
OK, the usual assemblage ensues. A dab of frozen tomato sauce for pinky sweetness. Thyme leaves. Garlic, garlic, garlic. Some of that bean water mixed with sparkling wine, to drown the mess.
Bake for as long as you can stand, covered or un-. Just keep an eye on it between Perry Como songs.
Hey, it'd make a great New Year's Eve supper, too.


Ms Brown Mouse said...

Staub is 60% off at a local kitchen warehouse *toddles off ...*

cookiecrumb said...

Yeah, not local for me! You toddler.

Zoomie said...

I'm going to save that outline and give it a try, only on a larger scale as we are having company for New Year's Eve.

namastenancy said...

Straub, she sniffs! Humph! I have an ancient, cast iron kettle (probably came over on the Mayflower), inherited from my grandfather who used to take it on his hunting trips. *I* make my annual tribute to the Southern part of my heritage in it - black eyed peas or hoppin'john. No Fureign sounding beans (cannellini - what's that) shall desecrate my old pot. It ain't elegant but it's what I got.

cookiecrumb said...

Zoomie: Oh boy! Good luck with it. Consult a real recipe for some serious guidelines, because I'm so loosey goosey. But real cassoulet recipes are so overwhelming.

Nancy: You have a wonderful old relic. I'd treasure that.
(We're having hoppin' Juan on Saturday. Yep, Fureign.)

Denise | Chez Danisse said...

Looks superb.