built in a day.

So that I don't forget to finish reading it: Culiblog has what looks to be an excellent writeup of Euroforum’s Foodservice Congress 2007 posted over there.


As one's obsessive food mind tends to do, mine has been ruminating over the details of cassoulet, specifically the selection of meats that will strut and fret their shit upon the stage of my slow cooker.

Right. So, I've been weighing the pros and cons of different carnivorous options, and, I know what you're thinking. Mark, please tell me you didn't go ahead and make a quick experimental cassoulet this afternoon for Phil's 2nd birthday party dinner (uh, it's his 2nd dinner...he's well into his middle years).

I wish I could tell you that, pal, but I can't. I thought Phil and Kathelijn would really enjoy it. So I whizzed downstairs and picked up some white beans, merguez, and bacon to go with the duck confit I already in the fridge. The meats were amazingly inexpensive: I don't buy merguez or any other sausage very often I guess, but I couldn't believe it...I somehow thought this was going to be a costly adventure. But cassoulet was peasant food, right? And damn peasants ain't got no dough. Excellent work, peasants!

So, I didn't make my own stocks, confit, or sausage. I browned all of the meats, made a very quick lamb and duck stock with my confit bones and a lamb cutlet I bought, added the beans, carrots, onions, and garlic, and a mess o' thyme and other assorted Frenchish herbs. A slug of vermouth, tablespoon of Calvados, lots of black pepper, and put the lid on the massive thing for 3 hours: since sausage is my main protein, I don't think I have to worry about overcooking the meats.

The picture above is of my steaming pot after an hour. It's got a ways to go, I may turn to the Secret Ingredient Shelf if my quickie stock doesn't cut it. More on this sham eventually, and real cassoulet pictures as well.


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