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Foie gras in Cassoulet?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I'm thinking of maybe adding a can of foie gras entier to my next cassoulet. What will happen to the foie gras? Will this work? Or do you think it will all just melt away? Or will it turn into a tough, grainy slab of dry, overcooked liver?

post #2 of 14

MM, since it's canned, it's most probably a terrine de foie gras which is already processed, read cooked. It will melt indeed. My question is why to put foie gras in a cassoulet. It is not a posh dish at all, more a typical wintery hearty dish with cheaper meats in it like bacon, (smoked) sausage etc.  The confit de canard may sound a little posh, but in fact it is none other than a cheaper piece of the duck that has been preserved for the use in wintertime.

I would dare say that rustic dishes like a delicious cassoulet, benefit more from the "less is more" approach, except for the use of plenty of garlic.

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

OK, thanks for the advice! I thought the foie gras would add even more contrasting mouth texture to the cassoulet, but I won't bother if it is all just going to melt. I think I will try adding lots of soft, squidgy roasted garlic to do the job instead.

post #4 of 14

I have had cassoulets in many places both in France and here. Have never heard or seen it used. A cassoulet was a basic  hodge podge of assorted leftovers which was put in a cauldron and hung in the fireplace to cook. I don't ever recall having it the same twice, even in same place. Great way to get rid of leftovers, meat ends, poultry pieces , veges beans etc. Great on a cold winters night with some crusty bread.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #5 of 14

Don't wreck it with too much garlic either. You need to be able to taste the flavors.  Too much garlic or any other herb will destroy the balance.

 

What you can add if you don't already is lamb. Roast some lamb (shoulder is nice) slowly with a tomato, garlic and herbs de Province sauce then cut the meat into bite sized pieces and add it to your cassoulete.

 

The addition of lamb is somewhat controversial, its use comes from North of Toulouse mainly. Still, the quickest way to start a fight is to gather three locals together then ask them how to make cassoulete.

post #6 of 14

Foie gras is much to costly for a cassoulet. This dish is hardly ever the same twice. When I wa in France in hung in the fireplace in a thick cauldron. it had beens scraps aswell as chunks of meat and veges.. Here  it's called  a cassarole. all in one dish or pot in oven .

CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #7 of 14

Cassoulet is rich and comforting and the addition of fois gras will not only affect the texture but the balance of unctuousness.  Why add something earthy and hardy to something that is already earthy and hardy?

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yank View Post

Don't wreck it with too much garlic either. You need to be able to taste the flavors.  Too much garlic or any other herb will destroy the balance.

 

What you can add if you don't already is lamb. Roast some lamb (shoulder is nice) slowly with a tomato, garlic and herbs de Province sauce then cut the meat into bite sized pieces and add it to your cassoulete.

 

The addition of lamb is somewhat controversial, its use comes from North of Toulouse mainly. Still, the quickest way to start a fight is to gather three locals together then ask them how to make cassoulete.

 

You're very right about discussions of who makes the best cassoulet. It is a dish typically made in the French region Midi-Pyrénées and 3 cities are known for their "original" own version of cassoulet; Castelnaudrary, Carcassonne and Toulouse.

The one made in Toulouse, cassoulet Toulousain, has besides duck confit and other typcal cassoulet stuff also lamb in it. On the other hand, there's no tomato in this cassoulet.

 

But, in home cooking there should be no strict rules. I very much like your idea of braising the lamb in a sauce and then add it to the cassoulet. I do believe cassoulet has to contain a lot of garlic, meaning 4 cloves on 750grams of beans is a good proportion.

post #9 of 14

Chris - I agree with your comments. About 4 cloves of garlic is about right & you're right that they should go into the beans.

 

I like a bit of tomato in mine which is why I add it to the lamb. As you say there are as many cassoulet varieties there are cassoulet cooks.

 

I live in the midi-Pyrenees . Tarn et Garonne to be precise. We drove down to Castelnaudrary a few years back to buy our very own cassole. As you probably know this is a specially shaped large pot used for making cassoulet. I normally only use it once or twice a year.

post #10 of 14

Hi mystery Munchies ,

I would put it in , it is fat once it renders down , fat is good just like butter is used to finish many cassoulets you use the foie gras in the same manner here.

Best bet is to strain the sauce just before serving and emulsify the foie gras in using a handblender , similar for the technique for beurre blanc.

Add the rest of the ingredients back in once emulsified ,careful not to boil again .

You could add a stabilizer in there if you did need to boil again for service purposes .

chefbacker 

post #11 of 14

I guess I should defer to the professionals, but in my 50 years of eating and cooking cassoulets I've never seen of heard of such a technique in applied to a cassoulete.

 

I'm gobsmaked as my English friends might say.

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yank View Post

...

I live in the midi-Pyrenees . Tarn et Garonne to be precise. We drove down to Castelnaudrary a few years back to buy our very own cassole. As you probably know this is a specially shaped large pot used for making cassoulet. I normally only use it once or twice a year.

Oh, you live in that beautiful area. It would be so great to see you participating regularly on this forum! Are you French?

By the way, I'm a huge fan of Julie Andrieu's "Les Carnets de Julie" on Saturdays, a great show that I'm able to watch life on my TV in Belgium. Hope she will be back soon on the screen!

post #13 of 14

ChrisBelgium

 

Thanks for the Welcome. Tarn et Garonne is indeed beautiful and very varied in it topography. We love it here.

 

I am actually an American. Although I'm one who has lived much of his adult life in Europe including a couple of years in Brussels way back in the 70's.

 

I tend to watch the British cooking shows since they often feature French chefs who live in England, Michael Blank & Michael Roux jr. for instance. For some reason cooking shows are very popular in the UK so there's lots to watch & enjoy.

post #14 of 14

So maybe you already saw I posted this bean dish that I'm not all together sure wether to call it a cassoulet or not. Want to join the thread? It's over here;

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/77332/is-this-a-cassoulet-or-not

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