Three Toots For Cassoulet!

As y’all know I like to mess around a lot in the kitchen. My Bride correctly interprets this as an excuse on my part to open lots of wine, and when you add in that I do like food, hell I love food, well, then it’s a win-win for everybody in the Bingley household. Being the cheap frugal Scot bastard that I am I also vacuum-pack (I use the Ziplock vacuum pump: it’s cheap and works great for my needs. would I use it to, say, store Ted Williams’ head? No, but for “everyday” use it beats spending over $150 on those other high-falutin’ heat sealer brands) and freeze lots of leftovers. The invariable outcome of this is lots of frozen goodies…

Let’s see, that’s about 1 1/2 pounds of pulled pork, about a pound of grilled leg of lamb and some frozen uncooked Pamelas from Costco.

I just *happened* to have set out a pound of beans a-soaking the night before

so I thought I’d make (up) some sort of cassoulet-type dish, which is great for a Saturday night in January.

First off, you can never go wrong by melting half a stick of butter in your big pot

Purists may scream but I prefer to cut the Pamelas while they’re still slightly frozen; it makes it much easier to get those cute little cubes and you don’t have that slimy raw chicken slipping about which can be a pain to cut regardless of how sharp your knife is

so cut them into 1″ or so cubes and plop them in the pot to start cooking in the butter. Take a couple of small-to-medium sized onions

chop them up fairly fine and throw them in with the sizzlin’ buzzard. You want to give the chicken a bit of a head start since it’s raw.

I had some boneless leg of lamb that I had grilled over cherry a few weeks back, so I cubed that fluffy up

checked on the status of the chickens and onions (adding some fresh pepper just because it seemed like a good idea)

and then dumped the lamb in.

The pulled pork I just sort of very roughly chopped, as the pork fibers were already broken down by 14 hours in the smoker and I knew they would mushyfy even more over the next few hours so I wasn’t too concerned about getting them too bite-sized

so I then dumped that into the pot along with a hearty tablespoon of dried rosemary, one tablespoon of dried parsley, half a tablespoon of dried thyme, half a tablespoon of dried tarragon (ed: I forgot this yesterday), a teaspoon of celery seed, 4 cloves of garlic cut into large chunks and some salt. Rinse and drain the beans and dump them in and cover with a full quart of chicken stock

add a can of diced tomatoes, juice and all

oh and about a cup of white wine, at least

then let it simmer, covered, for four hours or so

and serve it with garlic bread.

Simple, warm and tasty for a cold Winter’s night. Yes, I know it’s not a “traditional” cassoulet, but it sure hit the spot.

Update: in response to several concerned questions raised about the Gitmo-like conditions that surely exist at Casa Bingley, here is a photo of The World’s Biggest Mooch in full Chicken Begging Mode whilst I was cooking this on Saturday

and yes, he of course was rewarded.

10 Responses to “Three Toots For Cassoulet!”

  1. don says:

    I have never eaten nor heard of this tasty looking meal, but I wouldn’t mind a bowl. LOL.

  2. Dr Alice says:

    WOW that looks good. I like the idea of combining the different meats. Plus you avoided the tragedy of freezer burn for those fine vittles.

  3. Mr. Bingley says:

    Thanks, don! With a bottle of wine or three to wash it down it sure hit the spot.

    And with all the beans…well, I’ve done my part to bring on Gerbil Warmening!

  4. Mr. Bingley says:

    Thanks doc! The combination was good, and the smokiness from the pulled pork (and the lamb to some extent) added a nice warm underpinning.

    (and I did take a picture of the dog begging for chicken while I was cutting it up; I’ll post it for you when I get home!)

  5. Gunslinger says:

    Any leftovers?


  6. gregor says:

    it’s a damned good thing I don’t live in your house, I’d be fatter than I already am!

  7. JeffS says:

    I suppose your Lab starved throughout all this swilling and eating, huh?

  8. WunderKraut says:

    Good eats right there~!

  9. Dr Alice says:

    Yay! Thanks for Moochy Dog pic! I’m glad he got a bite of chicken.

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