To build a great winter menu around this rich, rustic French stew, start and finish with refreshing salads
Cassoulet, the hearty peasant stew from the southwest of France, has long provoked hot debate. Which kind of beans should you use? Should you use duck or goose? There are numerous versions, each with its passionate partisans. But rather than being a pure expression of one style, this cassoulet takes elements from them all: It’s a melding of great flavors that come from assembling duck confit, beans, lamb stew, sausage and pork, and cooking them all together, slowly and gently.
Hearty cassoulet is almost a meal in itself, so when creating a menu, you want to keep the starter and dessert light and refreshing, like these simple frisee and fruit salads. The menu does take some advance planning, but there’s no elaborate technique required. So, if you stick to a strategy, and use the timetable, it’s really easy. And great cassoulet is worth the wait, so it’s the perfect thing for a special dinner party on a cold night–New Year’s Eve, perhaps?