OK, the last one was horrible, terrible, bland, overcooked, and unsalvageable.
I have now invited friends over for cassoulet in early November, and I’m not going to try to be a purist this time, and especially won’t follow any British recipes for it (unless Heston Blumenthal has written one — if so, let me know).
I have an absolutely beautiful piece of pork belly that I bought at the north St. Lawrence Market a couple of months ago and froze. I’m thinking of smoking it myself. Can’t decide whether to do it outside on my barbecue or to try one of those fancy-schmantsy smoking bags one can supposedly use in the oven. I think I’ll probably go for outdoors. Need a new propane tank. Can use some lovely mesquite chips in the iron smoker box.
Another item to solve is the whole sausage thing. I think that our North American tastes tend toward more spices and flavours, so I may investigate the sausages at the south St. Lawrence Market: I know they offer a number of venison sausages, and one of those might be perfect. I’ll talk to the people who work there. I’ve learned a lot from the Market people over the years — unlike at the supermarket, they know their product, know the best way to cook or serve it, and care about customer service.
There should also be a poultry ingredient in cassoulet, and I’ve got that taken care of already: two breasts and other body meat from a goose I roasted for Thanksgiving.
So onward, in the cassoulet adventure: if you have any suggestions or recommendations, please let me know!