I’ve tried following recipes, gone by their recommendations, but now it’s time to do it my own way.
This time, I’ve used white kidney beans instead of Navy beans or Great Northerns (a type of navy bean often recommended for this dish). I’m not a big fan of the flavour of navy beans: tastes too much like Boston baked beans to me, even though there’s no molasses or anything else that would make it remind me — it’s just the taste of the beans. White kidney beans are cannellini beans — what you get if you get a white bean dip in Italy.
I like that flavour a lot more.
Making a cassoulet takes time, and there are a couple of shortcuts you can take (like buying canned beans) but I decided to do the whole thing from scratch, and only cheated with the broth.
I soaked the beans. Then I cooked them for an hour and 20 minutes with two chicken bouillon cubes, a couple of bay leaves, some parsley, summer savory, ground pepper, onion, garlic, and celery.
Was too late by the time that was done to make the cassoulet, so I drained the beans, mostly, and put them in the fridge overnight.
Today I assembled the casserole. Here are the ingredients:
The cooked beans, a hunk of oven-roasted smoked bacon from Witteveen’s, a drumstick and two breasts from a goose I roasted last fall (I stripped the skin off the breasts and sliced them). One half-centimeter thick slice of summer sausage, cut into cubes. Great big organic tomato. I was going to add additional garlic, but thought I’d better not, since I’m going to a wine tasting tomorrow night!
I didn’t use all the bacon. I took a 7-cm hunk off the end, and put slices of the bacon along the bottom of the ceramic casserole. Then put in the drumstick.
Chopped the tomato, added it to the beans, as well as the summer sausage. Put a layer of the bean mixture, then slices of goose breast, then the rest of the bean mixture. Poured about 6oz of white wine over the top, put it in the oven at 325 (then reduced to 275), and left it for a couple of hours.
I’m about to go back home and check it. May crisp up some of the goose skin to add to the top, or use some panko crumbs. See what I feel like.