Serious Eats: Recipes

Cook the Book: Cassoulet

Book CoverHere in America we love to argue about food, from chili (should it have beans?), to macaroni and cheese (creamy or crusty?), to bagels (to toast or not to toast?). In France, they like to argue about cassoulet, the classic slow-cooked stew made from white beans and fatty meats. According to Jennifer McLagan, author of this week's Cook the Book selection, Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes, "some add lamb, others tomatoes. Some add broth, and some believe that neither should be included. Then there are endless discussions on how to make the crust."

Jennifer's recipe for cassoulet is smaller than most (it serves 6 to 8, instead of the more traditional 10 to 12), so you can plan an intimate dinner party around it without having to eat the leftovers for the next week. To the white beans, she adds a luscious and dizzying array of meats: pork belly, lamb shoulder, duck confit, and garlic sausages.

Needless to say, this is a rich dish. Serve it with a simple salad and a fruit-based dessert.

Win 'Fat'

In addition to excerpting a recipe each day this week, we're also giving away five (5) copies of Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes. Enter to win here.

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