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La Belle Chaurienne : New products

All about cassoulets

All about cassoulets

The town marshal wanted to put more guts into his defending army by feeding them a sumptuous meal (putting in whatever food-stuff the inhabitants could lay their hands on) before throwing them into a furious charge against the enemy.

In the warehouses of the besieged town, there remained a large quantity of beans, which allowed the fortress cooks to put together a gigantic stew, enhanced by the different meat gravies, like fresh and salted pork, goose, dry sausage, all lending to this excellent recipe. The dishes were heated up into the town oven and so they have been browned.

After having been fully-fortified by this lavish feast, and which goes without saying was of course washed down by any available local wine, the people of Castelnaudary only then left the banquet table to attack the English army, firing their old, jam-packed culverins.

Their stampede was so furious and the noise from their culverins so loud and terrible that the besieging troops panicked, believing that in the town (which they had miscalculated) was the existence of such a formidable artillery, that they didn't stop running (according to the legend of Castelnaudary)  until the English Channel coast.

This browned dish was appreciated and the people of Castelnaudary kept cooking it in small terrines or "cassoles".

Besides, the name cassoulet comes from this typical earthenware bowl. The best cassoles are made in Issel in Aude, with the so special clay of this region, and since the XIVe century.

The mandatory ingredients of a Castelnaudary cassoulet are generous pieces of meats (duck, goose, pork), eventually preserved, pure pork sausages well peppered and lingots beans. This type of beans is the most appropriate to the cassoulet long cooking. And it is said that they are never so well cooked than when they are with Castelnaudary water, which apparently has special properties.

It is very long to prepare a good cassoulet. You have to start 12 hours before with the beans soaking and you need at least 3 hours of cooking, while you mustn't forget to break the "crust" appearing on the surface, 7 times according to the tradition. In the past, people used to heat their cassoulet in the baker oven during mass.

It is also very long to learn the specific know-how of each step : beans soaking, preserving duck, seasoning, Toulouse sausage, cooking, ... The recipe is still sometimes transmitted from generation to generation but nowadays, it is really rare to find a home-made cassoulet. For those who do not have time or who do not know how, do not hesitate to choose La Belle Chaurienne : as a great representative of its region, La Belle Chaurienne respects each point of the recipe and many would tell you that its cassoulet is like "home-made".


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