Friday, October 05, 2007

Breaking up the Crust

This photo was taken at night but I wanted to
give you an idea of what it looked like when it was done.

With an afternoon spent doing other things, I turned the oven down to 300 and just let the thing bake, uncovered, for another 3 hours. Every hour I brought it out and pushed the crusty top layer into the juice. When I was getting ready to take it out to the table, with 5 people waiting, I took a taste and almost fell over backwards. The crust, which behaved itself and stayed just on top, was delcious and chewy and tasted like duck cracklings, and had a balance and a tang that went perfectly with the beans. There was plenty of juice left in the part underneath, and I spooned each person a part of the crust, some beans and meat, and then made another pass to add some juices. The couenne had dissolved and had mingled with the beans and meat. It was heavenly. Luckily we had five people there, otherwise we would have all eaten more of our share and felt guilty. We served a St. Emillion 2005 with it and followed it with a salad, local cheeses, and then dessert with a 2006 Bourgogne Aligote. It was really a very nice dinner.

One thing that really made a difference was that I used that mushroom stock. The mushroom stock began as duck stock, was reduced quite a bit, then went through the transformation with the wild mushrooms, reducing it a bit further. It was quite a concntrated stock to begin with. It gave a wonderful flavor to the beans. I will use the couenne again for this type of dish.

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Blogger winedeb said...

This looks absolutely delicious! What a great week with these posts. I must tell you, while I was reading your post yesterday, I clicked on your link to Kate. As I am reading about her, as it is the first time to her site, I noticed that she was talking about the Julia Hoyt. It rang a bell somewhere in the old brain and I rememberd that I have a book that I purchased back in 1995 that I truely love and have on my French cookbooks shelves "A Culinary Journey In Gascaony" by Kate Ratliffe. Oh my gosh, I have read this book over many times and now I have come upon her web site! I was thrilled to make such a discovery of her thru you! Just as I told Kate, such a small world out there! Too fun Lucy! Thanks!

9:02 PM, October 05, 2007  
Blogger L Vanel said...

It is a wonderful book, which is still in print. I adored reading it, and I love to flip through the pages and see the photos as well.

9:05 AM, October 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I truly enjoy reading your blog. I must have stumbled upon it via chez pim a while back. Possible when the three of you were at Kate's kitchen. Being a francophile myself and having this dream of living in France (it is too late now), I love the way you described your life in Lyon. BTW, I was in Dijon last month for 4 days. Next time, I will visit your city. Thank you for sharing your life and your kitchen.

2:46 PM, October 06, 2007  
Blogger Kate Hill said...

BRAVA Lucy! Lovely, lovely and I am so proud of you! Your description of what a cassoulet tastes like is just what it tastes like. Having conquered the fear, you soared! I have three pots of beans cooking on this rainy Gascon day... stay tuned. Love these small worlds/Long Village connections.

5:10 PM, October 06, 2007  
Anonymous Valerie Fisk said...

Hello. I have come across your very interesting blog after ggogling 'Kate Ratliffe' of 'A Culinary Journery' fame. Reading this entry it seems you may know her or does she have a blog too? If so please let me know how I may reach her. I have a canalside restaurant - see I look forward to hearing from you. All the best, Valerie Fisk -

4:48 AM, February 06, 2010  

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