Cassoulet is France plats à partager (dish to share) and it is this wonderful spirit of sharing that Cellarmaster Edmund Terblanche experienced when, as a young and hungry winemaker in France, a Frenchman shared a plate of Cassoulet with him. Since that experience he has been trying his own hand at making Cassoulet using local ingredients - he has even used guinea fowl in stead of duck!
Edmund's Winelands Cassoulet
750 g white haricot beans
225 g bacon cut into 2 cm pieces
1 kg lamb rib cut into 3 cm cubes
225 g boerewors (sausage) cut into 5 cm pieces
2 duck breasts
1 bay leave
45 ml olive oil
2 medium onions
5 cloves of garlic
30 g tomato puree
5 g sugar
375 ml red wine
Salt and pepper
500 ml vegetable stock
Wash the beans and soak overnight in water.
Drain and using fresh water simmer with the bay leave for one hour.
Spoon beans, sausage and bacon into a generous oven casserole.
Heat oven to 200 ֯ C.
Cover lamb cubes in the flavoured flour.
Heat oil in a pan and caramelise lamb cubes.
Add lamb to casserole.
Brown the duck breasts in the same oil and add to casserole.
Fry onion and garlic in the same oil. Add tomato puree, sugar, herbs, wine, salt and pepper and simmer.
Add to the casserole with the vegetable stock.
Put the casserole in the oven for 20 minutes without the lid. Stir once in a while.
Put the lid on, change temperature to 180 degrees Celsius and cook for 2 and a half hours until beans and lamb are soft. Stir once in a while. When dry, add a touch of water.
When cooked, serve immediately, or…. remember that cassoulet's real magic happens when the flavours are left to mingle longer. If you have time, let it cool, keep in the refrigerator overnight and warm the next day.
Serve with the 2017 La Motte Syrah.
(Cellarmaster Edmund has adapted his recipe from Cassoulet van ons Kontrei, but can't remember the publication and say thank you for the inspiration and sorry for not being able to do a proper credit.)