COUNTING ON CASSOULET

Have you ever made a proper pot of cassoulet from scratch? It sounds deceptively simple — it’s just a pot of beans and pork, right? — but the truth is that it’s a long, drawn-out, painstaking process that involves days of work and quite a lot of money. And the reward doesn’t always seem like enough, because, well, it’s still a pot of beans and pork. But it’s still one of my favorite dishes of all time.

We were recently at the Jean Talon market, and while at one of our favorite meat purveyors we noticed a small pack of goose confit tucked into a corner of the glass case. We snatched it up, and I knew that we had to make cassoulet. To be honest, our iteration wasn’t perfectly authentic — we didn’t confit the fowl ourselves, after all — but I loved it all the same. We bought the rest of the ingredients — pounds of dried cannellini beans, bacon, duck fat, Toulouse sausage — and got right to work.

And once it’s finished, a pot of cassoulet is truly the gift that keeps on giving. The flavors really peaked around the third day, but we enjoyed the leftovers all week long — I’d eat it with eggs in the morning, with lemony kale for lunch, and with extra sausage at dinner. And while it was delicious, by the sixth day I was happy to see it go.

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