Le Tour 2006 - A Virtual Cultural Trip

Walter Hinteler
Reply Thu 13 Jul, 2006 09:47 am
Luchon, another nice spa town

http://www.sooaf.com/images/etiquettes/luchon.jpg http://www.sooaf.com/images/etiquettes/luchon2.jpg
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Thu 13 Jul, 2006 09:47 am

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Walter Hinteler
Reply Thu 13 Jul, 2006 09:50 am
Monsegur is famous as the last stronghold of the Cathars after the Crusade against them inspired by the Pope and the King of France. It is also the location of the Holy Grail according to early versions of the Grail legend.


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Walter Hinteler
Reply Thu 13 Jul, 2006 09:57 am
On the Canal du Midi in Carcassonne


Bastide St. Louis in Carcassonne

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Walter Hinteler
Reply Thu 13 Jul, 2006 10:05 am


The origin of cassoulet is a little obscure. Some say it is an Arab dish, others says it was created in Castelnaudary in the 14th and 15th centuries during the Hundred Years' war. But whatever its origin, it's one of the most delicious and satisfying of all French provincial dishes. It is a slow simmered casserole made primarily of white (haricot) beans plus meat but NEVER chicken or fish.

The three famous recipes are Cassoulet de Castelnaudary which is made with pork as the main meat, Cassoulet de Toulouse, which sometimes has the addition of lamb and always Toulouse sausages and Cassoulet de Carcassonne which sometimes has the addition of partridge during the season. Goose or Duck Confit is also often used in the preparation of this dish.


800g/28oz Dried White Haricot Beans, pre-soaked overnight and drained

2 tbsp Goose Fat

1kg/2.2lb Belly of ( Pork with rind)

225g/8oz Tomatoes, chopped

200g/7oz Carrots, sliced

2 Onions, each studded with 6 whole Cloves

1 Bouquet Garni

4 Garlic Cloves, halved

Salt and Black Pepper

4 pieces Preserved Duck or Goose (Confit)

675g/1-1/2lb Toulouse Sausages


1. Place the beans in a large saucepan, cover with fresh cold water, bring to the boil and cook for 5 minutes. Drain well and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, heat the goose fat or lard in a large flameproof casserole, add the pork which has been cut into cubes and brown on all sides.

3. Add the carrots and tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes, stirring.

4. Add the drained beans, bouquet garni, garlic, salt, pepper, onions and reserved pork rind which has been cut into strips. Cover with cold water, bring to the boil then reduce the heat, cover and cook over a low heat for about 1-1/2 hours.

5. Preheat the oven to 170C, 325F, Gas Mark 3 and brown the sausages in a little fat.

6. Add the duck or goose confit and the browned sausages to the casserole, pushing them down into the beans, then transfer the casserole to the oven and cook for a further 2 hours, uncovered, pushing the brown crust which will form back down into the beans with a wooden spoon several times during the cooking period (traditionally six times). Serve hot making sure each diner gets a piece of all the meats. A meal in itself.

This dish can be prepared well in advance and reheated or frozen for future use.
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