D is for Dinner: French comfort food
On these cold winter days, we all have go-to comfort food, whether it be mom's meatloaf or a steaming pot of homemade chicken noodle soup.
On today's D is for Dinner, we have some recipes with a fresh twist on those foods we love. Chef Andree Riffou teaches at C'est Bon Cooking School. She's teaching courses this month on French comfort food, and she joined us to share some of the menu.
Chef Riffou's traditional white bean stew (cassoulet)
1 ½ pound (700 g) dry white beans (soaked overnight)
1 onion studded with 1 or 2 cloves
2 garlic cloves
1 bouquet garni
10 oz (300 g) salted slab bacon with rind
2 ½ oz (80 g) duck fat
10 oz (300g) tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
2 finely chopped onions
1 sprig thyme
1 lb (450g) cubed lamb shoulder
1 chopped onion
6 chopped garlic cloves
50 g duck fat
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp toasted flour
1 bouquet garni
2 / tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
2 sautéed Toulouse sausages
2 preserved (confit) duck legs
8 slices smoked garlic sausage
Soak beans overnight
Cover beans with water, add carrots, clove-studded onion, bouquet garni, garlic and bacon. Cover until it is boiling.
Skim off foam and cook until the beans are soft (approx. 1:30 hours)
Blanch tomatoes in boiling water for a few seconds, then place in cold water, remove skin, remove seeds and chop in small cubes.
In a sauté pan, melt the goose or duck fat, sauté the pieces of lamb, season.
Set lamb aside, degrease pan
Sweat chopped onion, garlic, peeled and seeded tomatoes. Add meat.
Sprinkle with toasted flour, stir, add tomato paste and cook.
Add water to cover, bouquet. Cover and bake, 350 F. Check for doneness after 45 minutes. Reserve.
In a sauté pan, melt the goose fat, sweat chopped onion
Add peeled and seeded tomatoes
Cover with layer of parchment paper, cook gently for 20 min.
Melt the goose fat, pierce Toulouse sausage with a fork. Sauté
Place on a rack in a roasting pan, place duck confit and Toulouse sausages in rack, roast in 400 F oven for 10 minutes. Turn. Roast another 10 minutes.
Slice garlic sausage in 3-4 mm discs
Skim fat from lamb stew, strain, place in cassoulet dish
Add lamb stew
Add drained beans with garlic
Add crushed tomatoes. Check and adjust seasoning
Add sausages and duck confit
Cover with breadcrumbs
Cover and bake in 400 F oven for at least 1:30 - 2 hours.
Serve with a Madiran wine ( Château Bouscassé or Caves Brumont)