A perfect winter dish
Long, dark winter months are the time for long-simmering stews. These hearty dishes are quintessential comfort food and help bolster us for cold weather. One of my favorites is French cassoulet – a dish from Southwestern France. A basic cassoulet includes white beans, some pork and/or sausage, and goose fat. The concoction is traditionally cooked in a rustic earthenware dish. Each family and each restaurant has its own special variation on cassoulet, which can include poultry, mutton or duck. The cassoulets at some establishments are reputed to have been simmering for many years, with the chef simply replenishing the ingredients as the dish is consumed by patrons. It’s certainly true that the longer cassoulet cooks, the more the flavors meld . . . but you should start a new pot once in a while.