Cassoulet (Very easy)

Cassoulet is one of those things with a huge mystique, and it doesn’t need to have at all, it’s easy.It takes forever, and I’m unlikely to make it for you if you’re visiting because I don’t usually want to be indoors all day when I have visitors, but it’s very easy if I am going to be indoors all day on a cold day.

For three, or four with a side dish. This was plenty for three and just about enough left for me for breakfast.

24 hours before dinner, put half a pound of haricot beans to soak, in about double their volume of water.

Seven hours before dinner, pre-heat the oven to 180/350/5 drain the beans and put them into a big casserole dish with a lid. Add in a duck leg confit, a raw chicken leg and six strips of belly pork, or thick-cut fatty bacon, and push down into the beans. Add a chopped onion, a quartered turnip, two chopped carrots, and a tablespoonful of chopped garlic. Add two and a half pints of water, a tablespoon of salted herbs (herbs salee) some thyme, and some black pepper, or two and a half pints of chicken or vegetable stock. The recipe said at least an inch of water over the beans. Cover the dish and put it in the oven.

Five hours before dinner, turn the oven down to 150/280?/4, and stir the contents of the casserole dish with a wooden spoon.

Three hours before dinner, remove the lid, and stir again.

Every half hour thereafter, stir, breaking up the skin that has formed on top, and mixing the ingredients.

(For 17h30, this means:10.30: oven on 180, things into dish, into oven.

12.30; stir, oven to 150.

14.30: stir, remove lid.

Then every half hour stir.)

Don’t worry about the bones. Long before dinnertime, the meat will be falling off them when you touch it with the wooden spoon, and it’ll be fairly easy to avoid them when serving.