I'm always veganizing recipes that I love...so...I'm working my way
through all of the amazing recipes in Julia Child's
Mastering the Art of French Cooking...
...making a Vegan Version of each one...... sometimes successfully - sometimes not...Recipe Count 294/524 (from Julie's count)...but really 659

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Vegan Cassoulet

[VEGAN FRENCH BAKED BEANS]

...Julia spends a lot of space telling us about Cassoulets...and likens them to Boston Baked Beans...and says that the recipes are subject to endless dispute...

...and she says..."that the concoction of a good cassoulet is a fairly long process...you can prepare it in one day...but two or even three days of leisurely on-and-off cooking are much easier..."

...so here goes...and 3 days later...you'll have your dinner...haha...
...start with some 'dry white beans'...Julia gives several French varieties...but we of course went with American Great Northerns...as that's what we have available here...
...drop the beans in rapidly boiling water...
...she puts in a humongous half pound of pork fat...so I used some unsalted cold pressed coconut oil to replace the fat...
...so you simmer the beans and fat for an hour and a half...skimming when necessary...
...and you want the fat to 'lose itself' in the beans...
...Julia says to use the recipe for pork loin on page 380...that's the VEGAN RÔTI DE PORC POÊLÉ...but I used my little vegan pork nuggets from the Asian store instead...
...and put that in the pot with the beans and fat...
...and an herb bouquet garni...which I, of course, put in my tea ball...
...and simmered for an hour and a half...
...then you make the roast lamb...
...so I used my lamb seitan recipe from VEGAN GIGOT EN CHEVREUIL...
...cut into chunks and browned...
...and then you make sausage cakes...which Julia says is a substitute for Saucisse de Toulouse...
...I basically used a recipe that I've used before...Bryanna's Breakfast Sausage...but I used Julia's spices...allspice, bay leaf, cognac, garlic, and truffle...an interesting mixture...
...shaped into patties and baked as usual...
...and then browned...
...and finally...we come to what Julia calls 'the final assembly'...
...basically...you just layer all of your ingredients...beans...vegan meat...beans...vegan meat...
...beans...vegan meat...beans...vegan meat...etc...it's a lot of food...
...the top layer of vegan meat should be the homemade sausage patties...
...and the final layer is beans...Julia says you can refrigerate at this point and then for the final cooking bake for an hour...
...as the cassoulet bakes...a crust will form on top...
...Julia says to break through this crust and spoon the liquid back on top...
...you do this several times...
...but in the end...she says the final crust should be left intact...
...and broken through as you serve...
...I love beans almost any way you can make them...and this is no exception...
...this time-consuming recipe (which Julia describes as an 'Order of Battle')was definitely worth the trouble...this was a delicious, rich and heart meal...

Substitutions:
Coconut Oil for the Pork Fat
Vegan lamb
Vegan Sausage
Vegan Pork

Recipe here: Mastering the Art of French Cooking
pp. 399 - 404

2 comments:

  1. that was certainly a lot of trouble!!! looks yummy and rather "fall-ish"!! love, k

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  2. I just adore cassoulet but can rarely be faffed! There are loads of recipes and I like the one with breadcrumbs on the top to form the crust.

    The French take it very seriously but from what I've seen they mostly buy it in tins!

    http://www.confrerieducassoulet.com/comite-d-organisation.html

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