Cassoulet, A Journey

For years, friends have been raving about Rancho Gordo (“RG”) and when I received the Desert Island bean sampler kit for the holidays (thanks Darcie), I decided to find out more about this company and their products.

Apparently, I do judge a bean by its cover and RG’s beans are colorful with fun packaging. The humble generic bean in the clear bags at the grocery store are wallflowers while RG’s beans’ dance card is full. The quality of RG’s beans are superior and to find out why – I urge you to read Steve Sando’s Rancho Gordo story on their website.

When I reached out to the company, I asked about their cookbooks first (of course) and then requested a cassoulet kit to review and one to giveaway to our members. Thus my cassoulet journey began with a single bean (or bag of beans), as I plunged myself into Kate Hill’s Cassoulet: A French Obsession.


Kate’s book is packed with history and recipes for this dish, and is recommended reading before you begin your journey. While cassoulet is a French classic, each cook imparts their own personality to the dish as I did with Kate’s recipe (which is similar to a recipe on the RG site).  Our indexed online recipes total 150 cassoulet variations alone, while our recipe library boasts 850! For those unfamiliar with the definition of this dish: “Cassoulet is a rich, slow-cooked casserole containing meat, pork skin and white beans. The dish originated in the south of France. It is named after its traditional cooking vessel, the cassole, a deep, round, earthenware pot with slanting sides.”

I prepared the cassoulet in Le Creuset, making the beans in my Le Creuset Dutch Oven in fig, one of Le Creuset’s new calming colors for spring and layering my dish in a vintage Le Creuset roasting pot. 


There is a time commitment to prepare this masterpiece of a dish, but the flavor is well worth the investment. I grew up on navy beans simmered all day with a ham bone. My mom wasn’t a great cook but she made a mean pot of beans. We’d have the beans and mashed potatoes for dinner and the next day a bean and mashed potato sandwich. Don’t knock it until you try it. 

While that bean dish is glorified due to being steeped in nostalgia, the cassoulet is life giving. Warm, rich with a deep pork flavor and a bite from the peppercorns (I used extra). My cassoulet was made with chicken and sausage. The chicken was juicy and fall apart tender, while the skin was crispy. The perfect bite for me was a spoonful of the beans with the toasted breadcrumbs moistened with the fat from the meats. I took Kate’s recipe in the book and ran with it – that is what cooking is all about. Paying homage to a classic dish but making it your own. 

Just as the cassoulet is a French classic, so is Le Creuset cookware. As mentioned above, while I used the new fig colored Dutch Oven for the beans, I layered the cassoulet in a vintage Le Creuset roasting pot. Mixing the new with the old works in cooking and in cookware. 

Valentine’s Day is coming up next week – one of Le Creuset’s spring colors would be a beautiful gift. I adore these new hues and want to redo my entire kitchen with tones of fig and sea salt. The new colors are calming, soothing and elegant all still made with the same quality Le Creuset is famous for. Someone tell my husband I want a braiser in sea salt. Thank you. 

As if you need an incentive to buy more French cookware: if you purchase $150 worth of products from Le Creuset you will receive two adorable heart ramekins using the code LOVE.

I hope to bring you more information on Rancho Gordo’s other cookbooks, especially French Beans and will try to convince my friends at Le Creuset to bundle a giveaway for Mother’s Day.


Rancho Gordo is providing one Cassoulet Kit (which includes two pounds of their cassoulet beans and a copy of Kate Hill’s Cassoulet) to EYB Members in the US.  One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which Rancho Gordo product would you like to try and which of Le Creuset’s spring colors is your favorite?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won’t be counted. For more information on this process, please see our step-by-step help post and this forum post. Once you log in and enter your member name you will be directed to the next entry option – the blog comment. After that, there are additional options that you can complete for more entries.

Be sure to check your spam filters to receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on March 27th, 2019.





Special thanks to Le Creuset for sharing one of their new spring colors with me for review and photographs. Also thanks to Rancho Gordo for supplying me with one of their cassoulet kits.  The photos above are taken by me except the bean sampler and cassoulet kit photo which are courtesy of Rancho Gordo. The new calming colors spring line photo is courtesy of Le Creuset.  

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  • pumpkinspice  on  February 10, 2019

    Just when I thought I couldn't love Rancho Gordo or LeCreuset more. Fantastic article and your version of cassoulet looks amazing!

  • Roxy12  on  February 10, 2019

    I would love to try La Dolce Vita bean selection on a Sea Salt cassoulet.

  • cowlady  on  February 10, 2019

    I adore Rancho Gordo beans. They are so fresh and delicious. The Heirloom beans are one of my many favorites. The Le Creuset new Spring color, Fig is so different Love it!

  • Lyla  on  February 10, 2019

    Love RG, would try LILA beans. Everything is so good there. I really like the Le Crust spring color "Fig" .

  • rlmolnar  on  February 10, 2019

    Love the Sea Salt color and need to get my hands on some more Marcellas!

  • Shelley.b  on  February 10, 2019

    French style green lentils. Le creuset color fig

  • kaenkay  on  February 10, 2019

    I've always wanted to try this brand of beans especially their borlotti variety and I love fig in the new creuset spring colors.

  • stpbcyld50  on  February 10, 2019

    I love meringue and would love to try their French green lentils!

  • dellacparker  on  February 10, 2019

    Rancho Gordo Beans are the best and Fig is my favorite color!

  • lauriesk  on  February 10, 2019

    I would like to try the Black Caviar Lentils.
    My favorite Le Creuset Spring color is fig.

  • meatn3  on  February 10, 2019

    I'd love to cook a batch of Marcella beans in a Sea Salt colored Le Creuset pot!

  • southerncooker  on  February 10, 2019

    I'd like to try Rancho Gordo's Christmas Lima Beans. My cousin used to grow Christmas beans or Santa Clause Beans and we loved them. I love the new Le Creuset Fig color.

  • thecharlah  on  February 10, 2019

    Yellow Indian Woman Bean; sea salt

  • jmay42066  on  February 10, 2019

    I would love to try their French green lentils and the color fig is pretty.

  • MeganGarcia  on  February 10, 2019

    I love the sea salt and would like to try the Christmas Lima beans

  • Lesliehauser  on  February 10, 2019

    Black lentils and cassoulet beans and coastal blue

  • demomcook  on  February 10, 2019

    Cranberry beans and the entire line in sea salt. Oh – and do not forget the wonderful hand-carved wooden spoons from Rancho Gordo to stir the beans.

  • Nkrieda78  on  February 10, 2019

    I really want to try your hominy and make some posole with it. The fig colored Le Creuset is magnificent.

  • AsTheNight  on  February 10, 2019

    I'd like to try the Rio Zape Bean in a casserole I cooked in the Meringue Round Dutch Oven.

  • kgmom  on  February 10, 2019

    Need to make another go at cassoulet! Rancho Gordo has the only affordable tarbais beans! Love all their beans. Gigante are my current favorite!

  • inflytur  on  February 10, 2019

    Black caviar lentils look perfect for salads and the new Coastal Blue color is exactly the shade I’ve been hoping for.

  • Kris125  on  February 10, 2019

    Royal corona beans and fig Le Creuset

  • riley  on  February 11, 2019

    Christmas Lime Beans in Fig colored Le Creuset.

  • DJM  on  February 11, 2019

    Marcella beans for making winter minestrone

  • JRumi  on  February 11, 2019

    Pinto beans and the Le Creuset color sea salt

  • vickster  on  February 11, 2019

    Marcella Bean and Le Creuset color fig

  • Puguppy  on  February 11, 2019

    Eye of the goat beans
    Coastal blue color Le Creuset

  • Alek  on  February 11, 2019

    Royal Corona beans and fig Le Creuset!

  • dbielick  on  February 11, 2019

    Ayocote Negro beans and sea salt Le Creuset

  • emfdvm  on  February 11, 2019

    I love that Fig color for the Le Creuset, and enjoy smaller beans, like flageolet or cassoulet beans.

  • kmn4  on  February 11, 2019

    Vaquero beans (they're so CUTE!), and the Fig color is very warm and inviting.

  • ravensfan  on  February 11, 2019

    I'd like to try the Black Caviar Lentils.
    Sea salt is my favorite color.

  • MiMi60  on  February 11, 2019

    I would like the Round Dutch Oven and I would like to try the Scarlet Runner Beans.

  • sipa  on  February 11, 2019

    Any of the blue Le Creuset and Marcella beans.

  • lean1  on  February 11, 2019

    Midnight Black beans and Coastal Blue are my picks

  • sarahawker  on  February 11, 2019

    With a name like Yellow Indian Woman Bean that would have to be my choice just out of curiosity!

  • AlisonL  on  February 11, 2019

    I have not had the opportunity to try the Royal Corona beans yet and the Coastal Blue is my kind of blue!

  • aminning  on  February 11, 2019

    Cassoulet beans in a Fig Le Creuset pot

  • musicalthought  on  February 11, 2019

    Honestly, I'm just getting into beans (used to hate the texture), as a recent convert to the anti-inflammatory diet (medical necessity)… I'd love to try the La Dolce Vida Italian Bean Collection! My fiance is Italian, and I'd love to try my hand at some traditional recipes…featuring beans, instead of pasta!

    As for Le Creuset — I have several pieces in red, but I LOVE the Sea Salt color!! Soooo pretty!!

  • anna9092  on  February 11, 2019

    A hearty chili with Rancho Gordo Vaquero Bean would be so delicious in a beautiful Le Creuset Sea Salt !

  • stephlinde  on  February 11, 2019

    That Sea Salt color is beautiful, I would love to fill it with Vaquero beans!

  • Blackeyedsusans  on  February 11, 2019

    Coastal Blue and Yellow-eye beans

  • IndieVet  on  February 11, 2019

    Sea Salt. Heirloom Beans.

  • PQPantry  on  February 11, 2019

    Auyocote negro (black beans) want to use in my instant pot) and Sea salt Le Creuset

  • PQPantry  on  February 11, 2019

    Sea Salt would look lovely framing RG Ayucote Negro beans

  • Zephyrness  on  February 11, 2019

    coastal blue, and black caviar lentils, pretty please

  • JJWong  on  February 11, 2019

    I love the new colors in the collection, but I especially love the Sea Salt! I'd like to try the cranberry beans!

  • hillsboroks  on  February 12, 2019

    I would love to try the Mogette de Vendee beans and I really like the new Sea Salt color from LeCreuset.

  • jupflute  on  February 12, 2019

    I'm loving the Sea Salt color from LeCreuset, and I've been wanting to try to Royal Corona beans for awhile now.

  • ktwalla  on  February 12, 2019

    Marcella Beans

  • ktwalla  on  February 12, 2019

    Sea Salt from Le Creuset

  • lpatterson412  on  February 12, 2019

    Their cranberry beans are so pretty! I love Le Crueset in fig!

  • NaomiH  on  February 12, 2019

    I love the Fig from Le Creuset

  • NaomiH  on  February 12, 2019

    I would really like to try the Yellow Indian Woman Beans

  • smartie101  on  February 12, 2019

    I would try the Marcella Beans

  • smartie101  on  February 12, 2019

    I like the Sea Salt color best!

  • Ledlund  on  February 12, 2019

    I love all of Rancho Gordo's beans. I have yet to try the black caviar lentils and will include them in my next order – they would look fab in the Sea Salt Le Creuset!

  • Laura1  on  February 12, 2019

    cranberry beans and coastal blue

  • NancyLynn  on  February 13, 2019

    I confess, I am a Rancho Gordo bean club member, so have tried many. But, need to try their vinegars.

    I need Fig Le Creuset

  • cooknnaked  on  February 13, 2019

    I would like to try the Rancho Gordo Christmas Lima Bean and my favorite color from the new Spring collection at Le Creuset is Sea Salt.

  • edyenicole  on  February 13, 2019

    The french green lentils and the fig color!

  • awesomepossum  on  February 13, 2019

    The Yellow Indian Woman Beans sound interesting. I wish all foods had such great names. Although nothing in my kitchen is purple, I would definitely go with the fig color Le Cruset.

  • SusanMargaret  on  February 13, 2019

    I would love to try Rancho Gordo French lentils and I love all ale Creuset spring colors but probably sea salt best.

  • amylou61  on  February 14, 2019

    I'd like to try the cranberry beans from Rancho Gordo, and I love the Fig color at Le Creuset.

  • Skamper  on  February 14, 2019

    Would love to try cranberry or mayocoba beans in the sea salt Le Creuset!

  • Nancith  on  February 14, 2019

    So many beans to choose from! I've used Rancho Gordo beans in the past. Eye of the goat beans would be fun. Le Creuset in Sea Salt is my choice.

  • love2chow  on  February 15, 2019

    Yellow Indian Woman Bean

    Sea salt color

  • Dannausc  on  February 15, 2019

    Eye of the goat bean and coastal blue

  • LaurenE  on  February 16, 2019

    Black Caviar Lentils, coastal blue colorway

  • Lmocooks  on  February 17, 2019

    cranberry beans and Sea Salt for the Creuset color

  • stigard  on  February 17, 2019

    Scarlet runner bean and coastal blue

  • tennyogirl  on  February 17, 2019

    Christmas Beans and Fig Le Creuset

  • popoff  on  February 18, 2019

    Black Caviar Lentils and Coastal Blue

  • jberry  on  February 21, 2019

    Who doesn't love a Mayocoba? The Christmas Limas are stunning though. I'd lean toward the Sea Salt from the spring collection, because it would blend well with my kitchen bits and bobs. However the Fig has a euro retro feel to me, like it begs for a Cassolet or Cioppino.

  • ket06e  on  February 21, 2019

    I'd like to try cranberry beans and Fig is my favorite Le Creuset spring color!

  • Lafauvette  on  February 22, 2019

    scarlet runner beans and sea salt

  • debbiehb  on  February 23, 2019

    Cranberry Beans and Sea Salt

  • annieski  on  February 24, 2019

    Black caviar lentils and sea salt.

  • Jenamarie  on  February 24, 2019

    Vaquero Beans & while I like all the new colors, the meringue is subtly beautiful!

  • ebs  on  February 27, 2019

    Rio Zape Bean

  • chiquidu  on  February 28, 2019

    Alubia blanca and fig color Le Creuset.

  • lbguerrant  on  February 28, 2019

    Blue and a blue Le Creuset

  • josears  on  February 28, 2019

    Black cavier lentils and Fig.

  • MimiRenaud  on  February 28, 2019

    The Christmas lima would look beautiful cooked in the Fig Le Creuset!

  • infotrop  on  February 28, 2019

    Ayocote negro & I also am a fan of the earthy Fig

  • choppergirl  on  February 28, 2019

    Black cavalier lentils and Fig Le Creuset

  • ktpotat  on  February 28, 2019

    Coastal blue

  • TammyDee  on  February 28, 2019

    I'd like to try something completely new to me, like the Eye of the Goat bean. And my favorite Spring color is definitely Fig.

  • eggplantolive  on  March 1, 2019

    Yellow Eye Beans and Meringue

  • upstatemissy  on  March 1, 2019

    I love the new fig color from Le Creuset. The Stardust dipping powder from Rancho Gordo sounds wonderful, I need to try it.

  • braabpro  on  March 1, 2019

    Lila Bean and Fig.

  • percussion03  on  March 1, 2019

    Sea salt is beautiful, as are the vaquero beans!

  • curafresh  on  March 1, 2019

    Vaquero beans in a fig cassoulet!

  • t.t  on  March 2, 2019

    I'm already a huge Rancho Gordo bean fan, so what I really want is the Mixteca Bean Pot. I love the Sea salt color in the Le Creuset line.

  • Yarnia  on  March 2, 2019

    Royal corona beans. Meringue

  • LABeachGal  on  March 2, 2019

    I'd love to try the Yellow Indian Woman Beans! And the sea salt color is so pretty!

  • Carena  on  March 2, 2019

    Cassoulet beans and fig.

  • artthecat  on  March 2, 2019

    Santa Maria Pinquito bean.

  • Lkitchings  on  March 2, 2019

    sea salt color and black caviar lentils

  • virjeania  on  March 2, 2019

    Love the sea salt color and would love to try cranberry beans

  • straykattt  on  March 2, 2019

    The cranberry beans sound so scrumptious, and coastal blue sounds perfect for my move to Florida.. 😊

  • Sfgordon  on  March 4, 2019

    this is a match made in heaven. I love Rancho Gordo AND le Creuset. I would like to try scarlet runner beans, which I've heard about but never cooked with. I also love LC's meringue color and I think it would look great with my flame cookware and the classic cerise set that I hope to inherit from my mom one day.

  • thewoobdog  on  March 4, 2019

    I kind of want to try the Black Caviar lentils! I'm not a big fan of any of the Le Creuset spring colors for my kitchen (I prefer their brighter, more saturated colors), but the Sea Salt color is a lovely shade.

  • pappaslauren  on  March 6, 2019

    I want to try the cranberry beans! And the fig Le Creuset is beautiful.

  • EmilyR  on  March 11, 2019

    Ayocote Negro and the sea salt braiser is just stunning!

  • fbrunetti  on  March 15, 2019

    Yellow Indian woman beans

  • BethPrice  on  March 15, 2019

    I would love to try the black caviar lentils in a le creuset sea salt pot.

  • Wooby  on  March 15, 2019

    Absolutely love RG beans. Best beans in earth!

  • bellasf  on  March 15, 2019

    Classic Cassoulet and Sea Salt, SVP!

  • JeanRH  on  March 15, 2019

    Marcella beans (or any thing else ) from Rancho Gordo. Fig from Le Creuset.

  • nyprairiedog  on  March 15, 2019

    I'd love to try the cassoulet beans, and cook the cassoulet in coastal blue!

  • AlexH  on  March 16, 2019

    I’d love to try the classic Cassoulet (or French Green Lentils), and my new favorite Le Creuset color is fig! Love Rancho Gordo beans and highly recommend RG’s Bean Club!

  • Pamyoungvb  on  March 16, 2019

    Coastal Blue is beautiful. I would like to do the pole.

  • fathorsemama  on  March 16, 2019

    Love the Coastal Blue. Cassoulet!

  • PeavineBlues  on  March 16, 2019

    Frijoles negro cassoulet

  • Elve56  on  March 16, 2019

    From Rancho Gordo I would purchase the Christmas Lima beans. I just finished them and they are so delicious. For Le Creuset, I love the new FIG color.

  • foodslinger  on  March 16, 2019

    I'll take the Tarbais beans in Fig for $200 Alex (er, Jenny).

  • cindyschwarz  on  March 16, 2019

    I love Rancho Gordo and have been to their Napa store…bought about 6 bags of beans! I would love to try their cassoulet beans in the Coastal Blue Le Creuset pot!

  • RickPearson54  on  March 16, 2019

    marcella beans

  • lgroom  on  March 16, 2019

    French green lentils and I LOVE the fig color!

  • KarenDel  on  March 16, 2019

    I want to try their Eye of the Goat (Ojo de Cabra) Bean.

    My favorite new color is Fig

  • lpedro  on  March 16, 2019

    Cassoulet beans and fig is a gorgeous color.

  • mcrimmins  on  March 16, 2019

    Large White Lima Beans. The Sea Salt makes my heart go pitter patter.

  • Shana.  on  March 16, 2019

    Cranberry beans and fig!

  • Ozma81  on  March 16, 2019

    Christmas lima beans and costal blue

  • CAMcooks  on  March 16, 2019

    The Cassoulet Beans and I adore the Coastal Blue

  • BMeyer  on  March 16, 2019

    bean collection and the creuset

  • Ana1983  on  March 16, 2019

    I would love to try Yellow Indian Woman beans in a Fig LeCreuset. Thank you.

  • Silkijones  on  March 16, 2019

    I love the Black Caviar Lentils. Had some the other night. I think I'm in love with the Meringue for Le Creuset.

  • rltalbert  on  March 17, 2019

    Sea Salt is the perfect mix of gray and blue. The Rancho Gordo beans that I will be trying is Yellow Indian Woman beans because they both look and sound delicious!

  • Angela.Saver  on  March 17, 2019

    I would love to try the Santa Maria Pinquito Bean most of all! Sea Salt is my favorite color from the new Spring collection at Le Creuset!

  • sequoia55  on  March 18, 2019

    Ayocote Negro beans and sea salt Le Creuset

  • bbrueggen  on  March 18, 2019

    French green lentils, because I moved away from my source. And fig.

  • polite  on  March 18, 2019

    Cassoulet Beans and Sea Salt

  • tararr  on  March 18, 2019

    Cranberry Beans and Fig

  • jim.windle  on  March 19, 2019

    Black caviar lentils & Le Creuset in fig.

  • auntietina  on  March 20, 2019

    Eye of the Goat Beans (ojo de cabra)!!! And I like the meringue color from the new Le Creuset spring line.

  • amurphy010  on  March 20, 2019

    I'd like to try the Rio Zape beans that started it all for Rancho Gordo. Sea Salt is my favorite Le Creuset Spring Color. So much so that I just purchased the 5 1/2 quart dutch oven.

  • orchidlady01  on  March 23, 2019

    I would choose the Rancho Gordo Santa Maria Pinquito Beans and the Coastal Blue color from Le Creuset.

  • RSW  on  March 24, 2019

    chick peas

  • starzine  on  March 26, 2019

    I would like to try Rancho Gordo Black Caviar Lentil.
    I would like the color Coastal Blue from the new Spring collection at Le Creuset.

  • littleminxgirl  on  March 26, 2019

    I would try the Marcella Beans and I love the fig color

  • jenlhawes  on  March 27, 2019

    I’d like to try the Alubia Blanca beans and love the fig color.

  • icicle  on  March 27, 2019

    Eye of the Goat — how can you resist a name like that? And can't decide between a Sea Salt and Fig, both are lovely, but maybe… Sea Salt!

  • JenE  on  March 27, 2019

    I would love to try the Yellow Indian Woman Bean, I've not seen them in stores or even heard of them until entering this contest. The Sea Mist and Meringue colors are my favorites

  • ejsimpson  on  March 27, 2019

    I love the Creuset Sea Salt and Pinquitos are my favorite Rancho Gordo bean. But I would like to try both Cassoulet and lentils

Seen anything interesting? Let us know & we'll share it!