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 25th, 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.  

69 Comments

  • pumpkinspice  on  2/10/2019 at 7:15 PM

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

  • Roxy12  on  2/10/2019 at 7:18 PM

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

  • cowlady  on  2/10/2019 at 7:18 PM

    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  2/10/2019 at 7:23 PM

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

  • rlmolnar  on  2/10/2019 at 7:27 PM

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

  • Shelley.b  on  2/10/2019 at 7:28 PM

    French style green lentils. Le creuset color fig

  • kaenkay  on  2/10/2019 at 7:34 PM

    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  2/10/2019 at 7:51 PM

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

  • dellacparker  on  2/10/2019 at 7:57 PM

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

  • lauriesk  on  2/10/2019 at 7:59 PM

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

  • meatn3  on  2/10/2019 at 8:01 PM

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

  • southerncooker  on  2/10/2019 at 8:10 PM

    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  2/10/2019 at 8:22 PM

    Yellow Indian Woman Bean; sea salt

  • jmay42066  on  2/10/2019 at 8:36 PM

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

  • MeganGarcia  on  2/10/2019 at 8:46 PM

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

  • Lesliehauser  on  2/10/2019 at 8:50 PM

    Black lentils and cassoulet beans and coastal blue

  • demomcook  on  2/10/2019 at 8:53 PM

    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  2/10/2019 at 9:22 PM

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

  • AsTheNight  on  2/10/2019 at 9:26 PM

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

  • kgmom  on  2/10/2019 at 9:26 PM

    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  2/10/2019 at 9:27 PM

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

  • Kris125  on  2/10/2019 at 10:33 PM

    Royal corona beans and fig Le Creuset

  • riley  on  2/11/2019 at 12:01 AM

    Christmas Lime Beans in Fig colored Le Creuset.

  • DJM  on  2/11/2019 at 1:39 AM

    Marcella beans for making winter minestrone

  • JRumi  on  2/11/2019 at 6:37 AM

    Pinto beans and the Le Creuset color sea salt

  • vickster  on  2/11/2019 at 7:22 AM

    Marcella Bean and Le Creuset color fig

  • Puguppy  on  2/11/2019 at 7:40 AM

    Eye of the goat beans Coastal blue color Le Creuset

  • Alek  on  2/11/2019 at 8:56 AM

    Royal Corona beans and fig Le Creuset!

  • dbielick  on  2/11/2019 at 9:21 AM

    Ayocote Negro beans and sea salt Le Creuset

  • emfdvm  on  2/11/2019 at 10:13 AM

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

  • kmn4  on  2/11/2019 at 10:23 AM

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

  • ravensfan  on  2/11/2019 at 10:37 AM

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

  • MiMi60  on  2/11/2019 at 10:43 AM

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

  • sipa  on  2/11/2019 at 11:20 AM

    Any of the blue Le Creuset and Marcella beans.

  • lean1  on  2/11/2019 at 12:56 PM

    Midnight Black beans and Coastal Blue are my picks

  • sarahawker  on  2/11/2019 at 12:58 PM

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

  • AlisonL  on  2/11/2019 at 1:31 PM

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

  • aminning  on  2/11/2019 at 1:45 PM

    Cassoulet beans in a Fig Le Creuset pot

  • musicalthought  on  2/11/2019 at 2:10 PM

    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  2/11/2019 at 3:10 PM

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

  • stephlinde  on  2/11/2019 at 3:28 PM

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

  • Blackeyedsusans  on  2/11/2019 at 3:31 PM

    Coastal Blue and Yellow-eye beans

  • IndieVet  on  2/11/2019 at 3:57 PM

    Sea Salt. Heirloom Beans.

  • PQPantry  on  2/11/2019 at 7:18 PM

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

  • PQPantry  on  2/11/2019 at 7:28 PM

    Sea Salt would look lovely framing RG Ayucote Negro beans

  • Zephyrness  on  2/11/2019 at 10:25 PM

    coastal blue, and black caviar lentils, pretty please

  • JJWong  on  2/11/2019 at 10:54 PM

    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  2/12/2019 at 12:52 AM

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

  • jupflute  on  2/12/2019 at 8:25 AM

    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  2/12/2019 at 10:08 AM

    Marcella Beans

  • ktwalla  on  2/12/2019 at 10:09 AM

    Sea Salt from Le Creuset

  • lpatterson412  on  2/12/2019 at 11:30 AM

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

  • NaomiH  on  2/12/2019 at 12:05 PM

    I love the Fig from Le Creuset

  • NaomiH  on  2/12/2019 at 12:06 PM

    I would really like to try the Yellow Indian Woman Beans

  • smartie101  on  2/12/2019 at 3:00 PM

    I would try the Marcella Beans

  • smartie101  on  2/12/2019 at 3:01 PM

    I like the Sea Salt color best!

  • Ledlund  on  2/12/2019 at 4:05 PM

    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  2/12/2019 at 8:46 PM

    cranberry beans and coastal blue

  • NancyLynn  on  2/13/2019 at 2:32 AM

    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  2/13/2019 at 2:16 PM

    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  2/13/2019 at 6:47 PM

    The french green lentils and the fig color!

  • awesomepossum  on  2/13/2019 at 10:43 PM

    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  2/13/2019 at 11:06 PM

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

  • amylou61  on  2/14/2019 at 9:34 AM

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

  • Skamper  on  2/14/2019 at 9:38 AM

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

  • Nancith  on  2/14/2019 at 6:24 PM

    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  2/15/2019 at 1:32 PM

    Yellow Indian Woman Bean Sea salt color

  • Dannausc  on  2/15/2019 at 6:56 PM

    Eye of the goat bean and coastal blue

  • LaurenE  on  2/16/2019 at 8:11 PM

    Black Caviar Lentils, coastal blue colorway

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