|Type||Stew or casserole|
|Place of origin||France|
|Main ingredients||Meat (typically pork sausages, goose, duck, sometimes mutton), pork skin, white haricot beans|
Cassoulet (//, also UK: //, US: //; French: [kasulɛ]; from Occitan caçolet [kasuˈlet] (listen) and cognates with Spanish: cazoleta and Catalan: cassolet) is a rich, slow-cooked stew containing meat (typically pork sausages, goose, duck and sometimes mutton), pork skin (couennes) and white beans (haricots blancs), originating in southern France. It is named after its traditional cooking vessel, the casserole, a deep, round, earthenware pot with slanting sides.
The dish is said to have originated in the town of Castelnaudary, and is particularly popular in the neighboring towns of Toulouse and Carcassonne. It is associated with the region once known as the province of Languedoc. An organization called The Grand Brotherhood of the Cassoulet of Castelnaudary (French: La Grande Confrérie du Cassoulet de Castelnaudary), has organized competitions and fairs featuring cassoulet every year since 1999.
All cassoulets are made with white beans (French: haricots blancs or lingots),[a] duck or goose confit, sausages, and additional meat. In the cassoulet of Toulouse, the meats are pork and mutton, the latter frequently a cold roast shoulder. The Carcassonne version is similar but doubles the portion of mutton and sometimes replaces the duck with partridge. The cassoulet of Castelnaudary uses a duck confit instead of mutton.
In France, cassoulets of varying price and quality are also sold in cans and jars in supermarkets, grocery stores, and delicatessens. The cheapest ones contain only beans, tomato sauce, sausages, and bacon. More expensive versions are likely to be cooked with goose fat and to include Toulouse sausages, lamb, goose, or duck confit.
Haute cuisine versions require mixing pre-cooked roasted meats with beans that have been simmered separately with aromatic vegetables, but this runs counter to cassoulet's peasant origins. In the process of preparing the dish it is traditional to deglaze the pot from the previous cassoulet in order to give a base for the next one. This has led to stories, such as the one given by Elizabeth David, citing Anatole France, of a single original cassoulet being extended for years or even decades.
In U.S. restaurants, the term cassoulet is often applied to any hearty bean-based casserole, with variations such as salmon cassoulet.