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Cassoulet

Cassoulet from Karista's Kitchen // A slow cooked French stew

Classic Cassoulet is a hearty slow-cooked dish originating in the south of France.  It’s often referred to as the “unofficial” national dish of France.

Traditionally, cassoulet includes what my Grandmother would refer to as “everything except the kitchen sink”.  Meaning that almost any meat, poultry, skin, gizzards, beans and whatever was available went into this succulent dish.

I’ve had a few truly authentic and amazing cassoulet’s in the past. All filled with decadent duck confit, pork skin, pork belly, mutton, sausages, fava beans and white beans. A meal so rich and lush, it’s everything you’d expect from a slow cooked French dish.

My cassoulet however is slightly less time-consuming, and not to worry, it doesn’t contain duck confit, mutton or pork belly. Although those ingredients are delicious in a cassoulet, I wanted to create this recipe to be simple, yet flavorful.

I also wanted this slow cooked stew to reflect the bounty of the Willamette Valley here in Oregon.  We’re so lucky to have an abundance of small farms and ranches nearby that raise grass-fed and pastured pigs, cattle and chickens. Not to mention all the gorgeous produce and fresh herbs.

I’ve included locally raised meat and poultry (chicken thighs, pork shoulder, sausages), white beans and lots of fresh herbs and aromatics.  You could also substitute with beef chuck roast, lamb or pork belly – and any type of sausages that you love.

This meal is perfect a la carte with a glass of French Burgundy or a Oregon Pinot Noir. It’s also quite lovely paired with a Salad Lyonnaise or Ratatouille, which I’ll get around to posting soon.

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

Karista

Cassoulet

Serving Size: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 4-6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch or all-purpose flour
  • 2lbs boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-2 inch cubes
  • 2-3 pork or beef sausages (I used my favorite German pork sausages)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 2 3-inch sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of dried herbs de Provence
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 2-4 cups chicken broth, enough to just cover the meat
  • 2-3 15ounce cans white beans, drained (cannellini beans work best)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped Italian parsley

Instructions

  • In a Dutch oven or heavy bottom pot, heat about 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and then add them to the pot and brown on both sides. Transfer to a bowl or platter.
  • Next season the pork cubes with salt and pepper and then toss with the tablespoon of corn starch or flour. Add two more tablespoons of oil to the pot and brown the pork. You may need to brown the pork in batches, otherwise the pork won’t brown if the pot is over crowded. When the pork is browned, transfer to the bowl or platter with the chicken.
  • Next brown the sausages, adding additional oil if needed. Once the sausages are brown, transfer them to the bowl or platter with the chicken and pork.
  • Add another tablespoon of oil to the pot and then stir in the onions. Saute the onions until wilted and fragrant and then add the garlic and cook for one minute longer.
  • Stir in the ½ cup of white wine, scraping up all the brown bits at the bottom. Add the fresh thyme sprigs and dried herbs. Place the chicken thighs, pork cubes and sausages back into the pot and then add the chicken broth. Enough to cover the meat.
  • Turn the heat down to a simmer and cover with a lid. Let the meat simmer in the broth and veggies for about 30-45 minutes, or until the pork is tender.
  • Remove the lid and then stir in the beans and season to taste with salt and pepper. The longer this stew sits the more flavor it will develop. I like to make this the day before I’m serving it, however, if I make it the same day I’m going to serve it, I’ll make it several hours prior and then let it sit for about 30 minutes on the stove top before serving. If you feel the flavors need a little boost, sometimes a teaspoon of white wine vinegar will bring all the flavors together.
  • Serve in bowls with a drizzle of olive oil and fresh chopped Italian parsley and a basket of crusty French bread.
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    Duck Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Pork

    Allspice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with an Asian Cherry Glaze and Chianti at Home

    Allspiced Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with an Asian Cherry Glaze over Coconut Rice

    By choosing to click and read this blog post, you confirm you are of legal drinking age in the country where this site is accessed.

    The mornings are felt with a slightly cool breeze from the west, drifting from the ocean that lies just beyond the small range of mountains.  As I sit on my back porch with my morning coffee in hand, I hear the sound of a train in the distance and my choir of bull frogs are beginning the morning hush after an evening of choir practice.

    My songbirds are chiming though, making it known the competition is on.  Their melodies much sweeter to the human ears.  I won’t tell my bull frog choir however.  They seem to delight in their nightly choir practice.

    Where the songbirds sing in my backyard // Karista's Kitchen

    And so now, as I sit on my back porch watching the warm sun rise from the east, sipping my coffee that I actually took the time to make via my French press (the one I so joyfully discovered at the bottom of a box yesterday).. this is home.

    They say, home is where you hang your hat.  Or at least that’s what I’ve always heard.  At the moment however, no hats have been hung in my house.  Most likely because we can’t find the box of hats.

    Allspice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Asian Cherry Glaze // Karista's Kitchen

    We have however,  found the dishes, the cutlery, the pots and pans along with all the essentials for a well stocked kitchen.  Including our wine glasses. Definitely essential items for a well stocked kitchen.

    Along with our stash of kitchen items, I found the box filled with my very carefully wrapped selection of wine; including my favorite Chianti.

    Allspice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with an Asian Cherry Glaze and Coconut Rice

    Although I pair DaVinci Chianti at home with our hearty winter dishes of pasta and slow cooked meats, I also adore DaVinci Chianti served with spring and summer dishes of grilled chicken, salmon and Ahi Tuna Tacos.

    Recently, I served our favorite chianti with an Allspice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin topped with an Asian Cherry Glaze.  Simple to prepare, yet it feels slightly indulgent with the subtle flavors of Asian cuisine.

     

    Allspice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with an Asian Cherry Glaze and Coconut Rice

    DaVinci Chianti pairs easily with the sweet, warm, earthy flavors of the Allspice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin.  Typically used in desserts, the allspice, which is a single spice, has subtle notes of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg and is often used in Jamaican savory cuisine.

    I’ve paired the Allspice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with an Asian Cherry Glaze which also uses one cup of DaVinci Chianti.  I love how easy it is to roll this tenderloin in the fragrant Allspice and either grill it outdoors during the summer months or roast it in the oven on a busy weeknight.  The glaze is easily assembled and prepared, and when served with the grilled or roasted tenderloin and coconut rice, it makes a delicious and beautiful meal for the weeknight or weekend dinner guests.

    For those who like wild game or want to prepare this dish for a special occasion, I’ve also included a version of this recipe using pan seared duck.  It makes a lovely presentation and the rich flavor of the duck is beautifully complimented by the rich fruit flavors and medium body of the Chianti.

    Pan Seared Duck Breast with an Asian Cherry Glaze and Coconut Rice // Karista's Kitchen

    Chianti at Home describes special moments in a day. Moments that bring family and friends, delicious food and great wine together.  Moments that remind me of my glorious visit to Tuscany, getting to know the beautiful people behind this gorgeous wine.

    The loveliest of individuals who take great pride in creating this enchanting Chianti.  I think of them as I sip, as I savor the lush flavors that dance on the tongue.  Flavors that mingle and play ever so nice together

    2013 DaVinci Wine Storytellers

    Almost a year has passed since traveling to Italy as a DaVinci Wine Storyteller.   It’s now time to pass the baton.  Twelve new finalists for the 2014 DaVinci Wine Storyteller Experience have now been revealed.  I’m riddled with anticipation and excitement for these fantastic twelve, talented individuals. Who will be the final four 2014 Storytellers?

    You can help select the final four Storytellers by voting for your favorite in each category: Photography, Travel, West Coast Foodie and East Coast Foodie.  Click HERE, be sure to “like” the DaVinci Wine Facebook page and then browse the list and categories and vote.

    2014 DaVinci Wine Storyteller Finalists

    2014 DaVinci Wine Storyteller Finalists

    Chianti at Home … a wine for every season, every occasion.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    All-Spice Rubbed  Pork Tenderloin with an Asian Cherry Glaze

    The tenderloin can be grilled or roasted as listed in the Directions

    Serves 4-6

    Ingredients

    For the rub:

    1 teaspoon salt

    ½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

    1 teaspoon ground all-spice

    1 large pork tenderloin or 2 small; this can also be prepared with Duck Breast. Recipe Follows.

    Olive oil

    Coconut Rice (recipe follows)

    Green onions, thinly sliced for garnish

    For the sauce:

    1 cup sour cherries

    2 tablespoons honey

    1 cup DaVinci Chianti

    ½ teaspoon cinnamon

    3 tablespoons soy sauce

    2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar

    ½ teaspoon corn starch (optional)

    Directions

    Mix together the salt, pepper and ground all-spice.  Rub the tenderloin with oil and then season with the salt, pepper, all-spice mixture.  Let the tenderloin sit for a few minutes while starting the glaze.

    Combine the sauce ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to low or medium low, and simmer for about 10 minutes until reduced.  The sauce should thicken as it cools, however, if you’d like to thicken it while it’s warm, add two tablespoons of warm glaze to a small bowl and then whisk in the ½ teaspoon of corn starch.  Once this mixture (called a slurry) is smooth, whisk it into the glaze and bring the glaze back to a boil for about one minute.  This will thicken the sauce.

    Preheat the oven or grill to 400F.   To roast the tenderloin, place it in a baking dish and then place the baking dish in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the center of the tenderloin reaches 145F.

    To grill the tenderloin, place it on the pre-heated grill, cover and cook, turning every 2-3 minutes for about 10-15 minutes, depending on size.  The tenderloin is done when the internal temperature reaches 145F.

    Let the pork tenderloin rest for few minutes before slicing.  This will allow juices to redistribute and keep the tenderloin moist and juicy.

    Place the coconut rice on a platter and then slice the tenderloin.  Place the tenderloin slices on top of the coconut rice and drizzle with the Asian Cherry Glaze.  Garnish with thinly sliced green onions.

    Serve with DaVinci Chianti!

    Pan Seared Duck Breast with Asian Cherry Glaze

    Serves 2-3

    Ingredients

    For the rub:

    1 teaspoon salt

    ½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

    1 teaspoon ground all-spice

    2 Duck Breasts, thawed if previously frozen (Often I find them in the freezer section of my meat market)

    Olive oil

    Coconut Rice (recipe follows)

    Green onions, thinly sliced for garnish

    For the sauce:

    1 cup sour cherries

    2 tablespoons honey

    1 cup DaVinci Chianti

    ½ teaspoon cinnamon

    3 tablespoons soy sauce

    2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar

    ½ teaspoon corn starch (optional)

    Directions

    Mix together the salt, pepper and ground all-spice.  Rub the Duck Breasts with the seasoning. On a cutting board lined with parchment or plastic wrap, place the duck breast one at a time on top of the parchment or plastic and then place another piece of parchment or plastic on the duck breast.  Pound the duck breast with a meat mallet or a rolling pin until it’s a bit thinner and will cook a bit faster.  If you like, score the duck breast skin in a crisscross pattern.  Do not remove the skin.  The skin has delicious flavor and gets crispy when pan seared.

    Combine the sauce ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to low or medium low, and simmer for about 10 minutes until reduced.  The sauce should thicken as it cools, however, if you’d like to thicken it while it’s warm, add two tablespoons of warm glaze to a small bowl and then whisk in the ½ teaspoon of corn starch.  Once this mixture (called a slurry) is smooth, whisk it into the glaze and bring the glaze back to a boil for about one minute.  This will thicken the sauce.

    To prepare the duck pre-heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add a dash of olive oil.  Once the skillet is hot, place the duck breasts skin side down and brown, about 5 minutes.  Once the skin is nice and deep golden brown, flip the duck breasts to the other side and cook another 5 minutes.  I like my duck breasts medium rare, a little pink in the center.  Cook another 2-3 minutes if you prefer it cooked through.

    Once the duck is done, transfer it to a carving board and let it rest for a few minutes.  Place the coconut rice on a platter and then slice the duck.  Place the duck breast slices on top of the coconut rice and drizzle with the Asian Cherry Glaze.  Garnish with thinly sliced green onions.

    Serve with DaVinci Chianti!

    Coconut Rice

    This recipe is easily doubled

    Ingredients

    1 cup coconut milk

    ½ cup water

    ¾ cup basmati rice

    ¼ t salt

    Directions

    Combine coconut milk, rice, water, sugar and salt in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil over high heat, stir once, then cover and cook for 15-18 minutes, or until the rice is tender.  Fluff with a fork, cover, and keep warm.

     

    Recipe by Chef Karista Bennett