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Posts tagged ‘cassoulet’

What is Duck Leg Confit?

What is confit? Very simply, it is a French word meaning “preserved.” More specifically, it is a pre-refrigeration strategy for meat preservation. In this case, we are talking about duck leg; meaty, delicious, and cooked in duck fat and aromatics for hours. This makes it tender and helps to preserve the meat.

Traditionally, duck leg confit would be stored in jars of duck fat, with a layer of pork fat on top for good measure. These pots of confit would make it through winter in a cool basement or root cellar. Today it is kept in vacuum-sealed bags in the refrigerator, but the flavor is just as satisfying.Duck Leg Confit - Plated

In the early days of D’Artagnan duck was the first product we sold. In our “everything but the quack” philosophy, we put each part to good use. Along with foie gras and duck breast, the moulard duck provides hefty legs that lend themselves to confit… and plenty of duck fat for cooking them. And so we started making vats of duck confit!

Technically speaking, duck confit falls in the broad and glorious category that is charcuterie. All smoked, cured, and cooked meats belong there; your favorites like bacon, ham, salami, prosciutto are all charcuterie. Read more

Ariane on Vin Village Radio

 

Ariane was interviewed VVRadioLogo-300pxby Rob Barnett on Vin Village recently. The show focuses on the “who’s who” in wine & food. You can find it on the wsRadio Network.

 

Listen in for an introduction to D’Artagnan with the lady herself. The first segment can be heard here. The second segment, in which Ariane talks quite a bit about cassoulet, is here.

Cassoulet in Cassole

Game Day Eats: Top 5 Mains for Super Sunday

Looking for game day menu ideas? A cold afternoon in February seems like the perfect time for warming, hearty dishes and you can score a touchdown with our game day recipes. Plus you can save 15% right now on both our Game Day and Charcuterie collections.

Top 5 Main Dishes for Super Sunday

1. Cassoulet is nothing but French chili – granted, it has a lot of incredible cured meats and the heirloom Tarbais beans. It’s what chili dreams of becoming. Essentially it’s a hearty one-pot meal that is best enjoyed with lots of red wine.

Cassoulet in Cassole

2. Korean-style buffalo steak.  You can sear the steak in a grill pan if it’s too cold to cook outside. Or you could wear a coat. Either way, this smoky and sweet steak is a winner.

easy-korean-bbq-kalbi-buffalo-steak-recipe

3. Ribs. Is there anything so wonderful? These coffee-rubbed ribs are simple to make and will please everyone at the game. Baby back ribs are best on the grill, though we have enjoyed oven-braised ribs from first bite to the last lick of the bone.

baby-back-ribs-with-coffee-bbq-sauce-recipe

4. Big juicy meatballs can be messy (watch the sauce!) but are always welcome. This recipe can be enjoyed over pasta, but is perfectly delicious on its own, with a hunk of good bread to sop up the sauce. frankies-meatballs-recipe

5. Slow-cooked wild boar shoulder. Eat it on mashed potatoes, pasta or in a sandwich. This is the beginning of something delicious, saucy and oh, so tender.

slow-cooked-pulled-wild-boar-shoulder-recipe

6. How could we resist? It’s not really a main course, but it could be if you eat enough of it. This black truffle mac and cheese recipe makes an everyday food downright elegant. So fancy up your game-viewing party with a big batch of this creamy goodness.

truffled-mac-and-cheese-recipe

Look for our next game day post on chicken wings. You know they are required feeding.

A Cassoulet Giveaway

January 9th is National Cassoulet Day, celebrated by all who are devoted to this  hearty dish of slow-cooked beans and cured meats. In honor of the occasion, we are giving away 2 cassoulet recipe kits with our friends Languedoc Wines. Because everyone knows that cassoulet and red wine were made for each other. And the only thing better than cassoulet is FREE cassoulet. So head over to the site and enter for your chance to win (there’s also a great discount on cassoulet offered when you enter).

Cassoulet in Cassole

In our kit you will find 3 pounds of Haricot Tarbais, the heirloom beans typically used for cassoulet in Southwest France. Duck leg confit, that miracle of preserved duck, features prominently in our recipe.  Two types of sausage and preserved pork belly called ventrèche are the other cured meats  in our version of this classic dish. All of this – and a little duck fat and demi-glace – will feed 12 people (more or less, depending on appetites). So get a party together and start planning for cassoulet victory!

For a bit of cassoulet inspiration watch our video of Ariane making cassoulet with Chef Pierre Landet. Anyone can make cassoulet – there’s no reason to be intimidated. Check our recipe to see how simple it is. And good luck in the giveaway.

Second Annual Cassoulet War

Last year we hosted a Cassoulet War in NYC and had a blast. So we are doing it again! Join us on September 24, 2015 at The Standard Highline Biergarten and sample 15 cassoulets from 15 different chefs.

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And if you can’t make it, join in the fun at home. Order your cassoulet kit and save 15% now through Sunday, September 20. Or get ingredients for cassoulet (also on sale) and create your own version of this iconic dish.

Be sure to post your photos on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram – and use #CassouletWar so we can all see what you made!

Cassoulet in Cassole

National Cassoulet Day … and a SALE!

We’ve always celebrated cassoulet. Sometimes in October, sometimes in January. Last year we even had a Cassoulet War in February, with chefs competing against each other for trophies!  To us, winter is cassoulet season. Or at least it’s an excuse to eat lots of cassoulet.

That’s why we are so excited about National Cassoulet Day.  This year Chase’s Calendar of Events is recognizing it as an official holiday on January 9, thanks to our friend Chef Philippe Bertineau and the team at Benoit in NYC. Check the hashtag #NationalCassouletDay on social media to follow al the action. Join D’Artagnan and over 30 restaurants in New York City as we celebrate this iconic dish together.

Cassoulet Day Chase's Calendar

For our part, we are offering 15% off our cassoulet kit this week (January 5 – 9, 2015).  Get yours soon and discover the true joys of making a cassoulet at home. It’s not as complicated as you think. If you can sear sausages in a pan, and cook beans, you are pretty well set with the necessary skills. Scan the recipe here.

HPC_CassouletSale15

Read this earlier post to earn more about the history of the cassoulet and the fierce competitiveness between the towns of Southwest France for the one true version of cassoulet. You can also listen to a cassoulet-themed song, and join in the general cassoulet mania!

Throw a cassoulet party for up to 12 friends and family with our kit that includes the ingredients you need…you can even purchase our exclusive clay bowl imported from France if you want to keep it truly authentic.

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After the cassoulet feast …

 

 

Have a Happy New Year with 15% OFF!

It’s time to plan your New Year’s Eve festivities. In our experience, the party is always better with foie gras, caviar, or cassoulet on the table. Save 15% off a selection of our favorites from filet mignon to black winter truffles, and everything in between. Because New Year’s Eve is the time for something a bit luxurious, something with je ne sais quoi.  

And don’t forget to plan a proper brunch on New Year’s Day!  Along with that hair of the dog, we find bacon quite effective (and delicious).

HPC_NewYearsEve

Gifts for Foodies

When it comes to gifts, is there anything better than food? Not for those of us who are obsessed with all things culinary! Is there someone like that on your list? We’ve got you covered.

From gift baskets and foie gras to our signature cassoulet kit, there is something for everyone at dartagnan.com.

gifts

 

Pardon My Foie Gras: Between the Covers

Pardon My Foie Gras was written by the prolific cookbook author Ruth Chier Rosen, and published in 1956. You can see her astounding collection of vintage cookbooks that span decades and cuisines at her blog Food of the Fifties. She even has an app!

Though a far cry from the comprehensive volumes Julia Child penned on French cooking, this little book offers a view into 1950s America and its attitude toward French food. Child’s book Mastering the Art of French Cooking would not appear until 1961, and we all know what happened after that!

Ruth Chier Rosen wrote an entire series of these little cookbooks. Ours measures only 4 x 5 inches, and is spiral bound with plenty of lovely vintage flourishes. Clever titles with puns are common in her oeuvre. The recipes are short, direct and easy to follow.

As you might expect, we have the foie gras themed volume.  It’s all about the “choice cuisine of France,” and we want to share a few of the pages with you here.

PMFG Front Cover & Box

The spiral bound book and a clever box to protect it.

PMFG Frontispiece

Inside the front cover, a very intense Frenchman.

As you can see, Ruth was introducing the concept that eating in the French manner involved caring. There is no place for indifference in cooking or dining.

We like Ruth’s message, and it still resonates: French food need not be intimidating. Do things simply, do them well.

In the French Manner

And here is a selection of several pages and recipes worth noting.

Soups & Sauces

We begin in the beginning. Soups & sauces.

French onion soup is a classic that borders on kitsch at this point. But made at home, with your own stock, it is something wonderful. This recipe may be a bit reductionist. It does not make clear that you must really, truly brown those onions.

The other is for chestnut soup – we love French chestnuts (and we offer them). They are perfect to pair with game and poultry; this sauté with fennel is a favorite of Ariane’s at the holidays.

PMFG onion soup chestnut soup

Two soups you might like to try.

A chapter we cannot skip: the meat and vegetables. It’s nice to see such variety – tripe, veal, lamb, sweetbreads, liver – perhaps easier to find in 1956 America than we might have expected.

Meat & Veg

Let’s get to the meat, shall we?

 

Bouef Bourg

Before Julia made it a household name: Boeuf Bourguignon

paupiettes

Paupiettes de veau

You can see Ariane’s recipe for Paupiettes de Veau, and a video in which she demonstrates the preparation. The translation is “Veal Birds,” because they are also known as oiseaux sans tête, or birds without heads. 

poultry and game

Here’s where it gets interesting.

There are plenty of recipes for chicken, and what French cookbook would be complete without a good roasted chicken recipe? It is the cornerstone of a balanced diet.

Chicken Roti

The photos are all black and white, but the charming illustrations make up for it.

We cannot resist the guinea hen – or pintade, in French. In this recipe, we wonder what happens to the rest of the hen. Naturally, every scrap should be eaten and the bones cooked down for stock. Guinea hen legs are not to be missed.

Pintade

Guinea hen is commonly eaten in France.

We were intrigued by the cassoulet recipe. But this Toulouse cassoulet seems to be missing something – could it be duck? Our version is Gascon all the way, so we are biased, bien sur. And while the simplified translation of “baked beans” is accurate, it leaves out some of the caché of cassoulet. The recipe does not involve any baking in the oven, which is the stage that makes cassoulet all crunchy on the outside.

Toulouse Cassoulet

But where’s the duck?

We were excited to see the offering from the region of Gascony. And this one involved torching a duck, so that’s fun.

cassoulet de canard

There are desserts and dishes with eggs… and some handy information about wine. We just couldn’t resist this chart of vintages from 1927-1955.

vintage chart

And if you are going to drink, please be responsible and use the correct glass.

wine glasses

Make mine crystal, please.

Wine Dinner Menu

Ruth lays out a few menus using her recipes and pairing with wine.

However, there is no foie gras in Pardon My Foie Gras. The closest thing is the pâté in the Tournedos Rossini- we know that’s supposed to be foie gras. In 1956 the only foie gras in the United States was canned pâté de foie gras. And some people still think the word “pâté” is synonymous with foie gras.

As you may now, it wasn’t until Ariane started D’Artagnan in 1985 that any fresh foie gras was available in the U.S. at all. Today we sell a variety of preparations, as well as whole livers and foie gras slices.  So here’s our version of Tournedos Rossini, with a slice of fresh, seared foie gras on top.

Tournedos Rossini

truffle man

On the inside back cover, a happy truffle hunter.

Please meet Mrs. Rosen.

ruth bio

Our little volume came with a card promoting the other titles penned by Ruth and published by her husband Richard Rosen.

Also by Ruth

Look at the last title – there was urban farming in the 1950s! Sure, it’s being reinvented today on rooftops and in vacant lots in cities across America, but here it is in 1956. Ahead of her time?

More by Ruth 2

Intrigued by the first one…

If you come across any of these little books, be sure to scoop them up. They offer a charming view of cooking in the 1950s, and would make unique gifts for those friends who are cookbook collectors.

 

Gift Guide for the Food Lover

DArtagnan 2013_612There is likely someone you know who is completely obsessed with food. You don’t know how they can talk about food for so long and in such detail. But they do.

We exist for these folks. Variously called “foodies” (a term many dislike) or “foodists” (sounds a little more serious), these are our people. If you’ve got one of these fine folks on your Christmas list and have no idea what to give them … we’re here to help.

Our gift baskets come in three sizes and are each filled with a sampling of our favorite charcuterie. Not to mention truffle butter. These are designed with the gourmand in mind. You can order one here.

Why not go for something luxurious? Say, a lobe or terrine of foie gras, a tin of caviar, or a piece of premium meat, like our Wagyu beef. Something not on the weeknight dinner menu. Something memorable.

We like the cassoulet kit as a gift for a devoted cook, because it’s a cooking project and a legendary dish (Julia Child raved about it). It involves many steps and ingredients, so it’s an experience as well as a meal. And if you get the kit with the clay bowl, your gift recipient will have an unique addition to the kitchen arsenal. Just make sure you get invited over for the cassoulet feast.
Christmas Gifts Graphic

Our new Reserve Jean Reno Olive Oil would make a fantastic gift for a film and food fan. The actor Jean Reno grows the olives, works with the mill, and has personally selected the three varieties of oils that bear his name. They are not perishable, so are easy to wrap and bring to the party. Purchase a single bottle, or a set of all three varieties. These are new to the market, and exclusive to D’Artagnan. So there is a chance your foodie has not yet heard of them!

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We’ve also got samplers of products that will make you look like a food hero. Sausage collections, duck combo packs, piles of steaks, a bacon sampler, and more are available on our website. There’s always the most tasteful gift of all–the gift certificate.

And should you have any questions, we have a team of hardcore food fanatics in our customer service department. Give them a call.