Cassoulet is French comfort food hailing from Southwestern France. It allows you, actually requires you, to take your time. This is something you can cook over a couple of days or even a few days.
It is a casserole of white beans slow-cooked with several kinds of meats. You can soak the beans on one day and assemble the dish over the next couple of days, maybe cooking the beans on the second day and baking the cassoulet on the third day.
This recipe is pretty straightforward. Feel free to add preserved goose, mutton, lamb, pork ribs, or salt pork. They would all be welcome in a vrai cassoulet. I enjoy this with a glass of our Chardonnay.
Note: Both Julia Child and Melissa Clark, cookbook author and contributor to New York Times add tomato paste or purée to cassoulet. Rebekah Peppler, cookbook author, contributor to New York Times, and resident of Paris says a true cassoulet does not have tomatoes. Take your pick, I’ll call it optional.
Sidenote: If you opt to use Pancetta in the ingredients below, you can see my recipe here.