Carrying around the rich French tradition by which chefs and villagers compete for the best cassoulet – a rich, slow cooked, bean and meat-based casserole 23 notable chefs from across the country take their own unique spin around the iconic dish for D'Artagnan's Fourth Annual Cassoulet War. The event was held at Hotel Eventi, in advantage of Action Against Hunger. And here you can try your hand at recreating this top rated cassoulet.
After more than 300 guests enjoyed the different cassoulets, the following winners were announced:
- Best Authentic Cassoulet – Chef Alexander Burger of Bar Boulud in New York
- Best Daring Cassoulet – Chef Kiran Verma of Kiran's in Houston, TX
- Most Popular Cassoulet – Chef Guillaume Ginther of Le Coq Rico in Ny, NY
However, the real winner from the event was Action Against Hunger, because the event raised a lot more than $10,000 in support of the nonprofit organization.
“For your fourth consecutive year, the D'Artagnan Cassoulet War proudly gathered the country's top chefs and invited them to share their spin on a world-class dish,” said Ariane Daguin, CEO, owner and co-founder of D'Artagnan. “Congratulations to this year's winners – Chef Alexander Burger, Chef Kiran Verma and Chef Guillaume Ginther – and due to all the competitors and food enthusiasts who celebrated a taste of Southwest France in Nyc.”
The panel of esteemed judges for last night's event included Chef Philippe Bertineau (chef & ambassador of L'Academie Universelle de Cassoulet), Benjamin Bragard (CEO, Bragard), Chef Jean-Louis Dumonet (chef, president Maitres Cuisiniers de France), Chef Andre Soltner (French chef and author), Chef Sara Moulton (host of Sara's Weeknight Meals on PBS), Chef Laurent Tourondel (L'Amico, The Vine), Anne-Claire Legendre (Madame le Consul General de France a brand new York) and Chef Elizabeth Falkner (Top Chef judge).
Event sponsors include La Compagnie, Chateau Peyros, Georges Vigouroux, Chateau de Laubade, and Bragard.
For additional information around the event, or on D'Artagnan, visit http://www.dartagnan.com/
Award Winning Recipe by Alexander Burger of Bar Boulud
Tarbais bean stew, smoked Toulouse pork sausage
duck confit, garlic
1 whole duck about 4 lbs with gizzards OR 4 Duck legs
1/2 cup Kosher or Sea salt
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon whole coriander seed
8 cloves garlic, crushed
3 dried bay leaf
1 sprig rosemary
8 sprigs thyme
4 cups rendered duck fat
1 clove garlic cut in half
6 sprigs thyme
1. Separate duck into 6 pieces. 2 Breasts bone in, 2 Wings, 2 Thighs. Pat Dry. Be sure to reserve all
bones and gizzards. Inside a mixing bowl combine sea salt, peppercorns, coriander, garlic, bay leaf,
rosemary, and 8 sprigs of thyme. Rub the salt mixture in to the side of the duck using the meat and
put the fat side up. Store overnight uncovered.
2. Preheat oven to 250 F. Rinse the cure off of the duck with cold water. Pat dry. Bring a 13×3 inch Le
Cruset surefire pan as much as low heat and put the duck skin side down. Render body fat slowly, after
10 minutes bring the heat as much as medium. When the duck skin is golden brown gently flip the duck
pieces with tongs and canopy completely using the rendered duck fat. Add some additional garlic and
thyme. Bring to a boil, cover and set into a 250-degree oven for 1.5 hours. Be sure that the duck is
tender but not totally falling off of the bone.
3. Remove pan from oven. Keep the duck within the fat and produce to 70 degrees. (about One hour)
Remove duck in the pan, reserve 2 glasses of body fat and set the rest in the refrigerator for cooling.
For the Broth:
6 cups water (Or Chicken Stock)
1 whole Carrot
1 whole Onion, decline in half
1 whole Celery stalk
1 sachet (Head Garlic, 2 cloves, One teaspoon pepper corns, 1 fresh bay leaf, 8 sprig thyme, 1 sprig
Neck & Remaining duck bones
1. Bring all of the ingredients to a boil and let simmer for one hour. Be sure to skim any extra fat or
impurities utilizing a ladle.
2. After 1 hour strain the liquid and discard the duck bones and vegetables. Return the liquid back to
pot and hot.
For the Cassoulet:
1.5 lb Tarbais beans, or cannellini (Soaked overnight)
1 Iberico Ham Bone
1.5 lb Pork Skin, fat removed and julienne
1 lb slab bacon, lardons
4 Toulouse Sausages (Or Pork Sausage without fennel)
1 Duck Confit (or 4 legs) duck heart and gizzards
4 Teaspoon Duck Fat
1 Cup Carrot, medium dice (comparable size as beans)
2 Cup Onion, medium dice (comparable size as beans)
1 Cup Celery, medium dice (comparable size as beans)
1 Cup Tomato, medium dice, peeled and seeded
2 Teaspoon Garlic, sliced
1 Teaspoon Tomato Paste
Bouquet Garnis (1 Bay leaf 1/2 t corriander seed, 4 sprigs flat leaf parsley, 3 sprigs thyme, 1 sprig
rosemary, 1 sprig oregano, 1 leaf sage, bundled together and tied with a strip of green leek)
1. Gently poach the ham bone, pork skin, and bacon for 10 minutes in the hot broth. Add sausages and
continue poaching for around 5 minutes. Turn heat off and take away all meats, placing them in a
separate plate for cooling. Reserve liquid and hang aside.
2. Preheat oven to 250. Heat a 14x11x5 inch Le Cruset Dutch oven to medium heat around the stove. Add
carrot, onion, and celery sweat until vegetables are translucent, 8 minutes. Add some garlic,
cook for an additional two minutes, add tomato paste and mix well. After add Chopped tomato.
3. Add beans to the vegetables and canopy with about 6C from the Broth or until the beans are covered.
Provide a boil after which reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for an hour or before the beans are 3/4 of
the way cooked.
4. Remove Saucepan in the stove and add some duck legs, sausages, bacon, pork skin, and ham
bone. Add Bouquet garnis. Cover with liquid about 3/4 of the way up and put in oven for two hours.
After A couple of hours adjust seasoning and turn the oven up to 350 so that the meat can start to
caramelize. When the beans are cooked thoroughly, and the meat is tender then season the broth