I first encountered this dish when I was working for a French Company in Nigeria, West Africa. My French colleague invited me for dinner saying that his wife makes the best Cassoulet, South of France. Initially, I thought it might be a casserole dish and was pleasantly surprised to savour this simple but effective dish. Yes, it did give me hot flushes of ecstasy… short of falling in love with her. I cooked my Indian version for the couple a little later, when I invited them to my house. I think his wife fell in love with me!
On our weekend hunting escapades, French Cassoulet was the easiest dish to prepare in the bush with a frying pan over a make shift fire of twigs. After the dish had been emptied into our respective metal plates, my friend would pour a glass of red wine to deglaze the pan and soak up all remnants of the dish. The resulting mixture was actually quite delicious when soaked up with French bread.[nggallery id=96]
A few days ago, I purchased a South African ring sausage called Boerewors. According to Wikipedia, Boerewors is a sausage, popular in South African cuisine. The name comes from the Afrikaans words boer (farmer) and wors (sausage). I normally barbeque this sausage, but too tired today to fire up the charcoal, I decided to turn this African delicacy into an African-Indian French Cassoulet. I also had English style roast pork belly in the fridge. In the absence of French Haricot beans, I made the dish using baked beans. These had to be appropriately Indianised.
Ed: Bit of an English touch too with the baked beans and English style roast pork belly?
- 1 tin Heinz Baked beans
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon Garlic paste
- 1 tablespoon Ginger paste
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil.
- 1 Boerewors Sausage ring
- ¼ teaspoon Cumin seeds
- ¼ teaspoon Coriander (dhania) powder
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon roasted cumin seed powder
- English Mustard when serving
- ¼ Kilo chopped roast belly pork cut into cubes
- First get your priorities right. I opened a bottle of Italian Red. Uncorked and left it on the side board to breathe life into it.
- Preparing Beans
- In a separate pan heat olive oil and season it with cumin seeds.
- Add ¼ tea spoons of turmeric, red chili powder, coriander powder and cumin powder.
- Fry garlic and ginger
- Add baked beans and remove from fire.
- Preparing Boerewors
- Shallow fry it in a large pan. I like it well done
- Cut into pieces and return to the pan
- Add chopped cooked pork and onions.
- Add prepared beans to the meats and simmer it on a low flame.
- Either serve it with a dollop of English mustard on the plate or mix the mustard with the Cassoulet
Serve it with thickly sliced granary seeded bread with a liberal layer of butter. Bread is also needed for wiping the plate clean of all beans and meat juices. Guaranteed hot flushes of ecstasy. As I often say, each mouthful should be an orgasm in itself.
Ed: Oops! He used the ‘O’ word. :”)
See French style recipe on this site – http://www.frenchfriends.info/french/food/recipe/cassoulet/1