Scarlet Runner Cassoulettes
I hate to do this (or anything for the sake of doing), but since I said I would post the cassoulettes (mini-cassoulet) from the Scarlet Runner beans I grew (or that I would cook them, actually), here it is. Sorry to give it so unenthusiastically, but it’s late, my head hurts and I’m developing a case of the itis.
This took the better part of a day (two, in fact). Day one: salt the duck legs and fridge overnight. Day two: start soaking the beans in hot water, and confit the duck. Day three: reheat and shred the duck, cook the beans, assemble the cassoulettes.
To get the beans ready, I mostly followed Hank’s advice in the comments section of my original bean post. But since the beans were fresh, they didn’t give me too much lip. And of course, I never salt my bean cooking water (‘else they go tough). The beans were quite nice and tender, and although their color bled a bit, they stayed a pretty lavender-taupe.
I had to supplement with a can of butter beans (Phaseolus lunatus; named for their resemblance to the full moon, chosen for their similarity to runner beans in size and texture). In Appalachia, butter beans are often synonymous with runner beans. Elsewhere, with lima beans. Mine were Italian. You do the math. I already had some in the cupboard, thankfully, because the thought of buying more beans, soaking them, and cooking them for hours made me want to blow my fucking brains out.
I shopped for some little crocks at Goodwill today, but couldn’t find the perfect ones. I ended up using my old vintage Anchor Hocking milk glass flat bowls instead (had I the coveted Le Creuset mini cocottes, I’da used those instead). I lined them with some North Carolina prosciutto (just a couple slices), laid in half a cooked pork sausage and forkfuls of shredded duck confit, then spooned in some beans and topped with a white wine sauce thickened with duck fat roux, with chopped thyme and the roasted garlic and rosemary from confiting the duck.
It was so rich! Hence, my sodium headache and intestinal binding. I ended up serving it with some quick tomato-zucchini strata just to get some damned minerals and acid into my mouth. Of course, a little Bordeaux didn’t hurt, either.
I’m going to be in Washington for the week (vegetation monitoring), and posting will be a bit spotty. I’ll do my best. In the meanwhile, please watch this new video from TV on the Radio (one of my favorite bands EVAR). It is extremely fucking good. This song, Golden Age, starts with a total Wanna Be Startin’ Something bassline/beat from Thriller, then segues seamlessly into a Talking Heads-ish Afrobeat thing that is so tasty. And it has magical dancing cops and Care Bears. Do yourself the favor.