Cassoulet, an advanced hangover cure from the famous French cuisine

Cassoulet, a French hangover cure.

Cassoulet, a French hangover cure.

We already gave you some tips and tricks to get rid of your hangover. But every country has its own traditional dishes to make the process go faster. We like to give you a taste of the international anti-hangover cuisine. This time we present you a dish from the famous French cuisine. Cassoulet is a powerful dish that is especially popular in the South-West of France to speed up the recovery process after heavy drinking. We chose for a typical recipe from Toulouse.

The French are of course famous for their wine consumption, still they are not likely to lose themselves in binge drinking. From a young age children drink with their parents and this way they learn to deal with alcohol in a responsible way. In general the country is populated by moderate but steady drinkers. Still with a large variety of great wines, cognac and liqueurs there is always a possibility you overestimate your drinking skills. Luckily the French have one of the best cuisines (not by coincedence a French word) in the world.

Now of course we could settle for the simple but delicious onion soup, but where’s the fun in that? The recipe for cassoulet is the hardest recipe for a hangover cure so far on Lords of the Drinks. But well, we wanted to give you something special from France. Don’t think you can make this dish quick and easy when you have a hangover, because it takes 3 days to complete. However, with a little planning you can prepare a great medicine before actually getting smashed. This dish is the traditional version of Toulouse, which is made with the local garlic saussage. Besides this recipe there are plenty of other ways to make this traditional stew. Hope you like our choice.

Ingredients:
2 ham hocks
5
00 grams boneless pork shoulder (cut in 4 cm cubes)
320 grams fresh pork skin with under a cm of fat attached
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 kilo tarbais or cannellini beans
60 grams skinless salted pork
80 mililiter duck fat
3 small carrots (thinly sliced)
2 medium onions (diced)
140 grams piece of pancetta
140 grams piece of prosciutto
1 head of garlic + 4 extra cloves (peeled)
1 large plum tomato (chopped)
2 + 0,5 liter chicken broth
Bouquet garni: 4 parsley sprigs, 3 celery ribs, 2 time sprigs and a bay leaf tied up with string.
6 duck confit legs
1
 tablespoon vegetable oil
500 grams French sausages or saucisses de Toulouse (pricked with fork)
30 grams of fresh bread crums

Preparation:
Put the ham hocks, pork shoulder cubes and skin in a large bowl and season lightly with salt and pepper. Leave it covered in the refridgerator for the night. Take another bowl, put the beans in and cover them up with water. Also let them soak for the night.
The next day you take a medium saucepan and put in the salt pork and seasoned skin. Cover them with water and bring to a boil. Then bring down the heat and let it simmer for about 30 minutes, before you drain and cool it. Cut the pork skin into 5 long pieces, roll up each piece and tie with a string.
Now take a large casserole and heat up the duck fat. Put in half of the pork cubes and cook them over moderately high heat until they’re lightly browned. Then transfer to a plate and do the same with the other half of the pork cubes. Then add the ham hocks to the casserole and brown them lightly. Then add the carrots and onions and wait for 7 minutes while stirring occasionally. Now add the pancetta and brown it lightly. Next you add the prosciutto, garlic head (not the other 4 cloves!) and tomato and cook stirring for about a minute. Then put in2 liters of chicken broth, bouquet garni, pork skin bundles and the browned pork and it’s juices. Bring the whole thing to a boil. Then cover the casserole and let it simmer over a low heat for 1,5 hours, while stirring occasionally.
In the meantime drain the beans. Put them in a large saucepan, cover them with water and bring them to a boil over moderate heat. Simmer the beans for 3 more minutes and then drain. Add them to the stew and let it simmer till the beans are just tender. This takes about 2 hours more. Let the stew cool down and put it in the fridge for the night.
At the start of day 3 remove as much fat as you can from the surface from the stew. Reserve 6 mililiters of fat (or at least 4 tablespoons). Let the stew return to room temperature and take out the ham hocks, pancetta and prosciutto. Cut the meat up to bite-sized pieces. Bones, skin and gristle can be thrown away. The same goes for the bouquet garni.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. In the meantime take out the garlic cloves from the stew and then bring it to a simmer. Now cut the salt pork into small pieces. Put the cooked garlic cloves into a food processor and then the pieces of salt pork and the 4 cloves of raw garlic. Process them till you have a smooth paste and stir this paste into the stew. Let it simmer for 15 minutes while stirring occasionally.
In the meantime arrange the duck confit legs in a baking dish and roast them in the oven until heated through (about 15 minutes). Then remove the meat from the bones in large pieces. Cut the skin into strips. The bones can be thrown away.
Turn the oven down to 160 degrees Celsius. Untie and unroll the pork skin bundles. Now take a 5 to 6 liter earthenware casserole and line the bottom with the pork skin, fat side down. Transfer half of the stew into this new casserole and top with the duck confit in an even layer. Then cover with the other half of the stew. Pour the remaining half a liter of chickenbroth over it and then drizzle it with 2 tablespoons of the reserved fat you skimmed from the stew before. Bake the cassoulet for 1,5 hours.
In the meantime heat up the vegetable oil in a medium skillet. Put in the sausages and cook them over a moderately high heat untill they’re browned all over. Let them cool and then cut them into pieces 7 centimeters long.
Now reduce the heat of the oven to 135 degrees Celsius. Gently stir in the skin that has formed on the cassoulet. Nestle in the sausages and drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of reserved fat. Now sprinkle the whole thing with bread crumbs. Bake the cassoulet for 1 hour longer, until it’s browned nicely on the surface. Once out of the oven, let it rest for 20 minutes before serving.

Micky Bumbar

Check out more tasty hangover cures from around the world

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