Friday, October 2, 2009

Confit of a Different Kind.

  A hunk of confit doesn't just mean a duck leg? The word translates as "preserved" so technically it applies to anything put up for the long-term. 
    Like pork. 
    Lately, we've been going to the butcher at the corner of the square in Mirepoix for a rambunctious pâté de campagne and a luxuriously silky mousse de canard that's almost as rich as foie gras. Last time I was there, I noticed confit de porc, bought enough for two, and listened carefully to the lady-behind-the-counter's advice on how to cook it. 
    Later, here's what I did. First came a softening of chopped onion, carrot and lots of garlic in olive oil in the big frypan. Once they were golden and gooey, I added a big can of drained white beans (keeping the liquid on one side), a few sprigs of fresh thyme, a bay leaf and some chopped tomatoes.
   Everything went into the little cassole (the slant-sided pottery dish purpose-built for cassoulet) with the chunks of pork confit on top. A lid of foil. about 40 minutes in the oven and we had a poor man's cassoulet for our supper. 
   The pork fat melts away into the bean and vegetable mixture, making it the ideal dish for a cold winter's night. It was good on a warm autumn night too. 

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