The Legendary Cassoulet

The cassoulet in its cassole
The cassoulet in its cassole

Cassoulet is a legend here in the South West of France. Quite literally. It was supposed to have originated during the Hundred Years War when the English were besieging the nearby town of Castelnaudary in 1355. The story goes that the inhabitants cooked up what was left of their beans, bones, scraps of meat and dried bits of ham, then went out and beat the English!

Like many of my favourite dishes, I suspect it has its real origins in “peasant food”, namely cooking whatever is to hand, but over the centuries, it has become a complex and truly wonderful dish. It takes its name from the large earthenware pot in which it is cooked and served – “le cassole” – hence “Cassoulet”. When it’s cooked for you by my good friend, Philippe Seguier then it is, quite simply, probably the best cassoulet you’ll ever taste. Continue reading “The Legendary Cassoulet”

Aim, Shoot, oh do fly, Wood Pigeon Pie.

Cripsey Bridge, Moreton

The halcyon days of childhood, those five or so years between the ages of five and ten seem, looking back, a forgotten age of innocence. Summers were endless days of blue skies, fields shimmered in a golden haze, whilst winter nights drew us in, and we roasted chestnuts over an open fire and woke up to fields cloaked in white. Really? Perhaps not – but then sometimes it’s better to leave the past behind us, just remembering the good things. Continue reading “Aim, Shoot, oh do fly, Wood Pigeon Pie.”

Fishy Arrival – on ice to London from Cornwall

In August, disheartened by the ubiquity of supermarket fish choices in London I decided to try ordering some fish from a Cornwall based fish supplier, Fish for Thought. Now once every four or five weeks I take delivery of a box of fish and sea food, individually wrapped and sitting on a thick bed of ice. Continue reading “Fishy Arrival – on ice to London from Cornwall”