For me, it is a winter comfort food that reminds me of my Mother's cooking so as the astronomical spring starts on the 20th of March, this Puy lentils and Montbeliard sausage cassoulet may be the last one I cooked this winter.
Cooking a cassoulet takes a couple of hours but you don't need to be present all the time, it's really about chopping and letting it all just simmer away as you delve into your Facebook comments.
- Soak Puy lentils in plenty of cold water. Peel and slice a head of garlic and a few shallots.
- Slowly fry the garlic and the shallots in olive oil until golden brown.
- Add chopped Montbeliard (or Toulouse, or Morteau) sausages, potatoes and any root vegetables or tubers you can get hold of: carrots, parsnips, root celery, salsify, turnips, topinambour. Mix well, cover with a lid and allow to cook until half-ready, stirring occasionally.
- Add the lentils and enough water to cover it all. Add bay leaf, all-spice berries and pepper.
- Turn the heat to low and allow to simmer until the lentils are ready.
- Salt to taste. I also use fish sauce and a smidgen of liquid smoke for the extra oomph. Serve with crunchy baguette and a glass of red.