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Sep 25, 2006 02:14 PM

What's the Most Time Consuming Thing You Have Ever Cooked?

How long did it take?
Was it worth it?

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  1. A rabbit dish from a Charlie Trotter cookbook. I was making it for my husband's birthday. After baking a cake first thing in the morning, and cooking all day, it seemed as if by five o'clock all I had were some reductions called for in the recipe. So, we went out for Chinese and had the meal for lunch the next day. So, it took about a day and a half.

    1. I'd have to say cassoulet, since I made the duck confit from scratch (day of seasoning/resting, 12-15 hours of cooking, then cooling) as well as the beans from scratch (overnight soak, hour of cooking, then cooling). And all of that cooking is BEFORE you assemble and cook the dish.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Hungry Celeste

        In the same vein, Balthazar's recipe for their Duck Shepherd's Pie.

        4 days. 10 duck legs. 4 bottles of red wine. And that's just the marinade.

        But man, it was good!

        1. re: Hungry Celeste

          Amen to that! And along with the confit, I made the sausage links too. Never really could find a recipe for a sausage typical of cassoulet so I made one up using fresh pork and a good amount of garlic and some s&p. Also, never found a connection to buy the traditional dish used to cook it in and so used a cast iron dutch oven kind of thing. Curious, what did you do for your sausage and cooking vessel?

          1. re: gamebronc

            I know you weren't asking me, but I thought I'd stick my nose in here anyway. I've made the cassoulet from Mastering the Art a few times (using my 7+ quart Le Creuset) and she calls for homemade sausage cakes as a substitute for Saucisse de Toulouse. They're really simple and just wonderful in the cassoulet.

            1. re: gamebronc

              Fresh pork sausage (sometimes called chaurice, seasoned with garlic, parsley, green onions, red & black pepper, and often thyme or sage or bay) as sold in southern Louisiana works just fine for cassoulet; it is fairly fatty & doesn't dry out with long cooking. I can buy this stuff at virtually any butcher or supermarket here. I browned the sausage well (probably cooked 50% thru) before quickly assembling the cassoulet (I had everything else, including toasted crumbs, ready to go).

              As for the dish, I used a round, lidded stoneware dish (I think Portmeirion calls it a "casserole dish", but it's not the oblong, rectangular thing most Americans call a casserole dish). Cooked it with the lid for the primary cooking time, then removed the lid for final browning of crumbs.

              It was delicious and worth every bit of effort. But the next time I made it, I bought the confit already made and I cooked enough beans for two batches & froze half.

              My monthly natural gas bill went up $10 as a result of my long, long cassoulet project.

            1. I've BBQ'd brisket twice for between 16-18 hours and yes it was well worth it.

              1 Reply
              1. re: JAB

                I've done this too, to the extent of sleeping with an alarmed thermometer (can't let that meat go too high or too low). My wife made me sleep on the couch that night. Absolutely worth it; I wept when I ate it. I've also cooked Boeuf Bourguignon for 16, on my own damn birthday, which involved at least twelve hours at or near the stove.

              2. Probably tiramisu is the one I remember the most, because I made my own ladyfingers! And whisked the marscapone cream until I thought my arm was going to fall off! I'm sure there are other recipes that have taken longer, but I remember being really stressed trying to get this one done! And I'm getting ready to make it again... glutton for punishment! It was worth it though, but I was glad I had made it the night before the dinner party; otherwise, I'm not so sure it would have tasted as good! Recipe here:

                1 Reply
                1. re: Katie Nell

                  Okay, made it again, and decided it's not worth it to make your own ladyfingers! I did have some egg whites that did not want to cooperate though! Damn those egg whites!!