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May 29, 2011 08:44 AM

Paris: pork-free cassoulet

Today my on-and-off-red-meat beau loudly pined for a cassoulet. Last summer, when I was apparently much more dedicated to this fickle habit of his, I unearthed some restaurant with a lot of Sud-Ouest stuff that made a wholly pork-free cassoulet (in fact, the whole menu may have been duck and goose). My question to more advanced Parisian 'hounds: did I dream this? Where was it? Not Au Petit Sud-Ouest, I think, but I could be wrong...

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  1. of course the minute I posted this, I came across it: Le Petit Canard. (Cuisse ET saucisse!) So this post is perhaps now useless - unless anyone would like to share their experience of such a thing, or another, at LPC...?

    4 Replies
    1. re: pampelmuse

      Why do you think that Cassoulet was pork free? Wouldn't the sausages have pork in the them (even if they are duck)? And the dish usually uses pork as one of the base ingredients - the skin providing the gelatine that helps thickens the dish.

      1. re: pampelmuse

        I also doubt that any restaurant, or individual, makes a pork-free cassoulet. Pork sausage defines cassoulet. Pork-free cassoulet is like chili con carne without meat.
        And Laidback dined at Le Petit Canard a few months ago and was decidedly underwhelmed, and he loves duck.

        1. re: Parigi

          Though there's nothing traditional about it, I suppose you could make entirely pork-free cassoulet by using only duck (or goose) products in the place of pork. The texture of fats isn't that different between the two animals. That could be interesting but I'd classify it in the "exercises in cooking" category.

          1. re: Ptipois

            You might want to consult the various cachere restaurant lists that are available online. Otherwise, you will be out of luck, IMO..

      2. What made you think that this was pork free? Was it indicated on the menu? In a country that values tradition so highly, this seems quite unlikely. What would be the reason, if it were true, to make this dish without pork anyway?

        2 Replies
        1. re: menton1

          I have no idea if this is the case with this cassoulet at the Petit Canard, but I could imagine a duck/goose/lamb/veal cassoulet finding a nice niche. There are a lot of people who don't insist on eating halal or cacherout but who avoid clearly haram or passoul/treyf foods.

          1. re: tmso

            The concept already exists commercially, but I would be very surprised to find such a recipe served in a restaurant.

        2. I just came across this post and saw all the replies that seem a bit horrified by the idea of a pork-free cassoulet. Yes, it would be different, horrible, etc., but I was trying to make my man happy - I'll keep that to experimenting at home with things I won't ever too loudly call "cassoulet," I promise. And FYI - LPC's cassoulet was definitely not pork-free, don't worry.

          There are a few good things on LPC's menu, but honestly, nothing I couldn't do better - and more consistently - at home. We've been there twice, and the first time our confit-accompanying potatoes were definitely Sarladaise, the second time they weren't, and there were non-melted lumps of fat under the skin too large for my liking, like it had been cooked too quickly.

          1 Reply
          1. re: pampelmuse

            You could try the Kosher Restaurant Le Chateubriand.
            We were given the wrong address as we had reservations at the trendy Le Chateubriand (there are two in Paris)
            It was after we sat down that we realized that we were at the wrong Restaurant, but the food looked good, it was late, and we stayed.
            It was one of the best Meals of our trip.
            I don't recall if they serve Cassoulet but you could call.
            Very traditional French food.