Cassoulet (Tarbais) Bean
West Coast–grown from classic French Tarbais seed stock. The most famous bean for a traditional cassoulet but versatile enough to become an everyday favorite.
Is it marketing or is it history? Some would argue that a cassoulet isn't a cassoulet without Tarbais beans. Rather than suffer French prices, which can run up to $30 a pound when out of season, we took seed from France and produced this bean with our distinct terroir here on the West Coast. Out of respect for the French farmers and terroir, we're calling the bean Cassoulet bean.
Cassoulet, casseroles, soups, pasta e fagioli, baked beans, dips
From the Rancho Gordo Kitchen
You can follow the classic rules for cassoulet (and we recommend Paula Wolfert's glorious The Cooking of Southwest France : Recipes from France's Magnificent Rustic Cuisine), or you can experiment and be creative. A casserole of Cassoulet beans with odds and ends from your refrigerator and larder, topped with good bread crumbs and dotted with butter before a trip to the oven would be a welcome dish on a winter's table. They are sturdy enough to hold up to long, slow baking, making them ideal for baked dishes beyond cassoulet. Don't forget them for seasonal vegetable soups and bean purees.
Check beans for debris, and rinse thoroughly. In a large pot, sauté aromatic vegetables (onions, garlic, celery, carrot, etc.) in olive oil. Add beans and enough water to cover by about 2 inches. Bring to a full boil for 10 to 15 minutes. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer, using a lid to help regulate the heat, and gently cook until done, 1 to 3 hours. Salt when the beans start to soften. A pre-soak of 2 to 6 hours will lessen the cooking time. To cook these beans as they would in France, simmer with carrot, onion, garlic, peppercorns, and a bouquet garni (bay leaves, celery leaves, fresh parsley, and/or fresh thyme tied with string or placed in a cheesecloth bag). For an extra-rich broth, throw in a thick slice of pancetta or a ham hock.
Ayocote Blanco, Royal Corona, Large White Lima
Country of origin