Mounjetada, or cassoulet ariégois

I must confess I am not fond of cassoulet as it is served in the Aude — too stodgy and grease-laden — but this is something else entirely, lighter and much more digestible.

Mounjettes is the name given to dried haricot beans. They do need to be good quality for this dish, and preferably the new season’s harvest. The dish is much more liquid than cassoulet de Castelnaudary, and it’s traditional to serve the sauce first as a soup, with bread broken into it, followed by the beans and meat. We also had a lovely green salad with this, freshly plucked from the garden.

5 onions, chopped
1 kilo of ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 kilo dried haricot beans, soaked overnight
A selection of meat: saucisse de Toulouse, saucisse de foie, duck confit, pork ribs (“coustellous”)
bouquet garni
salt and plenty of pepper
olive oil or duck fat

Soften the onions in oil for five minutes, in a large cooking pot. Add the tomatoes and continue cooking until they are soft. In a frying pan, brown all the meats. Add all the ingredients, including the soaked and drained beans, to the pot, and pour in 2 litres of lukewarm water. Season well with pepper and cook gently for 3 hours. Add salt to taste at the end. The dish needs to be quite peppery, and there should be plenty of liquid left at the end, so add more if necessary. Drain off most of the sauce to serve as soup.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *