We eyed Chef Q’s cassoulet menu during our last meal at LQ. The menu started shortly before our departure for Asia, and there simply wasn’t enough time to pack in another 1000 calories dish before leaving. Sufficed to say, I squealed like a piglet under the guillotine when Vertical Bistro’s invite to sample the LQ/Vertical cassoulet mashup (happening every Sunday until Feb, 2011) arrived in the inbox.
Witness the ultimate LA cassoulet recipe:
3 pounds Toulouse saucisson
4 duck confit
3 lbs lamb shank
1/4 cup duck fat
Above ingredients, coupled with 2 pounds of Tarbais beans, and wine sauce, turn into something like this after the Chef Quenioux treatment:
A special note on the Tarbais beans. Back in ’06, according to an LAT article by Amy Scattergood, Tarbais beans were only available at Nicole’s in Pasadena as far as Angelenos are concerned. Now, they’re also available at Surfas, and via Purcell mail order. Still, these dried beans are something to the effect of $10/lb, and French chefs insist on these regional French beans for cassoulets. Despite being a frienemy of most beans (I really despise pintos), it was still easy to appreciate the epicness of these legumes as after slow roasting for 30 minutes, they still held structure, didn’t burst, and yielded an unmushed cassoulet due to their low starch content. Magical beans!
Included in the special Vertical Bistro sessions of LQ $35 cassoulet prix fixe are a frisee lardon salad and a dessert of your choice. The frisee lardon is perfectly French, and the Bartlett pear sorbet for dinner was a pleasant way to ease the palate after the protein attack.
Vertical Wine Bistro
70 North Raymond Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91103
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