The beans need to soak in water overnight, so I had all my ingredients ready from day 1. As with most things French I started with Julia Child but stopped cold in my tracks after discovering her recipe for cassoulet takes five days. An entire generation of ambitious American home cooks is instantly born.” —Jeffrey Steingarten Step 1. The name cassoulet comes from the name of the dish used to prepare it, called a cassole. Her black-and-white TV show on WGBH in Boston soon follows. To cook a traditional French Cassoulet you need 2 to 3 days of preparation. “1961 A.D. Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking is published. - Julia Child For Americans in love with French food, cassoulet holds an almost magical significance.

It evokes an unattainable ideal. Child is one of the great teachers of the millennium: She is intelligent and charismatic, and her undistinguished manual skills are not daunting to her viewers. The dish is braised for hours in this glazed terracotta casserole pot at a low temperature until the meat and beans are soft enough to melt in your mouth. Day 2 Paul arrives to help, witness and photograph the entire processes. Made with ingredients that are difficult to find or too expensive to afford outside of France - confit d'oie (preserved goose), haricots lingots (a French… "To the untrained American ear cassoulet sounds like some sort of ambrosia." Five days? Even for someone like me who loves to cook and isn’t afraid to dig in and commit to a recipe five days is excessive.