The Spanish Table bid adios to 2009 by flinging open the pantry doors and throwing a party last week. In theory it was a small staff and friends party, but turned into a Bacchanalian feast with wines flowing and plate after plate of party foods. In a nod to our new sibling Paris Grocery, Spanish and French bites were served, including Galette des Rois and Cassoulet (recipe follows):

Serves 20 or more, depending on the appetites

8 oz D’Artagnan smoked duck bacon
8 oz Zoe Meats Bacon
16 oz Toulouse Sausage
8 Oz Fabrique Délices Bistro Sausage with herbs de Provence
3 onions, studded with one clove each
6 carrots
3 lbs dried Emergo white beans, soaked overnight and rinsed
3 Tablespoons olive oil
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
14 oz duck fat
5 lbs pork shoulder roast
Two (app. 1 lb) Fabrique Délices smoked duck breasts
1 large onion, sliced
18 cloves garlic, chopped
3 pounds canned crushed tomatoes
3 teaspoons pebrella
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
2 cups bread crumbs

Tie the clove-studded onions and carrots together in a double layer of cheesecloth and put with the beans, sausage and bacon in a large, deep, heavy bottom casserole. Cover with water at least 3 inches above the top of the bean mixture. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer until the beans are almost tender, about 1 ½ hours. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid. Discard the onion and carrots in the cheesecloth. Transfer the beans and meat to a bowl, cover loosely with foil and set aside. When cool, slice the sausages and cut the bacon into bite size pieces.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roast the pork shoulder in a shallow roasting pan until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees. Remove and when cool enough, cut into cubes. Cut the duck breasts into bite size slices.

In a large casserole, heat 3 tablespoons of the duck fat over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onion and garlic and cook gently until the onions are translucent and golden. Add the canned tomatoes, pebrella, and cooked beans. Stir in about 2 cups of the reserved bean cooking liquid, transfer to the oven and bake for 30 minutes at 250 degrees. Remove from the oven and stir in the parsley.

Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Add the meat, stir to combine and sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top. Drizzle with the remaining duck fat, and cook until the crumbs are nicely browned and the cassoulet is very hot.

WINE

2005 Chateau La Grange Clinet, Cotes de Bordeaux ($13.99) 62% Merlot and the rest a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, this is one of the best, ever, vintages for this property. Peak ripeness led to beautiful grapes, and a sleek wine showing freshness and great balance. Awarded a Gold Medal at the Concours Général Agricole de Paris with these laudatory comments: “fruity, well balanced, ample”. Exactly the type of wine you’d be served in a French bistro, it pairs beautifully with game hens and charcuterie.

FROMAGE

Charolais Affiné: From the granite plains of the Charolais region in Burgundy comes this beautiful raw goat’s milk cheese. Affineur Herve Mons achieves a harmonious balance of saltiness, sweetness, and acidity in this aromatic cheese. A must-try! $16.99/each

Cantalet Doré: One of the oldest French cheeses, Cantal was reportedly enjoyed over 2000 years ago in ancient Rome. Named for the mountains of the Auvergne region, this AOC cheese is often referred to as the “French Cheddar.” When young, it has a mild, buttery flavor that develops into a pleasant bite. $15.99/lb

Fromager des Clarines: Made in the mountainous region of the Haute-Savoie, this cow’s milk cheese by fromager Jean Perrin displays earthy, white truffle flavors. Rich and unctuous, this cheese tastes best at room temperature- served along with some sparkling wine! $17.99/each $3.99/quarter lb

Les Orphelins de Fromage : Help us find a home for our smaller pieces of cheese. Indulge in just a bit of your favorite cheeses, or give something new a try. Adopt a cheese orphan today!

MEAT

Rillettes: A rustic pâté made from meat that’s been poached in its own fat, simmered in spices and juices, then shredded and stored in some of that fat. Pounded into a delicious spread, it’s traditionally served with cornichons and mustard, along with some crusty baguette!

Alexian Duck Rillettes, $11.99 Rougié Goose Rillettes, $12.49 Also new to Paris Grocery: Andouillette Sausage Back in stock: Duck Leg Confit!

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