The cassoulet the boss made for our holiday party. Yum!

Wine @ PG

New to the Shop Reds.

Domaine de Andézon Côtes-du-Rhône 2009 ($13.99)

From the importer: “One of the first custom cuvées created by Eric Solomon. Based around the idea that extremely old-vine Syrah in this zone could produce a spicy, full-bodied red wine of incredible value for the U.S. market, Eric worked with the winemaker to fashion a bottling that exceeded everyone’s expectations.” From Robert Parker:  “It offers explosive notes of smoky bacon fat, cassis, and blackberries, a deep, rich, chewy style, and an exuberant, flashy personality. 91 points.” From us: “Yum!”

La Pépie Cabernet Franc 2009 ($14.99)

Just a delightful bistro red. A transparent violet in the glass, this Cabernet Franc is light and flavorful, yet earthy and persistent, with a delightful minerality that makes it a stupendous everyday wine. We think it would go just as well with salmon or pizza as it would with red meat or roasted vegetables.

Domaine Notre Dame des Pallières “Les Moures” Gigondas 2007 ($17.99)

This wine absolutely flies off the shelf. We have very smart customers; nothing warms you up with such lovely Rhône intensity as a well-made Gigondas. “An outstanding effort. This deep ruby/purple-tinged Gigondas offers notes of spice box, incense, crushed rocks, red and black fruits, and no evidence of wood. It exhibits good sweetness on the attack, a medium to full-bodied mid-palate, an endearing texture, and a long, pure, convincing finish.” —Wine Advocate, 90 Points.

Meat @ PG

As evidenced by the recent blustery wind and somewhat-crystallized rain (and may I just say, as someone from Spokane: CHILL OUT, it’s not that bad), it’s clear that winter is nowhere near over. George, our resident cheese nerd, insisted that I insist that you make a cassoulet. One of lovely wine reps supplied her Robuchon-inspired recipe, and we’ve (of course), got all the fixings; I’ve bolded the items we carry in the shop.

Cassoulet – inspired by the recipe in The Complete Robuchon, by Joel Robuchon

2 lbs dry white beans, soaked overnight

1 carrot, peeled and cut into chunks

4 onions, peeled, 2 stuck with 1 whole clove each and 2 sliced into rounds 1/8 inch thick

10 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

½ pound fresh pork rind

1 bouquet garni

1 garlic sausage, about ¾ pound

1 pound uncooked pork sausage (typically Toulouse-style)

Salt and pepper, to taste

½ to ¾  pound lean pork belly

3 to 4 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 2-inch chunks

3 very ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced (you could use canned San Marzano tomatoes)

1 ½ pounds goose or duck confit

1 ¼ cup dry bread crumbs

1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves only, minced

1. Cook the beans. Put them in a large pot with the carrot, the 2 onions stuck with cloves, 6 cloves garlic, the pork rind, and bouquet garni. Cover generously with cold water and put the pot over high heat. Lower the heat before the pot starts to bubble, add salt to taste and cook at a bare simmer for 1 hour. Add the garlic sausage and uncooked pork sausage, and simmer 15 minutes more or until the beans feel almost tender. Remove the pot from the heat and taste for salt and pepper.

2. Prepare the meat. Put the pork belly in a large pot, cover it with cold water, bring to a boil and cook at a bubble for 5 minutes. Remove the pork and put it in a colander. Rinse under cold water and leave to drain.

3. In another pot, melt 4 tablespoons fat from the confit. When the fat is hot, brow the lamb chunks all over for about 3 minutes over high heat; if necessary, work in batches so the chunks are not crowded and so that all end up beautifully golden.  Remove them to a plate. Cook the sliced onions in the same pot for 3 minutes over low heat, stirring with a wooden spatula. Add the tomatoes, the remaining 4 cloves garlic, and 10 tablespoons bean cooking liquid.  Let the pot bubble for 10 minutes over low heat.

4. Fish the bouquet garni, onions, pork rind, and sausages from the bean-cooking pot.  Discard the bouquet garni and leave everything else on a plate.  Drain the beans over a bowl so that you keep their cooking liquid. Add the drained beans to the pot of onions and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, with a rather gentle touch.

5. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Slice the garlic sausage into rounds ½ inch thick.  Line a large terrine with the pork rind. Fill the terrine with alternating layers of lamb, pork belly, small sausages, sliced garlic sausage, and the bean-onion-tomato mixture.  Finish with a layer of the beans and top them with 2 tablespoons confit fat spread evenly over their surface. The liquid in the terrine should reach the top layer of beans and just barely cover them; if it does not, add some bean-cooking liquid.

6. Bake for 3 hours. If necessary, add bean-cooking liquid to the cassoulet as it bakes to maintain a high level of liquid.

7. After the cassoulet has baked for 3 hours, push the duck or goose confit into the pot.  Mix the bread crumbs with the minced parsley and sprinkle the cassoulet with this mixture. Put the terrine back in the oven for 1 hour to brown.

Craves @ PG

Pave du Nord

Check out these adorable samples of one of our favorite cheeses, Pave du Nord. It’s a vividly orange cheese from the north of France with a deeply nutty flavor, making it eminently snackable and fantastic when melted in pasta or on a tartine. We’re always willing to offer a sample of any of our cheeses; we suggest that you resolve (hardy har) to come in and find a new favorite.

Gifted @ PG

More like FUNdue.

I’ve decided to keep the “Gifted” section of the newsletter going, seeing as there’s one more holiday on the horizon with which I feel we could be particularly helpful. Yup, the granddaddy of all the winter holidays, the most awful or most wonderful (depending on your perspective): Valentine’s Day. I’ll be featuring a great gift for your sweetheart from now until then, and then I promise, we’ll all go back to normal. This week: Fondue. I know, I know, but: FONDUE. You’re welcome.

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

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