Depending on your outlook, Thanksgiving leftovers are either a blessing or a burden. We’re a gravy boat half-full kind of bunch, so we take this seasonal surfeit as an opportunity for more delicious cooking (and eating!). Many people use the bones from their roast turkey to make stock, then make a soup or, one of our favorites, turkey pot pie. We took some liberty with the notion of a pot pie, and found inspiration overseas in the form of a dish from southern France: cassoulet. Hailing from the region of Languedoc, it’s a humble peasant dish of beans and meat—but which meat, exactly, can inspire some debate. We won’t bog you down with the details, but partisans from different towns in the Languedoc will make the case between different combinations of cured or roasted pork, goose, duck (sometimes partridge), and mutton. Rather than attempting to appease everyone (and lacking a ready source for mutton), we went with a uniquely American approach and stuck with turkey, and just a touch of pork for flavor.
The dish does takes a bit of time to prepare, but most of it’s inactive, so you won’t need to sweat too much in your post-Thanksgiving haze. And it’s well worth the effort, richly earthy and aromatic, with a wonderful crunchy topping over tender meat and beans. We give you instructions for making this dish from scratch, but if you made our sous vide turkey this year (and we hope you did!), you can use any leftover meat in place of turkey in the recipe, and the bones from the carcass to make the broth, if desired. If, like us, you’re still eager to get more mileage out of Turkey day, then this cassoulet might be just the thing for you—it’s so good you might make it all year round.