Fish and White Bean Stew : Cassoulet de Poissons : Lesson 5 : Part 2 : LCB at Home

A fish cassoulet [stew] instead of the usual meat theme one finds with cassoulets.  Has monkfish, scallops and sea bass in it.


And it has white beans and a tomato sauce - and a bread crumbs on top.

What didn't work out as planned?

  1. Monkfish was oddly difficult to locate; it's not sold everywhere like it is in Spain - and they're small.
  2. The beans almost got too cooked but I caught it in time and changed the procedure from the official recipe to compensate for the speed with which they cooked
  3. Too little tomato sauce for my taste
  4. Because the beans were too tender to mix in with the (too little) tomato sauce the stacking in the dish was done distinctly from the design in the book
  5. The bread crumb top didn't toast up at all - maybe because I forgot to dot it with butter?

Original recipe from Le Cordon Bleu: At Home -modified according to exigencies of the moment.
What was really done:

Fish and White Bean Stew : Cassoulet de Poissons

Serves: 6


  • 333 grams Great Northern Beans [0,75 #], soaked overnight
  • onion
  • cloves
  • bouquet garnis
  • 2 onions, fine bruinoise  `[tiny cubes more or less] (maybe 3)
  • 2 cloves garlic, bruinoise
  • 1/2 kg tomatoes, bruinoise [chopped] [3/4 #] (better yet, more)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil
  • 6 large scallops
  • 1 kg monkfish fillets [2#]
  • 3/4 kg sea bass fillets [1#]
  • bread brumbs
  • butter


  1. Soak beans the night before
    • Drain, rinse, toss the water out
  2. poke a couple of cloves into an onion and put in a pot of cold water with the beans
    • water to 12 cm deeper than the beans [5"]
  3. Boil, then simmer briskly, for 60 minutes (I did 90 - that was not good)
    • skim the mess that floats to the top (prevents gassiness later it is said)
    • meanwhile - make the tomato sauce
  4. Save the water from draining the beans and to that bean-water ...
  5. Add a couple of carrots, sliced mediumishly (rounds, halves, whatever)
    • simmer for a half hour more to cook the carrots (and theoretically finish the beans) (see notes)
  6. Meanwhile - make a tomato sauce
    1. Cook onions in olive oil, slowly, until soft but not colored
    2. add garlic in the last minute of the onions being done
    3. add tomatoes, peeled, seeded - simmer for 15-20 minutes
    4. season with salt and pepper
  7. Cut the fish, individually, into 2cm [1"] pieces
  8. Fry the fish, individually, in a little oil to brown
    1. Not too done, leave slightly underdone, they're going into the oven later
  9. Assemble the cassoulet
    1. 1/2 the tomato sauce
    2. 1/2 the beans
    3. the various fishes
    4. other 1/2 of the beans
    5. the last of the tomato sauce
  10. You can hold it here for a couple of hours
  11. Sprinkle with bread crumbs, dot with butter
  12. Into the oven to heat and/or toast the top - 15 minutes at 200 C [400 F]


  1. Poisson is French for Fish, not Poison
  2. Serving dish was a 10" x 15" ovenproof dish [25 cm x 35 cm]
  3. It appears that beans these days are not as hard and dried as beans in former times (the olden days); they cook much faster than expected. The book calls for a total cooking time of 2 hours but they were more than "done" enough after 90 minutes total time; 70-80 minutes (total) would have been better.
  4. I ended up draining the beans after the initial, by the book, 90 minutes; saving the water to cook the carrots separately because the beans would have turned to mush if cooked any more
  5. A Bouquet Garnis was made up of celery leaves, bay leaf, peppercorns, thyme, wrapped in a couple of the green parts of a leek (saved from a previous week)
  6. For the carrots it's nice if their size in one direction is similar to the size of the beans
  7. Make lots of tomato sauce; can't be too much and if there's extra it keeps well.
  8. The fish, scallops and monkfish are good and then use any firm white fish (sea bass, trout, whatever).  Approximately equal volumes of each one.
  9. If they fish doesn't brown before it's cooked through that's fine too. Next time use a hotter pan and/or add butter in with the oil.

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