Legend has it that during a siege of Castelnaudary by the English, the inhabitants, threatened by famine, brought together everything that they had to feed the town’s soldiers. Bacon, pork, beans, sausages and meat were mixed together in a large bowl. Boosted by this meal, the chaurien soldiers (inhabitants of Castelnaudary) pushed the English out of Lauragais!
It was known then as ragout, a dish with meat in sauce, which is simmered over fire for a long period. It’s a complete meal which uses leftovers. Culinary traditions changed and the cassoulet which was then known as estoufet or ragout took its official name during the 18th century. In 1909, Castelnaudary published its official recipe.