Cassoulet is a slowly cooked French stew that is made out of duck legs, Toulouse sausages and haricot beans then topped with fried bread crumbs and cracklings. The name was derived from the traditional cooking pot where this dish is typically cooked.
There are several varieties of this dish and the most well-known one is from Castelnaudary where it is made of Duck legs, sausage and haricots beans or lingots which replaced the traditional broad bean Vica fava. Toulouse versions used pork and mutton and Carcassonne uses mutton and partridge. Cassoulet is popular in France; in fact it is sold as a commercial product similar to baked beans in America.
In this post I will not be using Haricot beans as I am not sure where to find it in New Zealand; instead I will be using a four bean mix which is pre-cooked so we can save time preparing this dish. A very hearty stew best served during winter seasons.
4 Duck Legs
400g Tomatoes, chopped
8 Garlic infused Pork sausages
2 tbsp Tomato Purée
1 cup White Wine
1 large can 4 bean mix
250g Pancetta, chopped into small pieces
2 Onions, finely chopped
1 large Carrots, sliced
6 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 sprig Thyme, chopped
1 Bay Leaf
1/2 handful parsley, chopped
freshly ground black pepper
1. In a pan add oil then brown sausages. remove from pan then set aside.
2. Add pancetta to the pan brown then set aside.
3. Sauté onions and 1/2 of the garlic together with the carrots then set aside.
4. Using a 220C preheated oven, roast duck legs for 30 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 140C.
5. Mix 4 cups of water with the tomato purée, tomatoes, and wine.
6. Place all of the ingredients that were set aside in the casserole together with duck legs and beans. Place thyme and bay leaf in the middle then season with salt and pepper. Pour tomato puree mixture over then cook for 2 hours add water occasionally when needed.
7. Roughly cut baguette into small pieces then place in food processor together with remaining garlic and parsley. Process until it resembles coarse bread crumbs. Now using 2 tbsp duck fat from the roast, fry crumbs until crispy.
8. Once cassoulet is ready, place top with baguette crisps then serve.