Cassoulet is a wonderfully warming French dish made from mild haricot beans and lots of lovely rich pork flavours. This simple recipe takes the comforting tastes of smoked bacon, heady garlic and fresh parsley to give you a wonderful winter dish that the whole family will love. We’ve used shop-bought duck confit to make this more achievable at home. You can buy duck confit in most supermarkets now, including a really good tinned one from France where all the hard work is done for you! Usually they just require a good forty minutes or so in a hot oven to crisp everything up again. You can, of course, always forgo the duck if you prefer something a little simpler. For extra indulgence serve your cassoulet with hunks of freshly-baked, crusty bread to mop up all the juices with – it would be a shame for them to all go to waste after all your effort!
- 200g smoked lardons
- 300g sausage, sliced
- 2tbsp duck fat or olive oil
- 2 shallots, finely diced
- 1 stick celery, diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 bouquet garni
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 400g dried haricot beans, soaked overnight
- 6 confit duck legs
- parsley, to serve
Preheat the oven to 180C, Gas Mark 4.
In a large casserole dish fry the lardons for five minutes, until browned. Add the sausage and fry for a couple more minutes. Add the duck fat, onion, celery, carrot, bouquet garni and garlic. Fry for a couple more minutes until slightly softened.
Add the beans along with 2litres of water. Put in the oven, uncovered, and cook for an hour and a half, until everything is soft. Check half way through and add more water if needed.
Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180C, Gas Mark 4 and cook the confit duck legs according to packet instructions.
Serve the duck on top of the cassoulet, scattered with fresh parsley.
You can freeze casoulet for up to three months. Just make sure it’s fully cooled before you pop in the freezer.