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A truly classic cassoulet, straight form old-world France recipe

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Adjust Servings:
White Beans
2 cups dried White Beans , soaked overnight
1 Carrots , peeled and halved
1 small stalk Celery
½ Onion
3 Garlic cloves, crushed
1 Bay Leaf
Roasted Duck and Bacon
4 duck legs with thighs
2 Tbsp Salt
1 Tbsp Black Pepper
4 pieces double smoked Bacon , each about 1 inch thick and 3 inches long, rind trimmed
2 cloves Garlic , crushed
2–3 sprigs Thyme
Base Sauce
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
8 cloves Garlic , crushed
1 medium Carrots , diced
1 medium Onion , diced
2 Bay leaves
2 tsp Black Pepper
¼ cup Tomato Paste
¼ cup duck fat (reserved from roasted duck and bacon recipe)
3 cups Chicken broth
1 sprig Thyme
1 sprig Rosemary
Parsley Breadcrumbs
2 cups roughly torn white Baguette pieces (about ½ stick)
Black Pepper
¼ cup chopped Parsley
¼ cup Olive Oil
Black Pepper
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
4 merguez (or Barese) Sausages

A truly classic cassoulet, straight form old-world France recipe

  • Serves 4
  • Medium


  • White Beans

  • Roasted Duck and Bacon

  • Base Sauce

  • Parsley Breadcrumbs

  • Assembly



Cassoulet is quintessential French country fare from the Languedoc area. It’s a meal that warms the soul the best kind of comfort food. A cassoulet is similar to a stew or casserole. It’s a combination of tender white beans, aromatics, and a rather hearty selection of meats, which can include sausage (multiple varieties), pork or bacon and confit, or roasted duck or goose. The real magic comes in blending all these delectable flavours and baking them together. Before a cassoulet goes into the oven, it is traditionally covered with herb infused breadcrumbs. Once baked, this topping brings an amazing crunch, which contrasts nicely with the rest of the dish.



Drain soaked beans and rinse well. Put in a medium pot and cover with cold water. Add carrot, celery, onion, garlic, and bay leaf, and bring to a simmer. Skim any impurities that rise to the surface. Simmer gently until beans are just barely tender and cooked through, about 30 to 40 minutes. Strain, reserving liquid, and set aside.


Preheat oven to 450°F.


Season duck legs well with salt and pepper. Arrange duck and bacon, fatty skin side up, in a large ovenproof casserole or deep baking dish. Add garlic and thyme. Fill with just enough water to cover up three-quarters of duck, so that skin remains above water level. Bake, uncovered, until skins are crispy and golden, about 40 to 45 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 350°F and bake another 25 to 30 minutes, or until duck is cooked and tender.


Heat olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add crushed garlic and cook until light golden, about 1 or 2 minutes. Add carrot, onion, bay leaves, and pepper, and sauté gently until slightly coloured. Add tomato paste and cook out for a few minutes. Add duck fat, chicken stock, thyme, and rosemary, and bring to a simmer. Set aside and keep warm.


Preheat oven to 350°F.


Place baguette pieces on a baking sheet and season lightly with salt and pepper. Bake until golden brown and crispy, about 4 to 5 minutes. When cool enough to handle, roughly crush the bread, and add to bowl of a food processor. Add parsley and pulse to combine. Add olive oil in a stream; mixture should be crumbly and slightly moist.


To assemble the cassoulet, add reserved strained beans to base sauce and continue to gently simmer for another 8 to 10 minutes. Adjust consistency with additional bean cooking liquid if mixture seems too dry. The bean mixture should be easy to stir, but not watery. Season with salt and pepper.


In a separate pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown sausages, whole, on all sides, until cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes.


Preheat oven to 450°F.


Divide bean mixture evenly between 4 separate ovenproof bowls or small casserole dishes. Place sausages into bowls, followed by duck thighs and strips of bacon. Place thighs skin side up, so that skin shows through beans. Sprinkle parsley breadcrumbs over beans. Bake until beans are warmed through and bubbling and breadcrumbs are a deep golden brown, about 15 minutes.


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