Classic Cassoulet recipe

Classic Cassoulet

Number of Servings

4-6 portions

Preparation Time

20 minutes

Cooking Time

3 hours

This dish confirms the old adage of 'good things come to those who wait'. I have always found the slower you make a classic cassoulet, the better the results. It's the sort of perfect activity for a rainy weekend, and will certainly reward for all your patience.

Ingredients

  • 2 duck legs
  • 500g pork shoulder diced into 3cm cubes
  • 4 Cumberland sausages
  • 250g bacon lardons
  • 3 tablespoons of quality fat
  • 2 large white onions
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 4 large tomatoes skinned ad chopped (or tinned)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato purée
  • 200g breadcrumbs
  • Fresh herbs
  • 900g haricot beans soaked overnight

Method

  1. Drain the beans and put them in a saucepan with fresh cold water. Take an onion slice it in half and stuff it with four garlic cloves, add this to the pan along with a bouquet garni and bring to the boil. Skim off any scum, then reduce the heat to a simmer until the beans are tender (this takes about 2 hours).
  2. While the beans are cooking, add the bacon to a casserole dish and start to render the fat. Fry the duck legs in the fat and once browned all over set aside. Do the same with the diced pork shoulder. Then add the sausages to the pan and brown all over. Set aside all the browned meat.
  3. Chop the remaining onion and garlic and add to the pan. Cook down for a good ten minutes, until the onion becomes translucent. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato puree and a little water then simmer for about 20 minutes, until you have a rich thick sauce.
  4. Add the beans to the sauce with their remaining water, and check the seasoning. Then add all the meat, except the sausages pressing them into the beans. Dollop in a couple of spoons of fat, sprinkle over a few of the breadcrumbs and then add the pot to a preheated oven set to 150C.
  5. Cook for about 2 hours, checking occasionally to see if a golden crust has formed. Once formed break it up with a spoon and add more breadcrumbs and fat. Do this two or three times, if the mixture becomes a little dry just add more water. On your final layer of breadcrumbs press in the sausages and cook until the top has become beautifully golden.
  6. Serve with a light salad to cut through the rich hearty stew.