Classic Cassoulet Recipe Made Easy
Slow-cooked Cassoulet is a classic recipe from the Languedoc-Roussillon (now the administrative region of Occitanie, France). Some cooks shy away from making this cannellini bean and meat (pork, duck) casserole because it takes a bit of time. Save time and effort by sourcing the duck confit from your local butcher or in a tin, along with the pork belly and rind. See notes below.
In France, the traditional cassoulet dish is an earthenware «cassole» or use a heavy-duty Dutch oven.
This recipe comes from “Tour de Table en Languedoc-Roussillon” as suggested by John and Nicole Bojanowski, owners of Le Clos du Gravillas in Languedoc-Roussillon. Thanks to their recommendation I overcame my skepticism and made this recipe without garlic – the result was delicious.
This recipe is a perfect Sunday afternoon, culinary project. Enjoy the warm, rich flavours on a cool-weather day with some red wine from France.
|Cook Time||Passive Time|
- 14oz Dried Cannellini Beans
- 1lb Pork Belly with the rindin one piece *
- 1large Carrotpeeled and sliced
- 1medium Onionpeeled and coarsely chopped
- 4 Fresh Pork Sausages
- Homemade Unsalted Chicken stock **
- Bouquet Garnisof thyme and bay leaves
- 4 Confit of Duck Legs
- Rendered Duck Fat
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- fresh bread crumbs
*You will need 3 1/2 ounces of pork rind; freeze any remaining for a future cassoulet.
**In the American Southwest, this is the part that is deep-fried to make chicharrones.
*** it is important to use unsalted stock when cooking the beans; salting the beans before or while they cook will make them tough. We made stock using a roast chicken carcass, onion, and carrot. You can also simply use water instead of stock.
- You definitely need well-made sausages. Don't use standard store-bought ones - they contain too much gristle. Find a butcher near you who makes them and get the simplest available.
- I used pork belly, but many recipes called for pork shoulder, too. I might use a bit of both next time.
- Some recipes had no duck at all. I liked the confit - it added to the texture and flavor.
- Per Nicole's recommendation, do not skimp on the duck fat - it sounds like it will make it heavier but it doesn't. This is one area where I wasn't skeptical!