Cassoulet canard (duck cassoulet)

For a gloriously warming winter meal with the real flavour of rural France, try Michel Lemoine's cassoulet of duck with haricot beans
By Michel Lemoine
Cassoulet canard (duck cassoulet)
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes plus 24 hrs soaking time
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

For the cassoulet

  • 600 g driedwhite haricot beans
  • 2 tbsp duck fat
  • 200 g streakylardons of bacon
  • 4 small duck or pork sausages
  • 2 onions
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 12 juniper berries, crushed
  • 1 tbsp thyme, leaves onlychopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 200 ml white wine
  • 1 litres duck stock or dark chicken stock
  • 4 legs duck confit

For the topping

  • 4 tbsp white breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Tips and Suggestions

Ideally, this dish should be cooked two days before required, so that the meat and beans mature. It should then be kept in a fridge until required and reheated for 25 minutes or so, until all the ingredients are piping hot before serving.

Method

1. Soak the dried beans in water for 24 hours.

2. Melt the duck fat in a large saucepan or casserole dish and fry the bacon until golden. Remove from the pan and set aside.

3. Add the sausages to the pan and cook until golden. Remove from the pan and set aside.

4. Cut the onion in half and slice thinly. Add it to the pan with the garlic, juniper berries, thyme and bay leaves, and fry over a gentle heat for about 10 minutes, or until the onions become translucent.

5. Stir in the tomato puree and cook for 3-4 minutes.

6. Add the white wine and cook until reduced by half.


7. Add the duck stock and the beans - bring to the boil and cook for about 20 minutes.

8. Return the bacon and sausages to the pan and cook for a further 20 minutes.

9. Add the leg of duck confit and cook 20 minutes more. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

10. To serve, spoon a generous portion of haricot beans, a leg of duck, sausage, some of the streaky bacon and a little of the juice into 4 earthenware dishes. Spread breadcrumbs over the top. Grill until the crumbs are golden, sprinkle with parsley and serve.

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