One of my all-time favorite cold-weather dishes is cassoulet.  While Julia Child’s version involves 3 days of work – time I didn’t have during a very busy and stressful week – I found a recipe from Gourmet which worked just fine.

Week: 46 of 52

I started by soaking the beans for 12 hours.  The beans were then simmered in water, beef broth, tomato paste, onion, garlic, and a bouquet garni of celery, thyme, bay leaf, and black peppercorns until almost tender.  Stewed tomatoes were mixed in for the last 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, I took two confit duck legs and separated the skin and fat from the meat.  The fat was rendered and the skin fried to a crisp in the fat and removed to drain.  Following that, sliced sausage was browned in the rendered duck fat.  The sausage was added to the duck meat.

Once the beans were done, I added the browned sausage and duck meat to the mixture and seasoned with salt and pepper.

The cassoulet mixture was ladled into a casserole dish and before baking, topped with a bread crumb topping which included garlic sautéed in the rendered duck fat, bread crumbs, the crispy duck skin, parsley, salt & pepper.  There was a little extra liquid which didn’t fit in the casserole dish.  I simmered this and reduced into a sauce while the cassoulet baked.

After baking at 375 for about 40 minutes, the top was lightly browned and bubbling.  I served the cassoulet with bread and drizzled with the reduced liquid.


  • White beans
  • Water
  • Beef stock
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Tomato paste
  • Celery
  • Thyme
  • Bay leaf
  • Clove
  • Black peppercorns
  • Stewed tomatoes
  • Confit duck legs
  • Smoked pork sausage
  • Bread crumbs
  • Parsley
  • Salt & pepper

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