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Cassoulet Recipe

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Recipe from Waldy Malouf, Senior Director of Food & Beverage at the Culinary Institute of America 

Ingredients

3 pounds Tarbais beans, rinsed (available at specialty stores or on line), or substitute white bean

1 pound pancetta or pork belly, in one piece

10 cloves garlic, peeled

2 medium onions, cut in half

4 whole cloves

1 carrot, coarsely chopped

1 bay leaf

6 duck confit legs, cut into two pieces at the joint (available at specialty stores or on line)

1 quart chicken stock

¼ cup chopped canned tomatoes with some juice

2 pounds braised lamb shoulder, reserve cooking liquid

1 pound French garlic sausage, cut into 12 slices (available at specialty stores or on line)

½ cup duck fat, at room temperature (or extra virgin olive oil)

1 cup breadcrumbs, tossed and sautéed until lightly browned in ¼ cup butter

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

 

Instructions:

  1. Add beans to a large, non-reactive container, cover completely with water and soak overnight at room temperature. Keep beans covered with water.
  2. Drain beans. Put into a large, heavy pot with whole pancetta, garlic, carrot, bay leaf and onion that’s been studded with the cloves. Add water to cover at least 3 inches above beans. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat then reduce heat to low and simmer, until beans are tender, about 1 hour. Let sit for another hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Drain beans. Reserve liquid, discard onion and bay leaf, leave carrots and garlic with the beans. Remove pancetta, cut into ¼ inch strips, set aside.
  5. Over medium heat, brown duck confit and sausage slices.
  6. Lightly grease large casserole, preferably earthenware or enameled cast-iron, with half the duck fat or olive oil. Place half of the bean mixture in the casserole. Add duck legs, lamb, pancetta and sliced garlic sausage. Add the remaining beans.
  7. Stir chopped tomatoes into chicken stock. Add 1 cup bean cooking liquid and 1 cup lamb cooking liquid to the stock. Reserve all cooking liquids. Season with salt and pepper. Pour mixed liquids evenly to completely cover the beans (reserve remaining cooking liquid). Sprinkle the surface with breadcrumbs and cover with aluminum foil.
  8. Bake covered cassoulet 1 hour. Uncover, and at the center, cut open the crust, pour enough of the mixed cooking liquids (1 cup to 2 cups) to cover beans. Continue to cook 1 more hour uncovered until it is bubbling and the top is brown and a crust has formed.
  9. Serve immediately.

 

Pro Tip: Don’t forget the leftovers. Cassoulet is even better the next day, after flavors have had time to meld. 

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