Chef Nick Creswick's recipe for this rustic slow-cooked French dish is a winner. Great elements all combine in one big pot, the beans full of meaty flavour from cooking with the sausage, pieces of the duck confit and the golden crust on top. A fantastic Winter feast.
- 4 duck marylands
- sea salt and pepper
- 500 ml rendered duck fat
- 300 g haricot blanc, soaked overnight
- 2 litres chicken stock
- 40 g butter
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- ½ bunch of parsley, finely chopped
- 150 g breadcrumbs
- 1 stick celery, diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, lightly crushed
- olive oil
- 3 large tomatoes, deseeded and diced
- 250 g Kaiserfleisch, diced
- 4 large Toulouse sausages
- 3 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp thyme
- crusty bread, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Curing time: overnight
Soaking time: overnight
You will need to begin this recipe 1 day ahead.
Place duck in a non-reactive bowl and rub with some salt, pepper, thyme and garlic; then reserve in fridge overnight to cure slightly.
Place haricot beans in a bowl, cover with cold water and leave to soak overnight.
The following day, remove duck from fridge then place in large pot.
Preheat oven to 120ºC. Spoon duck fat over top and wrap foil over pot. Place into oven and cook for 4 hours. Cool slightly then remove duck legs with a slotted spoon.
Meanwhile, strain haricot blanc, place into pot with chicken stock and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain haricots and reserve liquid.
For the crust mixture, melt butter in frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic and parsley, and lightly sauté until translucent. Add breadcrumbs, sauté until golden brown and reserve.
For the mirepoix, in a cast iron or enamel pot, sauté all ingredients in some olive oil over medium heat until translucent. Add cassoulet ingredients to the pot of mirepoix. Cook until slightly brown them remove sausage from pot. Add haricots and sauté for 1 minute. Remove half the mixture and reserve.
Return sausage and the cooked duck to the pot. Top with the removed haricot mixture. Pour half of reserved haricot stock into the pot. Preheat oven to 180ºC. Cover with lid and bake for 1½ hours. While cooking, periodically check the liquid level. If dry, add more haricot stock.
After 1½ hours, sprinkle half of crust mixture over cassoulet, cover with lid and return to oven for 30 minutes.
Sprinkle remainder of crust mixture on top and bake uncovered for a further 15 to 20 minutes, until a golden crust has formed.
Serve immediately, directly from the pot while cassoulet is still very hot. Enjoy with crusty bread.
Nick Creswick is the chef and co-owner of Melbourne's Libertine restaurant.