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Duck Cassoulet from Le Creuset

Duck Cassoulet from Le Creuset

Cassoulet is a hearty bean-based dish that originates from the south of France. There are numerous local variations, but the main ingredients usually consist of beans, pork and sausage. Serves 6. Cooks notes: Duck confit can be bought ready prepared in jars or cans. Alternatively, you can make it at home by slow cooking duck legs in goose fat


4 confit duck legs, plus 2 tablespoons of the confit fat
500g boned pork shoulder or belly pork, cut into 2cm pieces
6 Toulouse or garlic-flavoured sausages
2 onions, sliced
4 garlic cloves, sliced
3 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 bay leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon tomato puree
100g fresh breadcrumbs

For the beans
500g Dried white haricot beans
2 Cloves
1 Onion, peeled
250g unsmoked bacon (in one piece with the fat)
1 carrot, scrubbed and halved
3 Garlic Cloves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 Bay leaves


Place the beans in a bowl and cover with cold water so that it comes 4cm above the beans. Leave to soak overnight.
Drain the beans and place in the marmite (26cm). Stick the cloves into the onion and add it to the beans along with the bacon, carrot, garlic, peppercorns and bay leaves. Cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Skim the surface, cover and simmer for 1 hour or until the n=beans are tender. Drain the beans, reserving the cooking liquid and discarding the bacon, onion and carrot. Wash and dry the marmite.
Heat the duck fat in the marmite, add the pork and cook until browned. Set aside on a plate. Add the sausages and cook until browned. Cut them in half and set aside with the pork. Cook the onions and garlic in the duck fat until soft and add the tomatoes and bay leaves. Return the pork and sausage to the pan. Season the bean cooking liquid with salt and pepper, stir the tomato puree and pour over the meat. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook 45mins

Preheat the over to 160C (140C fan oven). Remove the pork and sausages from the marmite with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl. Pour the liquid into a jug. Place a third of the beans in the bottom of the casserole with 2 pieces of duck. Cover with half the pork and sausages. Top with a third more beans and then a final layer of pork and sausages followed by the remaining beans and duck.
Pour the liquid into the casserole. It should come just up to the top of the beans. Ass a little water, if necessary. Sprinkle half the breadcrumbs over the surface and cook in the oven for 1 hour.
Push the layer of breadcrumbs on top. Cook in the oven for a further 30mins until golden on top.

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