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Our Favorite Recipe for Cassoulet

Cassoulet is a perfect dish to make for company on a chilly winter day.  Everything can be done ahead of time, then simply bake the cassoulet for about 30 – 40 minutes before you are ready to serve the dish, heat up the Saucisse de Toulouse and crisp the skin of the duck legs confit.  Serve cassoulet with a green salad with winter fruits such as persimmon, apple, or pear.

Ingredients:

• 1 pound of dried white beans (flageolets, navy or great northern)
• 6 cups of water
• 2 onions
• 2 cloves
• 1 carrot (cut in half)
• 1 – 2 garlic cloves crushed
• 1stalk of parsley
• 1 rib of celery
• 1/2 pound garlic sausage, sliced, then slices cut in quarters
• 1/4 pound of diced salt pork or bacon
• 2 teaspoons of salt
• 2 tablespoons of rendered duck fat or olive oil
• 4 shallots, chopped
• 1 cup peeled and diced tomatoes
• 1/2 cup tomato sauce
• 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
• 1/2 dry white wine
• 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
• 10 duck legs confit
• 6 links Saucisse de Toulouse
• 1 1/4 cups breadcrumbs
• 2 tablespoons of butter

Instructions:

Boil 6 cups of water. Wash the beans and put in a pan, add the boiling water, and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let soak for one hour. Stud one of the peeled onions with the 2 cloves and add to the beans. Add the carrot, garlic, parsley, celery, diced salt pork or bacon, sausage, and salt. Bring to a boil uncovered, skim off the foam, cover and simmer 30 minutes.

Chop the 2nd onion and the shallots and sauté in the duck fat until the onion turns light brown, add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, chopped parsley and the wine. Stir and cook for 5 minutes, and add to the beans.

Cover and simmer for 1 hour, or until beans are tender, adding more water if needed. The bean mixture should be saucy, with about 1 cup or more liquid when finished. Remove the whole onion, celery, carrot and parsley stalk.

Put the bean mixture in a large earthenware or enamel casserole. Combine the breadcrumbs with the melted butter and sprinkle over the beans, bake at about 350 until the breadcrumbs are brown (up to 40 minutes).

Towards the end of the cooking time, heat the duck legs confit in a frying pan over medium heat, fat side down. When the skin is crisp and browned, turn over just to heat and slightly brown the other side of the legs. Meanwhile, sauté the saucisse de Toulouse in a small amount of olive oil until browned. Cut the sausages in half. Remove the casserole from the oven, top with the duck confit and sausages.

Serves 8 – 10

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