Duck and sausage cassoulet
- February 2020
- Serves 8
- Simmering time 1½ hours, oven time 1 hour 50-55 min, plus overnight soaking
The hearty stew from southwest France never goes out of fashion. Cooking it involves a bit of forward planning but this recipe is straightforward and makes a rib-stickingly good meal for a crowd on a winter’s night. Red wine at the ready…
Looking for more hearty warming comfort food? Take a look at our best sausage casserole recipe collection.
- 27.8g (9.3g saturated)
- 42.1g (6.4g sugars)
- 500g haricot beans, soaked overnight (see The Knowledge for soaking tips)
- 2 onions, 1 halved, 1 finely chopped
- 4 bay leaves
- 4 fresh thyme sprigs, plus extra to garnish
- 4 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 1 garlic bulb, separated into cloves
- 4 confit duck legs, fat reserved (see tips)
- 6 outdoor reared toulouse sausages (or good quality pork sausages)
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 1 celery stick, finely chopped
- 200g smoked bacon lardons
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- Large handful fresh flatleaf parsley, chopped
- 200ml dry white wine
- 500ml chicken stock, hot, plus an extra splash if needed
- 30g gruyère cheese, grated
- 50g fresh breadcrumbs
- Drain the beans, then transfer to a large heavy-based pan with the onion halves, 2 of the bay leaves, 2 thyme sprigs, half the rosemary and all but 4 garlic cloves (no need to peel). Pour over water to cover, bring to the boil, then simmer for 1½ hours until the beans are just tender. Drain and discard the onion, herbs and garlic (see Make Ahead and tips).
- Meanwhile, heat a deep hob-safe casserole over a high heat, add the duck legs and fry skin-side down for 5 minutes until crisp. Set aside on a baking tray and pour off most of the fat in the casserole (see tips).
- Add the sausages to the casserole and fry in the duck fat for 5 minutes until browned all over. Cut in half, then set aside with the duck legs.
- Heat the oven to 140°C/120°C fan/gas 1. Add the chopped onion, carrot, celery and lardons to the hot casserole, then cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes until the veg is soft and the lardons are golden.
- Peel the reserved garlic cloves and add to the casserole with the tomato purée and parsley, then cook for a minute. Pour in the wine, bring to a simmer, then continue cooking until reduced by about half. Stir in the stock, the remaining herbs and the cooked beans, then season well.
- Return the duck, skin-side up, and sausages to the casserole along with any resting juices, stirring them into the beans, then put in the oven and bake for 1½ hours. Check halfway through, adding a little more stock if the cassoulet looks dry.
- Mix the grated cheese and breadcrumbs with salt and pepper, then sprinkle over the top of the dish.
- Bake the cassoulet for 20-25 minutes more until the top is golden. Serve scattered with extra thyme.
When cooking the beans, skim off any scum that forms on the surface and top up with boiling water as needed to keep the beans well submerged.
We used ready-cooked tinned confit duck legs from Bespoke Foods (from Waitrose and Ocado). If you want to confit your own duck legs, search ‘duck confit’ at deliciousmagazine.co.uk and start the recipe a day ahead.
Don’t discard the fat from the confit duck legs. Spoon into a jar or sealable container and store in the fridge for up to a month – it’s fantastic for roasting potatoes.
Once soaked and drained, cover the beans and keep chilled for up to 24 hours. Prepare and cover the veg up to 24 hours ahead. Complete step 1 up to 2 days ahead. Once cooled, cover and chill the beans until needed.
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