Deconstructed Cassoulet with a Green Salad

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This recipe pre-dates my 5 Ingredients philosophy.

Deconstructed Cassoulet with a Green Salad

From Stonesoup

Cassoulet is one of those rustic and incredibly hearty dishes that you can’t help but love. For a more elegant dinner party feel you could serve it in individual ramekins but it is quite fun to plonk your cherry red le Creuset in the middle of the table and let everyone dig in.

I’ve used my new favourite cheats version of duck confit, pot roasted duck legs, but feel free to substitute in the more traditional confit homemade or purchased. If you are cooking the duck yourself things can get a little tricky with oven space. I did my cassoulet ahead and let it sit for the flavours to develop while the duck was cooking and then when it was time to crisp up the bread crumbs had the cassoulet on the bottom shelf and the duck on the top shelf. If you’re pressed for time you could simmer the cassoulet on the stove top while your duck bakes in the oven, the possibilities are endless really.

Serves 8-10
500g dried small white beans, soaked overnight in cold water
1 small onion, peeled
4 cloves
2T olive oil
200g smoked spec or bacon, chopped into thick matchsticks
3 brown onions, peeled and diced
2 carrots, finely diced
125mL (1/2C) red or white wine
2 x 400g cans tinned cherry or roma tomatoes
1kg lean rindless pork belly cut into 2-3 large pieces
500mL chicken stock
3 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
3 large duck sausages (or pork) cut on the diagonal into 2cm thick slices
200g fresh sourdough breadcrumbs
2T olive oil or duck fat
8-10 pot roasted duck legs or duck confit
green salad, to serve

1. Drain beans and place in a large saucepan. Spike the onion with your cloves and add to the beans. Cover generously with cold clean water and bring to a simmer. Cook for approx 40mins or until beans are tender but still a little firm. Drain beans and discard onion.

2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 160C. Heat oil over a medium heat in a large cast iron casserole dish. Add spec, onions and carrots and cook stirring periodically until spec is browned and the onion is softened. Add wine and stir to combine. Add tomatoes pork belly, stock, thyme and bay leaves and bring to a simmer. Transfer to the oven and cook uncovered for an hour.

3. Add cooked and drained beans and sliced sausages to the pot and stir. Return to the oven and cook for another 1-2 hours or until pork belly is tender. Stir every 20mins or so and if the mixture is starting to dry out cover with a tight fitting lid. Season well.

4. Increase oven temp to 200C. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the surface of the casserole and drizzle with extra oil or duck fat. Bake for 30-40mins or until crumbs are deep golden and crunchy and everything is bubbling. When the cassoulet has been in the oven for about 20mins place your pot roasted duck legs or duck confit on the top shelf to reheat and crispen up.

5. To serve, divide hot duck legs between plates. Place cassoulet in the middle of the table for everyone to serve themselves and pass a green salad separately.

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