Last November my husband, mother and myself strolled the streets of Paris in search of Cassoulet. We found a small restaurant with owner and Chef Liliane. She was so gracious, when my husband explained to her my love of cooking and learning she brought me into her kitchen and taught me her recipe for Cassoulet! I was so excited to learn from her. I wrote down all her ingredients and steps. Its a 2 day process she explained but if you don’t have time you can make it in a day. Mind you she cooked the meats the day before and stored them in the refrigerator. On the second day she cooked the beans, and placed the meats in the pots once the beans were cooked. Then, she placed each portion into a casserole to finish cooking in the oven.
- 1 pound dried haricot beans (soak over night)
- Kosher salt
- 1 quart homemade stock
- 1lb smoked pork, 1lb pork belly, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound garlic sausage (2 to 4 links depending on size)
- 1 pound toulouse sausage
- 4 duck legs
- 1 large onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 whole head garlic
- 4 sprigs parsley
- 2 bay leaves
- salt and pepper
In a large bowl, cover beans with 3 quarts water and add 3 tablespoons salt. Stir to combine and let sit at room temperature overnight. Drain and rinse beans and set aside.
Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and preheat oven to 300°F. Brown your pork meat and season with salt and pepper. Do the same with the duck and place both in the oven to cook for several hours till cooked thru
- Rinse beans and place in a large stock pot to cook with water ( water should cover beans) Add onions to pot, garlic, parsley, bay leaves, cloves. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce to low, cover and cook until beans are almost tender but retain a slight bite, about 45-50 minutes. Then reduce heat
- Once meats are cooked, remove from oven, and add meats to pot and stir to incorporate, making sure that the duck pieces end up on top of the beans with the skin facing upwards. Place sausage now into the pot. Beans should be almost completely submerged. Cook about an 1 hr more. Then transfer to a dutch oven and cook, uncovered, until a thin crust forms on top, about 30-45 mins more, adding more stock by pouring it carefully down the side of the casserole as necessary to keep beans mostly covered. (continue to pour stock or water so as not to dry beans over the cooking process)
Continue cooking undisturbed until the crust is deep brown and thick, about 45 min to an hour total. Serve immediately with french bread.