Yes, its that time....

Joined Aug 25, 2009
Hello My Friends,

I was wondering if anyone has a recipe for "Cassoulet" ? I know there are many varieties, I am not looking for one in particular. Just thought there might be something different out there.....

Thank you.
Joined Dec 4, 2009
I'm sure everyone, as you say, will have their own version of cassoulet. This is the one I use:



Serves 8


1 lb small white beans (such as Great Northern),
(covered with 2 inches of water, brought to a boil for 2 minutes and then allowed to simmer on lowest heat for one hour)
1 lb pork fat or blanched salt pork or thick-cut bacon
2 medium halved onions

2 medium carrots, chopped
4 cloves garlic

Bouquet garni (tied in the celery stalks):
4 sprigs parsley
3 sprigs thyme
2 whole bay leaves
2 half stalks celery, with leaf

2 qt chicken stock
1 cup dry white wine

1 lb pork garlic sausages
4 Tbs olive oil

Coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large onion, chopped
2 whole duck breasts, quartered
1 lb red tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and
chopped or one 16-ounce can of tomatoes
1-½ cups toasted panko bread crumbs


Drain the par-cooked beans and put them into an 8-quart casserole with the pork fat/bacon, the halved onions, carrots, garlic, bouquet garni and chicken stock.

Bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer over low heat, uncovered, for about an hour.

Remove the pork fat (or bacon, etc.) and chop it into ½-inch pieces.

Strain the beans, reserving the cooking liquid and discarding the onions and bouquet garni. Set the beans aside in a bowl.

Prick each sausage in two places with a fork and put them in the bottom of a 10-inch sauté pan with a bit of olive oil. Cook over medium heat, turning from time to time, until the sausages are browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Add additional olive oil to the pan if the sausages do not render out a good layer of fat at the bottom of the pan. Bring to high heat and add the chopped onion and cook, stirring from time to time until the onion is semi-soft, about 5 minutes.

When the onion is softened, add the duck breast, skin-side down first. Brown one side, flip and brown the other side well.

Add the white wine and cook for another minute. Stir in the tomatoes and continue cooking for another 5 minutes, stirring from time to time. Season well with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.

To assemble the cassoulet, layer one-third of the beans on the bottom of the casserole and add half the bacon or salt pork, sausages, and duck breasts.

Cover this layer with half the tomato mixture. Repeat with another third of the beans and the remaining bacon, sausages and duck. Cover this with the rest of the tomatoes and then the beans.

Add salt and pepper to taste to the bean-cooking liquid. Pour in enough of the bean liquid to come up just to the top of the beans.

Cover the entire cassoulet with the toasted bread crumbs, drizzle with the drippings from the pan and bake in a 350°F oven for an hour and 15 minutes, or until the bread crumbs have formed a crust.

You can break through the crust with the back of a spoon three or four times during the cooking to allow the juices to help form a mushy crust.

I almost always do individual casosulets. I layer each small baking dish with beans, one ¼ piece of duck, ½ link of sausage (sliced) and the other ingredients.

Joined Aug 25, 2009
Thank you Chef Joe for your recipe.

Cassoulet de Carcassonne or De Toulouse or Castelnaudary basically all have the same ingredients for sure. Is it just me or the difference is in the pork , or rather amount of pork ? One recipe will call for poultry and another calls for Duck
I believe the an original Cassoulet has duck. I try to make it every february.
I find that in the Cassoulet de Toulouse , there is pancetta, prosciutto, duck fat, and then all the other items...

The recipe I use has Kielbasa , clove and tomato puree, bay leaf and the bouquet garni.
Your recipe does not have the heavier spice.
I am hoping to make the dish sometime sunday.
I have never made it in individual dishes, what a great idea. The one thing I know for sure is that when left a day or two in the fridge, the taste is outstanding.

Thank You Chef for your insight and time. :level:

I am not sure if this is a popular dish or not but here in Montreal, it is dish that is loved so much. Served with salad, wine and bread.....:smiles:
Joined Feb 26, 2007
I think the duck is traditional, would one use confit duck legs in this as well? Lots of lovely fat to enrichen the dish.

I've also heard the debate about to crust or not to crust, there seem to be 2 camps on that detail.

Certainly it would benefit being kept for a day or three, I wish it were winter here so I could try. Patience .... winter will come :)
Joined Dec 4, 2009

I don't think anyone has an "authentic" cassoulet recipe. I'm sure the idea pre-dates even printed cookbooks. And just as with paellas, "chili" or even something as simple as fried rice, there are so many variations and opinions that I don't think anything is a "must have ingredient".

If you prefer pork, go heavy on the pork. If you like your duck a la "confit", have at it -- regardless that others may think confit is not necessary. And go for quail or pheasant if you'd rather not do duck. I've seen cassoulet recipes that called for mutton.

As for the beans -- the real core of the recipe -- , I wrote "Great white northern" but a purist will tell you that it must be "haricots tarbais" or "haricots de Soissons", and the original cassoulet certainly must have been the European native fava bean and not any white bean that is native to the New World (as are the above).

Joined Aug 25, 2009
Just a few thoughts.....Chef Joe's recipe is terrific.

There are recipes that will say to use chicken but according to my Grandmother's original recipe it calls for “confit de canard” (duck confit – 2lbs) , lean salt pork, upto a ½ cup of duck fat depending on the size of recipe, Pork shoulder, Ham hocks, Pork skin for flavouring, Toulouse sausages ( Toulouse are used but when I do not have them its Kielbasa, Toulouse are smaller and have wine), the recipe also calls for slices of lamb shoulder,chopped tomatoes, carrots, tomato paste,clove and lots of garlic, thyme, bay leafs, stock, wine, bouquet garni.....and the rest.
I guess over time I have made my own recipe, taken from one and improvised when needed.
Confit “duck legs” are all part of the that tasty dish.

I think one of the great joys of this dish is the crust (made with baguettes), I have never had it any other way so I would not know.
The great thing about making it is the construction , layer after layer. A dish that takes time to make but time to eat .
The ingredients can all be bought off a butcher (except the duck) which makes it not all that expensive but labour intensive. That is why I usually plan in advance.

Since I am speaking about duck confit, I made Michael Ruhlman's today and it was great.
Duck Confit: It’s What’s For Lunch |

I really enjoy his thoughts on confit.
Joined Aug 25, 2009
Chef Joe,

We posted at the same time.
You are so right. It is just as you said. (meats)

Your wrote:
"As for the beans -- the real core of the recipe -- , I wrote "Great white northern" but a purist will tell you that it must be "haricots tarbais" or "haricots de Soissons", and the original cassoulet certainly must have been the European native fava bean and not any white bean that is native to the New World (as are the above)."

And I truly believe that ( I use white beans because of tradition ) I vary the dish according to what I get in. If lamb should be on sale, then I will add it, if not , the dish is still terrific with the pork and confit.

But I will say this , wouldn't it be nice if we did have authentic classic recipes ?

I went out to dinner the other night with a friend, we tasted 18 different dishes all perfectly spiced and seasoned, I smiled and thought to myself, how far have we come from some of the original dishes ? When people use the word season, they think salt and pepper right away, that is not what comes to my mind. Bread.....not in the oven, on a hot fire. Spices, the market in Turkey, Damascus...authentic, where did it go ?
Sorry, did not mean to get off topic, just wondering....
Joined Feb 26, 2007
I agree - Joe's recipe is very good. Now I know how to cassoulet.

I think your grandmother knew what she was about - it sounds so rich, earthy and splendid.

Had not thought about pork confit before (from the link you posted)...that must be so rich! (think I just gained 5lb thinkng about it )

As to seasoning...S&P are the obvious ones. I have a storecupboard reserved just for spices, herbs etc. But I know, to me, I never have enough, and snap up evey new one I see to try. Sometimes they work....sometimed not,but it's fun to try.
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