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Mains

Preparation 40 mins

Cooking 3 1/2 hours

Serves 10

Bistrot De Luxe Cassoulet

Ingredients

• 1kg dried haricot blanc (lingot) beans
• 1 ham hock
• 55g duck fat
• 4 large onions, chopped
• 12 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
• 400g pork rind, rolled and tied
• 800g carrots, cut into 5mm-thick slices
• 1 large onion, cut into quarters
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 sprig of thyme
• 4 Toulouse sausages
• 1kg shoulder of lamb on the bone, trimmed of sinew and cut into 10 pieces
• 4 Confit Duck Legs, broken into large pieces
• 800g piece of unsmoked back bacon, cut into rashers 1cm thick
• 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
• sea salt and freshly ground white pepper

Preparation method

1.    Soak the dried beans in cold water for 12 hours, draining and changing the water 3
       times during this period.
2.    Soak the ham hock in cold water for 12 hours, then drain.
3.    Heat 30g of the duck fat in a heavy-based pan over a medium heat, add the chopped
       onions and cook slowly for 10–15 minutes or until caramelised. Add the garlic, reduce
       the heat and cook for a further 10 minutes or until the mixture is almost a purée.
4.    Remove from the heat and set aside.
5.    Place the drained haricot beans in a large, heavy-based saucepan with the pork rind,
       carrots, onion quarters, ham hock, bay leaves and thyme. Cover with water to the level
       of 2 fingers above the beans, then bring to the boil.
6.    Reduce the heat and simmer for about 1 hour, until the beans are par-cooked, then
       drain, reserving the cooking liquor and bean mixture separately.
7.    Discard the bones from the ham hock and discard the onion quarters and herbs.
8.    Put the bean mixture in a bowl.
9.    Chop the pork rind to a purée and stir it into the bean mixture, together with the
       onion/garlic purée.
10.  Heat half the remaining duck fat in a separate pan over a fairly high heat, then add the
       sausages and cook for about 1 minute or until coloured all over. Remove the sausages
       and drain.
11.  When they are cool enough to handle, cut into 4cm-thick slices.
12.  Heat the pan again and add the remaining duck fat.
13.  Add the lamb shoulder pieces and cook until just golden all over, then season, remove
       from the pan and drain.
14.  Spoon about one third of the bean mixture into a large, earthenware cassoulet dish.
15.  Add the lamb shoulder in an even layer and cover this evenly with another third of the
       bean mixture.
16.  Add the sliced sausages, duck confit and back bacon rashers, then add the final layer
       of the bean mixture.
17.  Pour enough reserved bean cooking liquor over the top so that everything is just
       covered.
18.  Cook in an oven preheated to 160°C/ Gas Mark 3.
19.  After 1 hour, check the level of liquid; if it has almost evaporated you will have to
       moisten with more hot bean cooking liquor or boiling water.
20.  You will need to repeat this process several times until a crust has formed on top of the
       cassoulet – this will take 21/2–3 hours.
21.  The cassoulet is ready when it has a melting resistance if pierced with the point of a
       knife and the crust is deeply caramelised.
22.  Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and serve.

Serving Suggestions

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