Cassoulet is an earthy, peasant dish from southwestern France, traditionally a casserole of beans, pork, poultry and herbs, slowly baked until a dark crust forms.
Ingredients4 bacon slices, coarsely chopped 1 pound fully cooked smoked sausages (such as kielbasa), cut crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick rounds 1 pound game sausage, cut crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick rounds 2 medium onions 6 garlic cloves, chopped 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper 1/2 cup brandy 3 15-ounce cans great northern beans, drained 2 14-ounce cans diced tomatoes in juice 1 cup low-salt chicken broth 3 tablespoons tomato paste Salt and pepper to taste 4 pieces duck confit 1/4 cup olive oil 4 cups coarse fresh breadcrumbs made from French bread 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the bacon in a heavy, large, ovenproof pot over medium-high heat until brown and crisp, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a bowl. Add the sausages to the drippings; saute until brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the bacon.
- Pour off all but 1/4 cup of the drippings. Add the onions and garlic and saute until beginning to soften, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in the rosemary, thyme and crushed red pepper. Add the brandy and simmer until almost evaporated, about 3 minutes. Stir in the beans, tomatoes with juices, broth and tomato paste. Add the bacon, sausages and duck. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.
- Cover the pot and transfer to the preheated oven; bake 30 minutes. (The dish can be prepared up to this point up to two days ahead. Uncover; let cool 1 hour. Refrigerate uncovered until cold; then cover and keep refrigerated. Before continuing, rewarm the covered cassoulet in a 350-degree oven for 40 minutes, adding more broth if dry.)
- Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Heat the oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and saute until light golden, about 4 minutes.
- Transfer to a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the warm cassoulet. Bake until breadcrumb topping is deep golden, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle the cassoulet with parsley and serve.