Here is another French classic that I love so much: this traditional cassoulet recipe! This is basically a simple white bean and meat stew. Needless to say that this dish is top notch French winter comfort food!
Traditionally we use a very specific small dried white bean called lingots for this dish.
But you will be just fine if you use just lima beans or any other type of dried white bean.
You have to soak the dried beans in a generous portion of water overnight, that is really necessary to make sure that the beans get cooked through.
So don’t forget to soak the beans beforehand!
You can’t add the dried beans straight to the pan, they won’t soften at all even after hours and hours.
Easy Cassoulet Recipe with Confit Duck
I am not making a classic cassoulet recipe.
No, this time I am using a chunk of smoked bacon for my bean stew and a gorgeous confit leg of duck.
A traditional cassoulet recipe originally contains all the tougher and less elegant pieces of pork such as trotters, head, knuckles or ham hocks with bones.
Cassoulet can also contain lamb though.
Whatever is available actually.
Bean & Meat Stew
You will also find it with (smoked) sausage and pork belly.
It is a typical peasant dish.
Chuck the whole lot of beans and meat in a huge casserole, add water and then let it simmer all day long over a low fire until the day’s work on the fields is over.
In some regions in France this cassoulet is often sprinkled with breadcrumbs in the end and baked in the oven some more to get a crunchy crust on top.
Think I will try that next time, sounds delicious!
French Comfort Food
Another French classic I love: my cassoulet recipe!
A simple white bean and bacon stew with confit duck…
Top notch French winter comfort food!
Easy Cassoulet Recipe with Confit Duck
Another French classic: my cassoulet recipe! A simple white bean and bacon stew with confit duck... top notch French winter comfort food!
- 2 confit duck legs
- 3,5 oz chunk smoked bacon (100 g), diced
- 10 oz dried white beans (300 g), soaked overnight
- ½ small onion
- 3 medium garlic cloves
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary or dried rosemary
- 1 small fresh carrot
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter or goose fat
- 3 cups beef stock (720 ml)
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 clove
- Soak the beans in a generous amount of water overnight.
- Peel and chop the garlic, onion and carrot. Add them to a large casserole with the bay leaves, clove, rosemary and goose fat or butter. Then season with a dash of pepper and salt.
Place the casserole over medium heat until hot. Gently fry the vegetables for 2 minutes. Add the bacon.
Bake the ingredients for 2 minutes. Then drain the soaked beans. Add them to the casserole.
- Stir the ingredients well. Pour it all in a large baking dish. Add the tomato paste and the beef stock. The beans should be submerged.
- Place the dish in a preheated oven at 356°F (180°C) for 2 hours until almost tender. Add extra beef stock or water if necessary. Halfway through cooking time, stir the beans. Once the beans are cooked, add the duck legs to the bean stew (bury them under the hot beans) and put the dish back in the oven for another hour.
Then check if the beans are smooth. Check the seasoning. Add extra pepper or salt to taste. Put the dish back in the hot oven if the beans need more cooking. Once the cassoulet is ready, scoop the beans onto deep plates. Top with a confit duck leg. Drizzle with the remaining juices in the baking dish. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve hot.
Do you know where this classic cassoulet is originally from?
My cassoulet recipe is a French specialty straight from the Pyrenees mountains region between France and Spain.
The origin of the cassoulet is disputed, but it is thought to have originated in the South of France in the region of Languedoc.
Three cities are well known for their cassoulet recipe: Toulouse, Carcassonne and Castelnaudary.
Each one of them claims that they invented and even serve the most classic cassoulet to this day.
Anyway, I am pretty sure that they will all be delicious – no matter what city it comes from.
Restaurant Château Saint Martin, Carcassonne
We were once in Carcassonne.
Next door to our hotel was a restaurant that allegedly served the best cassoulet in the world.
So we had to check it out.
And was it as good as people said it was?
The cassoulet was perfect, the beans were soft and smooth and creamy. This cassoulet for 2 contained different meats such as sausage and pheasant.
Head chef Jean-Claude Rodriguez is recognised as one of the best cassoulet chefs in France.
Unfortunately his cassoulet restaurant Le Château Saint Martin in Carcassonne is closed now, what a shame.
Lingots & Bañeza Beans
I prepare this classic French dish a lot.
But I can’t find lingots beans here in Spain but I use a Spanish type of dried white beans from the Castilla and Leon region (from the la Bañeza village) that is absolutely perfect as well.
Great Northern beans, navy beans and pinto beans are all good bean choices for meat stews.
What I do add to the cassoulet the makes it very traditional is duck fat. Goose or pork fat is also perfect, as long as it is a creamy type of lard.
That is what gives the cassoulet its rich and creamy velvety texture.
Both the hubs and I are absolute bean lovers.
How about you?
I can put just about any type of bean dish on the table and it will go down without even one single word.
Soups, salads, dips, stews…
Now there is another gorgeous winter meal!
What are the health benefits of white beans?
Are white beans nutritious?
And are they also as healthy as well all think?
Beans are packed with protein, fiber, B vitamins, minerals and are low in fat and sugar. Besides beans digest slower which gives you the feeling of a full stomach for much longer.
Perfect ingredient to add to your diet if you want to loose some weight! That is why beans are a staple ingredients in low carb diets.
There are so many types of dried beans.
Have you ever noticed how many if you take a look in your local supermarket?
Kidney beans, white beans, black beans, split peas, haricot beans, cannellini beans, black eyed peas… You name it, they have it.
That is what I love in American supermarkets: there you can find there great mixed bean bags.
Take a look at my 15 bean soup with ham hock and you will know what I am talking about.
I just love the variety of that bean mix!
Plus it looks so colorful.
I always remember to soak dried beans for a couple of hours to one night before I use them. Some chefs and bloggers claim that beans cook faster without soaking.
But I really doubt that.
All I know is that beans are super tender every time I soak them before cooking.
Depending on what type of dried bean you are using, some beans need quite some time to get tender and super smooth and soft.
That is why it makes dried beans like these a perfect ingredient to prepare in a slow cooker.
You can make the cassoulet recipe above in a slow cooker as well by the way, goes without saying. It is all up to you!