2½ lbs. pork butt or lamb shoulder, cut into 1” pieces
Salt and pepper
2 T. duck fat or vegetable oil
¼ lb. pancetta, minced
1 large onion, minced
2 carrots, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ c. plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
½ c. white wine
1 qt. chicken stock, preferably homemade
2 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1½ lbs. Tarbais or flageolet beans**, soaked overnight
½ onion, cut in wedges
1 carrot, cut in 1” pieces
1 stalk celery, cut in 1” pieces
1 tsp. salt
6 legs duck confit (see separate recipe)
2 T. duck fat
1 lb. small garlic sausages
1 c. panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
½ c. flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat a large wide-bottom skillet over high heat. Season the pork or lamb with salt and pepper. Add 2 T. duck fat to the pan and sear the meat in batches until brown on all sides. Remove to a plate while searing the rest of the meat. Once all the meat has been seared, drain off any excess fat and add the pancetta to the pan. Cook until it begins to lightly brown. Add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Cook for 3-5 minutes to soften the vegetables. Stir in the tomato and white wine and cook for 5 minutes to reduce. Add the chicken broth to the pan, along with the thyme, bay leaf and the seared meat. Bring to a simmer, cover and place in the middle of the preheated oven. Bake for 1½ hours until tender.
While the pork is cooking, place the beans in a large saucepan with the water they have been soaking in. If necessary add more water to cover by two inches. Add the onion, carrot, celery and bay leaf to the pan. Bring to a simmer. Skim off any foam that rises to the top and cook at a low simmer for approximately an hour until beans are tender. Remove from the heat, add the salt and allow beans to cool in their own broth. Drain the beans, remove the vegetables and bay leaf and stir into the pan with the pork.
To assemble the cassoulet, use a large, deep earthenware casserole dish that all the beans and meats will fit into. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Sear the duck legs in the remaining duck fat to brown on both sides. Sear the sausages on both sides to brown. Set aside. Spoon a third of the beans and pork in the bottom of the casserole dish. Arrange half of the confit and sausage on top. Cover with another third of the beans and pork and arrange the remaining confit and sausage on top. Cover with the remaining beans and pork and pour the braising liquid from the pork over the top to cover. Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 1 hour until the broth is bubbling and a crust is beginning to form on top.
While the cassoulet is baking, pulse the breadcrumbs, parsley and garlic in the work bowl of food processor to combine. Remove the cassoulet from the oven, sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the top of cassoulet and bake for another 30 minutes to lightly brown.
Enjoy with a glass of Cakebread Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon.
**Tarbais is the bean traditionally used in the southwest part of France where cassoulet originates. Rancho Gordo, www.ranchogordo.com, a purveyor of heirloom beans, sells them as cassoulet beans. Feel free to substitute another white bean that will hold its shape over a long cooking period.
If you’re joining us for Cooking with Cakebread and want to cook along with our chefs, we recommend you complete the following steps prior to the beginning of our class:
Cassoulet • Pork or lamb shoulder braised • Tarbais beans cooked • Confit made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator • Garlic and parsley chopped