Rating: 5 stars
15 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 15
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0

Cassoulet takes a lot of time and ingredients (some hard to find) and uses lots of pots and pans. So why make it? That's easy. Cassoulet is one of the most delicious dishes you'll ever have. Plus, it's great for honing your observational skills, since no two cassoulet are the same, and the times I give are only a guide.

Recipe Summary

prep:
20 mins
cook:
3 hrs 52 mins
additional:
8 hrs
total:
12 hrs 12 mins
Servings:
8
Yield:
8 servings
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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Beans and Cooking Liquid:
Other Meat:
Veggies:
Crumb Topping:

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Rinse soaked beans and drain.

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  • Pour broth into a large pot. Add chopped pancetta, bones from duck confit, and the drained beans. Tie bay leaves, peppercorns, thyme sprigs, and garlic into a small square of cheesecloth to create the bouquet garni; add to the pot. Stir. Bring to a simmer over high heat; skim foamy scum that forms, if desired. Reduce heat to low until beans are almost tender, 30 to 45 minutes.

  • Sprinkle pork pieces with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat; brown the pork pieces, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Add sausage to the skillet and cook in the same oil, turning until nicely browned on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes. Cut sausages in half and transfer to bowl with pork pieces.

  • Remove fat and skin from duck confit and add them to the same skillet. Cook over medium heat until fat is rendered, about 3 minutes. Transfer all fat and browned pieces from the skillet to a mixing bowl. Add melted butter. Stir in bread crumbs and chopped parsley; stir until mixture looks like damp sand. Mix in about 1/4 to 1/2 cup broth.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  • Place onions, carrots, and celery in the same skillet used to brown the meats; add pinch of salt. Cook and stir over medium heat until onions are translucent and mixture turns golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in tomato paste; cook and stir until tomato paste starts to caramelize and stick to the bottom of the pan, 3 or 4 minutes. Pour in white wine; cook and stir until most of the wine evaporates, 5 or 6 minutes. Remove from heat.

  • Drain beans over a large bowl to retain all the cooking liquid. Remove bones and bouquet garni.

  • Place drained beans in large shallow baking dish or cast iron skillet (about 12 inches in diameter and 3 inches deep). Stir in cooked vegetables and about 1 cup broth. Add pork pieces and distribute evenly among the beans. Top with the shredded duck confit. Nestle the sausage halves into the bean mixture.

  • Ladle cooking liquid into the baking dish until beans are nearly submerged. Spread bread crumb mixture evenly over the top but don't press into the liquid. Use your fingertips to make gentle indentations on the crumb surface for better browning.

  • Bake in preheated oven until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 2 hours. Remove from oven and create a small "well" in the center of the cassoulet crust. Ladle about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid (or as needed) into the well to rehydrate mixture. Use a fork to gently poke into the cassoulet to ensure the liquid is fairly evenly distributed but try not to disturb the crusty surface.

  • Continue baking until cassoulet surface is crispy and caramelized, the meat is fork tender, and the beans are creamy and tender, about 30 to 45 more minutes.

  • Serve in large bowls with a spoonful or 2 of hot cooking liquid. Top with chopped fresh parsley.

Cook's Note:

Instead of pancetta, you can use ham, bacon, or salt pork.

This is traditionally a "poor man's" dish, and would not have nearly the generous supply of rich meats. So, if you want something more authentic, you can cut the meat amounts down by half at least.

Nutrition Facts

712 calories; protein 44.8g; carbohydrates 64g; fat 28.7g; cholesterol 107.1mg; sodium 2342.6mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (12)

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
04/18/2017
This was wonderful! Served for a French wine tasting dinner. Expensive and time consuming but so worth it! Wish I could have found more authentic sausages but found Aidell's garlic and gruyere which seemed fine. Great company dinner as it is hands off towards the end. I added a bit of garlic to the duck fat/cracklings to add to the bread crumb mixture. After simmering the bacon in the stock I removed it and did not add to the dish as all flavor had been cooked out. Had extra duck stock and pork stock from the freezer to add to the bean cooking liquid. Can't go wrong with extra flavor. Not too salty at all. Read More
(2)
15 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 15
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
02/18/2019
It took a couple of attempts to dial this in. I made the duck confit as a separate event and had it in the freezer so that helped but it was still a lot of steps but worth it. Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
04/18/2017
This was wonderful! Served for a French wine tasting dinner. Expensive and time consuming but so worth it! Wish I could have found more authentic sausages but found Aidell's garlic and gruyere which seemed fine. Great company dinner as it is hands off towards the end. I added a bit of garlic to the duck fat/cracklings to add to the bread crumb mixture. After simmering the bacon in the stock I removed it and did not add to the dish as all flavor had been cooked out. Had extra duck stock and pork stock from the freezer to add to the bean cooking liquid. Can't go wrong with extra flavor. Not too salty at all. Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
03/21/2016
This is a complex recipe and I learned a lot! I used flageolet beans which are smaller than Tarbais so I kept an eye on them and reduced cooking time. Substituted browned boneless chicken thigh chunks for duck confit (sadly) but used the bones from chicken and pork chop in the cooking broth. The crumb topping is amazing but baking the cassoulet uncovered left mine a bit on the dry side despite ladling in more liquid at the halfway point. (I did halve the recipe so mine wasn't as deep). Next time I might cover for the first half of baking then uncover to finish because the carmelization of the crust is just sensational. Thank you again Chef John! Read More
(2)
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Rating: 5 stars
01/11/2018
Rock star recipe and yes i used every pan in the kitchen. The local butcher/sausage maker provided the sausage on request. It makes a huge difference. Make the stock in advance it will save you time and it's always good to have a good stock in the pantry. Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
12/24/2016
This is an amazing recipe...it does take time but the results are fantastic. Thank you Chef John....you make me look like an amazing chef every time! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
03/25/2019
This was my first time making cassoulet and I was very nervous. The ingredients are expensive and the process is time consuming. That being said it was worth it! I doubled the recipe and served it to 12 friends (who don t mind being my test subjects for new recipes) and it was a huge hit. I made the recipe pretty much as it was written. I did borrow a few ideas from a recipe provided by Dartagnan I made the confit of duck legs per a recipe from Dartagnan. They were fantastic plus the process provided me with an abundance of duck fat to be saved and used for other purposes. I used Tarbais beans (which were so creamy and delicious). When I cooked the beans in addition to the seasonings pork butt and pancetta I added the duck leg bones. Grab every little bit of flavor where you can right. That recipe had me put the pork butt and pancetta in with the beans. The meat was distributed well throughout the dish. The dinner was on a Friday evening so I started the recipe early (Sunday for the duck legs Tuesday for the beans and ragu Wednesday to construct the cassoulet). I do think the additional time to let the flavors meld was a positive with the flavor of the dish. In addition it gave me a good opportunity to skim off any fat that collected on the top of the dish. The crumb topping was great. I did use the duck skin to make duck bacon bits created by crisping it. OMG what a pop of flavor. I think the recipe is absolutely great as is. I will make it Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
03/08/2017
Wow! Incredible flavor. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
07/30/2016
We went to the south of France this summer and when we tried the cassoulet I knew I had to make it at home. I'm so glad I tried chef John's version because it was AMAZING. The only substitution I had to use was turkey legs in place of the duck confit as I could not find duck legs anywhere. I made the turkey confit using duck fat and it turned out really well so if you can't find duck try the turkey. Be sure to follow the steps closely and monitor the salt levels as you go. This took me a long time to make the first time but I anticipate a shorter prep time next time since I won't have to read the recipe and steps so many times! Make this if you're up for a challenge! Bon appétit! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
09/12/2016
I loved everything about this recipe! What I loved the most is that it extracts and utilizes every bit of flavor from every ingredient and method possible. Bones from the confit? Fat and skin from the confit? Juice from the beans? All utilized to bring every bit of flavor into this dish. Is this a simple preparation? Not even close! But the challenge of it yields such amazing results. This recipe is something every budding home cook should try and then do their best to master. Bravo Chef John...this is a masterpiece! Read More