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D'Artagnan Cassoulet

The classic sausage, preserved duck or goose, and bean casserole.

D'Artagnan Cassoulet

Ingredients

1 pound haricot tarbais beans, rinsed
1/4 cup duck fat
1 medium onion, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 pound ventrèche, in one piece
2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 container duck and veal demi-glace dissolved in 4 cups water
  Bouquet garni made of 5 parsley sprigs, 3 celery leaves, 1 thyme sprig, 1 bay leaf, 5 cloves and 10 peppercorns, wrapped in cheesecloth and tied
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Peppercorns Options

  salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 confit duck legs, each cut in half
1/2 pound fresh garlic sausage, cut into 8 slices crosswise
4 links (8 1/2 ounces) duck and Armagnac sausages, lightly browned, and then cut in half crosswise

Cooking Instructions

The classic sausage, preserved duck or goose, and bean casserole that is at the heart of traditional Gascon cooking is called cassoulet. While the ingredients vary according to who makes it, the type of sausages and confit you have available, what region you're from, and personal preference, it's important that it cooks slowly so the flavors of ingredients have time to harmonize.

Cover beans with water and soak overnight. Drain only when ready to use.

Heat the duck fat in an enameled cast-iron French oven over medium-high heat. When the fat is hot, sauté the onions and garlic until translucent, then add the carrots and sauté for 1 minute.

Add the ventreche, drained beans, tomatoes, demi glace, bouquet garni, and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil.

Once the liquid boils, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook until the beans are tender, stirring often, about 2 hours. Remove the bouquet garni and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Remove the bean mixture, along with the liquid, from the French oven and wipe the French oven clean. In the same French oven, arrange half the bean mixture. Top the beans with the duck confit, garlic sausage, duck and Armagnac sausage. Cover the meat with the remaining beans. Bake until a crust has formed on top, about 10 to 30 minutes.

Equipment List

Chefs Knife
Tongs
Glass Prep Bowls
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