Duck Cassoulet

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READY IN: 4hrs
Recipe by Terese

I saw this recipe in the Epicure section of The Age newspaper and it looked really impressive. I haven't tried cooking it yet but am waiting for the right occasion. Fresh duck has been used in this cassoulet, however this can be replaced with duck leg confit if desired - just bear in mind of its saltiness. Prep time does not include soaking of haricot beans overnight.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 500 g dried haricot beans (soaked for 8 hours or overnight)
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and cut in half
  • 1 stalk celery & leaves
  • bouquet garni

  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 3 -5 stalks parsley
  • 1 sprig thyme, tied together
  • 300 g pork belly, cut into large cubes (or kaiserfleisch)
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 fresh whole duck, boned and quartered (or three confit duck legs)
  • salt, for seasoning
  • olive oil, for seasoning
  • 2 fresh pork sausage links, cut into large pieces (such as Toulouse or continental)
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 ripe tomatoes, chopped (or 1 1/4 tin Italian tomatoes, chopped)
  • 1 -1 12 cup fresh breadcrumb
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped


  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil and cook the onion and garlic until lightly coloured.
  2. Add the drained haricot beans, the carrots, celery, bundle of herbs and kaiserfleisch (if you are using pork belly, first brown the pieces in a little oil in a pan).
  3. Cover with cold water and bring to the boil.
  4. Skim off any surface scum and set the heat to a moderate simmer.
  5. Cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until the beans are tender.
  6. Remove the herbs.
  7. Strain, reserving the stock, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Sprinkle duck with salt and a little olive oil.
  9. If using the grill option in the oven, use a medium heat.
  10. Place the duck skin-side down over a rack to allow the fat to run off (collect and reserve this for later).
  11. Grill for about 10-15 minutes, basting once with the juices, then turn over and continue to grill for 10 minutes or until the skin is crisp and brown.
  12. If cooking directly under a separate grill, the duck will cook more quickly.
  13. Remove to a chopping board and cut pieces in half.
  14. In a pan with a little olive oil, gently brown the pieces of pork sausage.
  15. To assemble: Choose an enamel or stoneware casserole dish that is deep and wide.
  16. Preheat the oven to 170c.
  17. Layer half the bean, vegetable and kaiserfleisch mix in the bottom of the casserole dish.
  18. Place the herbs, wine, chopped tomato, duck and sausage on top and cover with the rest of the bean mix.
  19. Finish with the last of the duck and sausage, tucking them into the beans a little, then pour over the reserved stock.
  20. There should be just enough liquid to almost cover the beans (if there isn't add a little water).
  21. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs in a thick layer on top and drizzle with 3-4 tbsp of the reserved duck fat.
  22. Bake uncovered for about 1-1 1/2 hours, until the crumbs have formed a firm, golden crust.
  23. Serve directly from the pot with a sprinkle of chopped parsley.
  24. *Traditionally this dish uses "salt pork" which is salted, uncooked pork belly.
  25. This may not be readily available so a good substitute is kaiserfleisch, which is salted and lightly smoked belly.

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