Duck Cassoulet

READY IN: 4hrs


  • 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
  • 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
  • 4
    ripe tomatoes, chopped (or 1 1/4 tin Italian tomatoes, chopped)
  • 1 - 1 12
    cup fresh breadcrumb
  • 2
    tablespoons parsley, chopped


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