You need

In France you can buy all the component ingredients for Cassoulet!

For 6-8 generous servings

200g cubed bacon, or a slab of streaky bacon or smoked pork e.g. lean belly or loin

If above is very lean: 25ml oil or fat from the duck confit

1 Toulouse style (contains fennel & thyme) pork sausage per person, or 2-3 chipolata sausages per person

1 can chopped tomatoes

2 cans haricot beans (in France cans are 2x size of SA, so 1 can there!) , drained

2 large onions, coarsely chopped

1 celery stick, sliced

2 carrots finely diced

2-3 cloves garlic, crushed

Few sprigs of thyme

1 confit duck leg or 1 chicken leg (drumstick and thigh) per person

Optional: 300ml dried breadcrumbs mixed with 2 cloves crushed garlic, 5ml thyme (omit if cooking entire dish on stove top)

Handful flat leaf parsley

Breadcrumb topping!

To prepare

  1. Cut bacon/smoked pork into 2cm cubes
  2. Lightly fry the bacon/pork, add duck fat or oil if necessary, otherwise cook in its own fat, once there is sufficient oil, add the sausages and fry until golden (they will cook further once added to the dish)
  3. If using raw chicken legs, I like to cut a few slashes into them. They cook quickly and are more succulent. Brown the chicken legs and remove from the pan.
  4. Add the onions, carrots & celery , sauté for a few minutes.
  5. Add the garlic, add the tomatoes, beans and thyme. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
  6. Pour half above mixture in a casserole dish. Place sausage, pork and duck or chicken legs legs in sauce and spoon over remaining sauce. Add half the parsley.
  7. Sprinkle crumble on top. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until the crust is crisp. Omit this if preparing cassoulet on the stove top*.

*If you do not have an oven or suitable dish then layer meat and simmer for about 20-30 minutes or until the chicken thighs are cooked, ensuring that the base does not burn! You may have to add a little chicken stock to replace any evapourated liquid.

Serve with a green vegetable or a salad ….. or as is, with a hearty red wine!