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Recipe: Pork Cassoulet

This classic, rich, slow-simmered dish combines a hearty bean stew with a savory pork and sausage stew, all topped with a crust of bread crumbs drizzled with our Graisse de Canard Gold. Cassoulet is quintessential French country cuisine, a labor of love, so set aside an afternoon to make it and serve it to friends and family warm and fragrant from your oven.

Ingredients

Serves
8
For the bean stew:
  • 1 pound dry white beans such as Great Northern
  • 2 tablespoons Graisse de Canard Gold®
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 10 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 ham hocks
  • 1 bay leaf
For the pork stew:
  • 2 pounds pork shoulder, cut in 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Graisse de Canard Gold®
  • 4 ounces pancetta or bacon, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) whole tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary, crumbled
  • 3/4 ounce Glace de Canard Gold® or Glace de Poulet Gold® dissolved in 2 cups hot water
To assemble the cassoulet:

Methods/steps

  1. To make the bean stew: Soak the beans overnight in enough cold water to cover them.  After soaking, drain and rinse them, and pick through them to discard damaged beans or stones.
  2. Heat the duck fat in a large saucepan over  medium-high heat.  Add the onion and carrot and sauté for 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and continue cooking until the vegetables are lightly browned, about 5 more minutes.  Add the beans, ham hocks, and bay leaf to the pan and add enough water to cover the beans and most of the  ham hocks.  Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
  3. Remove the ham hocks and set them aside to cool slightly.  Pull the meat off the ham hocks (dispose of the bone, skin, and cartilage), chop it, and add it to the beans.  Remove the bay leaf and set the stew aside.
  4. While the beans are cooking, make the pork stew: Season the pork with salt and pepper.  Heat the duck fat in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add the pork to the pot and brown it (in batches, if necessary).  Remove the browned pork from the pot and set it aside.  Add the pancetta or bacon to the pan and sauté it until it's brown and cooked through, then remove it from the pan and set it aside.
  5. Add the onion and carrot and sauté for 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and continue cooking until the vegetables are lightly browned, about 5 more minutes. Raise the heat, add the white wine and boil, scraping up the browned bits, until the wine is reduced by half.
  6. Add the tomatoes and their juices, the bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, dissolved Glace de Canard Gold®, and the reserved pork and pancetta to the pot.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the pork is tender, about 1 hour.  Season the  stew to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
  7. To assemble the cassoulet: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.  Heat 2 tablespoons of the duck fat in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausages and brown them on  all sides.  Set them aside to cool slightly, then cut them into 1/2-inch slices.  Stir the sausage into the pork stew.
  8. Combine the bean stew and the pork stew in a large, ovenproof soup pot or casserole.  Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of duck fat in the microwave or in a small pan on the stovetop.  Sprinkle the bread crumbs evenly over the top of the cassoulet and then drizzle the duck fat over them.  Bake the cassoulet, uncovered, for 2 1/2 hours, then increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees and bake just until the crumb crust is golden brown, about 5 minutes.

Additional Tips

You can make a lamb cassoulet by substituting boneless lamb shoulder for the pork and using our Glace d'Agneau Gold® in place of the Glace de Canard Gold®.

Wine Pairing: A French Cahors is a classic pairing with cassoulet.  Dry Rosé and Syrah are also good choices.

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Classic French Stocks and Sauces