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Duck Sausage and White Bean Cassoulet

Updated February 23, 2016
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This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Cassoulet is a French peasant dish that was originally baked in a cassole, or earthenware pot. It sometimes contained duck or goose confit, often contained sausage, and always contained beans. My version is a bit of a hybrid—I do homage to the duck confit by using duck sausage, and although I cook mine on the stovetop, I still simmer the partially-cooked beans with the sausage mixture so they soak up that heady red wine sauce.

MAKE AHEAD:

Cassoulet can be made the day before. To reheat, bring to room temperature and warm in a 350°F oven for 30 minutes, stirring a couple of times as it warms.

10 servings

Preparation Time30 min

Preparation Time - Text30 minutes

Cooking Methodstewing

CostModerate

Moderate

Total Timeunder 4 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Mealdinner

Moodblue

Taste and Texturemeaty, rich, salty, smoky

Type of Dishcasserole

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried Great Northern beans
  • 1 pound duck sausage
  • 1 small onion, whole
  • 1 whole carrot
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 6 bay leaves
  • ½ pound center-cut bacon, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1-inch dice
  • 2 large carrots, sliced into ¼-inch coins
  • 10 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ pound smoked kielbasa
  • 1 cup Cabernet
  • 14-ounce can low-sodium beef broth
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • Crusty baguette, for serving

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Wash the beans well and put them in a large stockpot. Add enough water to the beans to cover by 2 inches and set over high heat. Bring to a boil for 2 minutes, remove from the heat, cover, and let stand 1 hour.

Put the duck sausage on a baking sheet and place it in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and let cool. The sausage will not be fully cooked through.

Add the whole onion, whole carrot, two of the thyme sprigs, and three of the bay leaves to the beans. Add more water to the pot to cover again by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and let simmer until the beans are mostly tender but with still a little bite to them, 50 to 60 minutes.

As the beans cook, put the bacon into a large skillet and place over medium heat. Cook until crispy and transfer the bacon to a paper towel—lined plate to drain. Drain off all but about 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat from the skillet and add the olive oil. Return to the heat and add the diced onion, sliced carrots, and garlic and cook the mixture over low heat for 20 minutes, until the onion begins to turn translucent.

Slice both the duck sausage and the kielbasa on the bias into ½-inch-thick pieces and add them to the vegetable mix. Add the remaining bay leaves and thyme sprigs and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Next add the wine, broth, tomato paste, salt, and pepper. Raise the heat to high, bringing the mixture to a boil. Stir well to dissolve the tomato paste and lower the heat. Allow the mix to simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove the whole onion and carrot from the beans and add the vegetable and sausage mixture to the stockpot, leaving the pot on low heat. Stir well and cover. Let the cassoulet simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until most of the wine mixture has been absorbed by the beans. Spoon into a casserole dish and serve with crusty baguette on the side.

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