Easy Cassoulet inspired stew

An Easy Take on French Cassoulet

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The French make such great hearty food with so much flavour, I love Cassoulet in Winter but in the UK it’s not always easy to get Confit duck or make it yourself so on a whim I made this simplified version which is more of a slow oven baked dish, I’m not calling it Cassoulet strictly because I believe Cassoulet should have the correct French Ingredients and is cooked on a stove but this is a similar and very tasty winter warmer. This is so easy to make, it basically cooks itself.

 

Serves 4

Ingredients –

2 Duck Legs

4 Thick Slices of Pork Belly

4-6 Toulouse or Pork and Leek Sausages

1 Onion

1 Small to Medium Leek

1 Stick of Celery

2 Medium Carrots

5 Cloves Garlic

1 Tin of Haricot beans

1 Bay Leaf

1 Large sprig of Thyme

Parsley

2 Teaspoons of tomato puree

500ml or just enough to cover the meats – Beef or Chicken Stock

1 large glass of Red Wine.

Salt/Pepper.

 

Method –

  1. Heat an oven to 150 degrees Celsius.
  2. Chop the onion, carrot leek, celery and garlic.
  3. Tie the herbs in bundle with a piece of string.
  4. Cut the Pork Belly slices into 2.
  5. By cutting at the joint, cut the duck legs into 2. So you have a Drumstick and a Thigh.
  6. Season the Duck Legs and Pork Belly.
  7. Get a pan and place the duck skin side down into it, then turn on the heat. You just want to get a little colour into the skin. Once browned remove and set aside.
  8. In the same pan seal the Pork Belly, then set aside.
  9. While you do the next part, in another pan cook and colour the sausages
  10. In a large casserole dish heat some oil and pour in any residue pork/duck fat from the other pan.
  11. Once the oil is warm add the onions and sprinkle with salt/pepper and a little Paprika (I do this to most dishes that start with onions because Paprika gives the onions a lovely warming flavour).
  12. Add the Celery, Carrot and Leek and let them soften.
  13. Add the Garlic and Bouquet Garni (herb bundle).
  14. Once the herbs and garlic become fragrant add the tomato puree and stir in well.
  15. Add back the meats and stir.
  16. Drain the tinned beans then add them to the casserole.
  17. Turn the heat up a little so its sizzling and add the red wine, it should make a nice sizzling sound as it hits the pan and let off a lovely aroma.
  18. Once the wine has reduced a little add the stock so it covers the meats.
  19. Add in the cooked sausages.
  20. Place a lid on the casserole and transfer it to the oven.
  21. Leave in the oven for around 2-3 hours, or until the duck meat and pork belly are soft and tender.
  22. Serve with a little crusty bread and a nice glass of Red (ideally French) Wine – A Bordeaux, Cote Du Rhone, Rioja, Barbera.
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