Sunday cooking: Cassoulet

Even though Kyle has conquered one complicated recipe after another over the years, one ingredient has always eluded him: duck fat. Strangely enough to the wife who can barely cook, he didn’t consider himself a “real” cook until he made something with duck fat. With this cassoulet, Kyle can officially call himself a “real” cook, and we have something amazing to enjoy throughout the week.

Since Sunday cooking is our thing, do note that this recipe makes a huge amount of cassoulet. Trust us, one bowl will have you wanting more throughout the week. Plus, it freezes well in case you want to save it for another night.

Ingredients:

• 7 large cloves of garlic, minced
• 2 yellow onions, diced
• 3 carrots, diced
• 3 celery, diced
• ¼ pound pancetta, diced
• 2 legs of duck confit (with fat still intact)
• 2 pounds Great Northern beans
• 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
• ½ cup chopped parsley
• 2 large or 4 small ham hocks
• 3 32 ounce boxes of chicken stock
• 4 tablespoons duck fat (this comes from the 2 duck legs)
• 4 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped

What to note before tackling the recipe:
• It’s essential to use high quality protein in this dish. This isn’t the time to settle for some so-so looking meat in your everyday grocery store. A specialty butcher shop (like Indianapolis’ own Goose the Market) should be your first stop on your shopping trip, as they’ll have the best quality product.
• Don’t even think about using dry herbs in this, either. The texture won’t be the same, and you’ll totally know the difference.

Instructions:
Open the package of Great Northern beans, and examine them, removing stones and imperfect beans. Rinse and put in pot. Cover beans with water, bring to boil for 3 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit for 50 minutes. This step will prevent you from having to soak the beans overnight.

Remove fat from duck legs. Reserve duck fat in mason jar for future recipes and put in your refrigerator.

Heat 4 tablespoons of duck fat in large soup pot.

Render the pancetta to the duck fat (this should take about 5-7 minutes). Remove pancetta with slotted spoon. Put aside in a bowl.

Place ham hocks in the pot and brown on all sides.

Put onions and garlic in the pot and sauté until translucent.

Next, add carrots and celery, sauté until tender.

Drain beans in colander and rinse, then add to soup.

Add stock, thyme, parsley and rosemary. Simmer for three hours or until ham hocks begin to fall apart.

Shred the duck meat off of the legs and prepare to add to the soup.

Remove ham hocks from the pot and place on a cutting board. Once cool, remove as much meat as you can and dice.

Return ham, duck meat and pancetta to soup. Cook for 10 minutes.

3 Comments

Filed under Recipes, Soup, Sunday Cooking

3 Responses to Sunday cooking: Cassoulet

  1. Love your real food approach to cooking. Dried beans, fresh herbs, mmm.

    • He Wears The Apron

      Thanks, Stacy! This recipe takes some extra miles on the bike to burn off the calories, but it’s well worth it. :)

  2. Pingback: Duck cassoulet | Zerkalot

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