Daniel's Casual Cassoulet

Daniel's Casual Cassoulet

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Credit: Daniel Boulud - From: Daniel’s Dish: Entertaining at Home with a Four-Star Chef (Filipacchi Publishing, 2003)
The National Culinary Review, October 2009

From the Chef

“Chef's note on wine pairing: Such a rich, rustic dish calls for a wine that has ample body and tannic structure, such as the famous Château Montus made from Tannat grapes. Also, in California's; Livermore Valley, Ridge produces Mataro, a full-bodied wine with a gamy aroma.”


2 T. unsalted butter
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 (4 lb.) Pekin duck, legs and breast removed, split
1 1/2 lbs. lamb shoulder, cut into 8 pieces
8 Toulouse or sweet Italian link sausages
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 lb. slab bacon, out into 8 large cubes
2 large onions, 1/2-inch dice
4 large carrots, 1/2-inch dice
2 large stalks celery, peeled, 1/2-inch dice
1 garlic head, separated into cloves, peeled, sliced
Bouquet garni (1 bay leaf, 4 sprigs flat- leaf parsley, 3 sprigs thyme) tied with strip of leek green
2 T. tomato paste
1 lb. tomatoes, peeled, seeded, 1/2-inch dice
2 1/2 lbs. (about 6 cups) Tarbais beans (or cannelini), pre~soaked in cold water 8-12 hours
Piment d’espelette, or sweet paprika/ cayenne, to taste
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
3 T. coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
6 T. melted unsalted butter, melted duck fat or vegetable oil


1) Center rack in oven; preheat oven to 400°F.

2) In shallow 12—quart pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, melt butter with oil.

3) Season duck, lamb and sausage with salt and pepper. Add to pot. Add bacon. Brown meats evenly on all sides. Add onion, carrot, celery, sliced garlic and bouquet garni; cook,
without color, stirring, for 10 minutes. Add tomato paste; mix well. Add tomatoes, beans and 16 cups water; slowly bring to a boil. Cover pot; bake 1-1 1/2 hours, until beans are tender (do not overcook beans). After 45 minutes, check cassoulet; if needed, add more water.

4) Remove cassoulet from oven. Season with salt, pepper and piment d’espelelte. Reduce oven to 350°F.

5) In mixing bowl, combine breadcrumbs, parsley and chopped garlic; season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle half breadcrumb topping over cassoulet; drizzle with half melted butter. Bake, uncovered, 15-20 minutes.

6) Remove from oven. Using back of spoon, push crust down into liquid to moisten. Cover with remaining breadcrumb topping and butter.

7) Preheat broiler. Broil cassoulet, keeping a close eye on it, 5-7 minutes, until crust is golden-brown.


8 Servings


Main Dish, Poultry, The National Culinary Review

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