Modern Deconstructed Cassoulet Toulousain

Modern Deconstructed Cassoulet Toulousain

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Credit: Alain De Coster, lead chef instructor, International Culinary Center, New York
Sizzle, Fall 2014


Braised Lamb Shank:
1 large lamb shank
3 T. corn oil
5 oz. white onions, peeled, medium diced
4 garlic cloves, peeled, smashed
5 oz. carrots, peeled, medium diced
1 large celery stalk, medium diced
5 oz. red wine
1 qt. veal stock
2 large plum tomatoes, skinned, seeded, diced
1 sprig of thyme
1 bay leaf
1 small cinnamon stick, cracked
Salt and pepper to taste

Duck Confit:
4 plump duck legs from fabricated duck
4 oz. coarse kosher salt
Pinch of curing salt (pink)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 oz. butcher cracked black pepper
2 oz. sugar
1 t. thyme leaves
1 T. juniper berries, crushed
2 qts. duck fat

1 lb. dried great northern white beans
4 oz. pork belly meat, cut into 1½-inch squares
4 oz. smoked slab bacon, cut into
1½-inch squares
1 medium size carrot, peeled, cut into large pieces
1 medium white onion, peeled, cut into large pieces
6 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed
2 cloves
1 thyme sprig
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste

Garlic Sausage:
2 6-inch garlic sausage links
Duck fat for frying

Duck Cracklings:
Reserved skin from breast and trimmings from fabricated duck
Salt for seasoning
Duck fat for frying

Bread Crumbs:
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 t. minced garlic
1 t. duck fat
1 T. parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste


Braised Lamb Shank:
1. Trim excess fat from shank; season with salt and pepper. Let rest for 3 minutes.
2. In medium-size sautoir heat oil. Over medium heat, sear all sides of shank until golden brown.
3. Remove shank from pan; add onions, garlic, carrots and celery. Cook for a few minutes until mirepoix is golden brown.
4. Remove mirepoix from sautoir; reserve. Remove fat from pan. Deglaze with wine; scrape sucs from bottom. Add stock and diced tomatoes. Add thyme, bay leaf and cinnamon. Return shank and vegetables to pan.
5. Bring to a boil, then simmer. Cover with parchment paper to prevent film from forming, then solid lid. Place in 325ºF oven for about 2½ hours. Cook shank until fork tender.
6. Remove shank from pan; let cool.
7. Degrease stock; reduce by half. Reserve until service.
8. Gently remove meat from lamb shank, keeping large muscles intact. Set aside until ready to proceed with cassoulet.

Duck Confit:
1. Fabricate duck, reserving skin from breast and trimmings for later use.
2. Trim excess fat from duck legs; reserve fat for cooking.
3. Combine kosher salt, curing salt, garlic cloves, black pepper, sugar, thyme leaves and juniper berries in mixing bowl. Rub legs evenly with mixture.
4. In a small tray, place legs about 1 inch apart. Cover with remaining cure mixture. Wrap in plastic film. Cover tray with another tray; place small weight on top. Refrigerate for 24 hours.
5. Remove legs from cure. Rinse under cold water, removing as much cure as possible from legs. Pat dry with paper towels.
6. Melt duck fat in sautoir over low heat. Add duck legs; cover completely with fat.
7. Cook until fork tender, making sure fat never exceeds 190ºF degrees.
8. Remove cooked legs from fat; pat dry; reserve at room temperature for a moment.
9. Add a bit of duck fat to frying pan; sear legs on all sides until golden brown. Reserve for service.

1. Soak beans in cold water over night.
2. Remove beans from water; rinse.
3. Place smoked bacon in small stock pot over medium-high heat to render fat. When bacon is golden brown, remove from pot; reserve.
4. In same pot, color pork belly until golden brown on all sides.
5. Add carrot, onion, garlic, cloves and herbs.
6. Return beans to pot. Add enough water to cover by about 1 inch.
7. Bring ingredients to a boil, then to a simmer. Cook until fork tender.
8. When done, remove carrots, onions, thyme, bay leaf and cloves. Do not discard cooking liquid as it will be needed for the cassoulet. Puree a small portion of beans for later use in cassoulet.

Garlic Sausage:
1. In small saute pan, sear sausage in duck fat until golden brown.
2. Just before service, cut each link on bias into four slices.

Duck Cracklings:
1. Sprinkle trimmings with salt; let sit overnight.
2. Rinse; pat dry.
3. Fry skin in duck fat until golden. Remove from fat. Pat dry again; chop into fine cracklings.

Bread Crumbs:
1. Place crumbs on baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
2. Toast in oven until golden brown.
3. Transfer to small mixing bowl; toss with mixed minced garlic and chopped parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

Small “Cake”:
1. Individually, dice a piece of lamb shank trimmings, pork belly and garlic sausage. Toss together in mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
2. Assemble mixture into small rectangular ring mold to about 1/8 inch from top. Bake at 350ºF for 3 minutes. Remove from oven; let stand for 1 minute.
3. Top with seasoned bread crumbs. Gently remove from mold; hold until serving.

1. Warm large dinner plate in oven for an instant.
2. Place large dollop of reserved bean puree off center of plate. Using dinner spoon, and starting from center of puree, spread puree in a “tirée” (long thread) method, leaving center clean. At end, place small amount of whole beans attractively.
3. Place “cake” immediately below puree.
4. Nicely arrange lamb shank, pork belly, bacon and sliced sausage in circular pattern.
5. Lean seared duck leg on cake.
6. Top lamb with its natural reduced juices; ladle a bit of it to surround all proteins.
7. Gently arrange a line of duck cracklings where possible.


8 servings


Lamb, Main Dish, Pork, Poultry, Sizzle

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Association of Nutrition & Foodservice Professionals