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Duck Confit Cassoulet

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Photo: Dennis Evans

A classic recipe, this French staple is not as difficult as you might think.

Chef Ludovic Eveno of Agricola Street Brasserie
www.agricolastreet.ca

“Dining in the Raw was the theme of Design360’s space, so I thought about not wasting, using as much as we can. At our restaurant, we use produce from farms to the max. It’s about community and getting together. Design360 created a pantry, so we decided to represent preserving ingredients. Confits
keep for six months in a can, so that’s how we served it.
It’s comfort food, traditional cuisine.”

Recipe courtesy of Chef Ludovic Eveno of Agricola Street Brasserie

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb (450 g) dried white beans, soaked overnight and drained
  • 4 oz (110 g) slab smoked bacon, cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) whole cloves
  • 8 sprigs thyme
  • 6 sprigs parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 lb (225 g) garlic sausage
  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups (500 ml) duck or chicken stock
  • 4 legs duck confit, homemade or bought, de-boned, meat shredded
  • 1 28-oz can (828-ml) whole tomatoes in purée, crushed by hand
  • salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) duck fat
  • 1 cup (250 ml) fresh bread crumbs

Directions:

  1. Boil beans, bacon, and 12 cups (3 L) water in a 6-qt. (5.6 L) saucepan. Add peppercorns, cloves, thyme, parsley and bay leaves in a cheesecloth. Reduce heat to medium-low, cook, partly covered, until beans are tender, about 1.5 hours.
  2. Discard spices, transfer beans and liquid to bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, set aside.
  3. Cook sausage until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Slice 1/2-inch (1.3 cm) thick on angle; set aside. Stir in garlic and onions, cook until golden, about 15 minutes. Return sausage to pan, add stock, confit, tomatoes, salt, pepper, bring to boil. On medium heat, cook 1 to 1.5 hours. Using slotted spoon, transfer sausage and confit to a bowl; reserve broth.
  4. Heat oven to 375°F (190°C). Rub 8-qt. Dutch oven with 2 Tbsp (30 ml) duck fat. Using slotted spoon, add 1/3 beans, half the sausage and confit, then 1/3 beans, remaining sausage and confit. Top with remaining beans and 1 cup (250 ml) broth. Melt remaining duck fat in saucepan, stir in crumbs, salt, pepper. Sprinkle over top and bake until cassoulet bubbles, about 40 minutes. Increase to 450°F (230°C), cook until crumbs are browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes, serve with country bread.
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