Feather and Bone Cassoulet Recipe

I loved this recipe. It looks complicated, but it's actually easy and delicious with ourEstate Pinot noir(or theReserve 'David’s Block' Pinot noir).

If you're in Sydney, you can buy a kitstraight fromFeather and Bonewith almost all the ingredients needed to make this recipe.

I couldn't recommend this book highly enough, so much so that I have ordered four copies! One for myself, one for the winery and one for each of my two children. 

If you're interested I encourage you to order the book yourself at your local bookstore or Booktopia

Feather and Bone’s cassoulet

Feeds: 4–6 | Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 1½–2 hours

Special equipment: A large heavy-based ovenproof saucepan with a lid, kitchen string

If you haven’t tried it, cassoulet is the kind of dish that makes the cook appear fabulously brilliant and everyone who eats it feel brilliantly fabulous. A slow-cooked peasant dish originating in the south of France and named after the earthenware pot in which it was traditionally cooked, cassoulet is a rich, nurturing, one-pot wonder of beans and meat that is delicious in winter, but just as good in warmer months with a crisp green salad and wine. The core ingredients usually include pork sausages, cured pork, confit duck and beans but there are at least as many variations as letters in the name and all are fiercely defended as THE correct cassoulet. All we know is that this is the one we’ve made for years now with great success, so we’re sticking to it.

  • 300 g (10½ oz) fresh, tinned or dried organic borlotti beans
  • 30 g (1 oz) duck fat
  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 400 g (14 oz) smoked pork shoulder or speck
  • 4 lamb shoulder chops (about 100 g/3½ oz each)
  • 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) duck or chicken stock
  • 2 confit duck Marylands (from select delicatessens)
  • 4 Toulouse sausages (or substitute good-quality pastured pork sausages)
  • 1 bunch Dutch carrots, trimmed and scrubbed
  • 400 g (14 oz) tinned chopped tomatoes
  • Bouquet garni (sprigs of parsley, thyme, sage and bay leaves tied together with kitchen string in a small bunch)
  • 60 g (2¼ oz/1 cup) sourdough breadcrumbs made from day-old bread
  • 1 handful flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
  • Leafy green salad, to serve

If using dried borlotti beans, soak them in cold water overnight. Rinse, transfer to a saucepan and top with cold water, then bring to the boil, reduce heat to medium–low and simmer for 45 minutes or until they start to soften. Cool and refrigerate until needed.

Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F). In a large heavy-based ovenproof saucepan with a lid, melt 2 tablespoons duck fat over medium–low heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until soft and just starting to colour. Add smoked pork or speck and cook, stirring, for another 2 minutes until slightly softened. Remove mixture from pan and set aside.

Increase heat to high, season lamb with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and fry, turning halfway, for 5 minutes or until browned on both sides. Add onion mixture, stock, confit duck, sausages, carrots, tomatoes and bouquet garni. Stir to combine, season well with salt and pepper, and top with beans. The contents should be just covered with liquid — if not, add a little water. Add half the breadcrumbs, then cover with a lid and bake for 1½–2 hours or until beans are cooked and lamb is completely tender and pulls easily away from the bone.

Remove the lid, toss remaining breadcrumbs with parsley and scatter on top. Bake for 15 minutes or until breadcrumbs are golden. Serve with a crisp, green leafy salad.