• Active Time 25m
  • Total Time 14h 10m

Serves 8-10

Cassoulet originated in the Languedoc region of southwest France. The main ingredient is always white beans to which are added a variety of different meats according to region. This one, combining lamb with sausage and duck confit, is similar to the classic cassoulets of Toulouse.


  • Duck leg confit
  • 4 1/2 cups dried white beans
  • 1 white onion
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1/2 cup rendered duck fat, from preparing the confit
  • 1 carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
  • 2/3 cup garlic cloves (about 2 heads)
  • One 1/2-pound piece pancetta, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 10 1/2 cups veal stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 pound smoked ham hock
  • 2 tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • Bouquet garni
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 pounds boneless lamb shoulder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 pound cooked pork sausage, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup fine dried bread crumbs

Companion recipe: Duck Leg Confit with Warm Green Lentil Salad Veal Stock


Prepare the duck leg confit. Set aside.

Sort through the beans, discarding any misshapen beans or stones. Place in a large bowl, add water to cover generously and let soak overnight. Drain the beans, rinse well and set aside.

Cut the onion in 1/2 and chop 1/2 of it. Stud the other half with the 5 cloves.

In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan or stockpot over high heat, warm the rendered fat. Add the carrot, celery, chopped onion, garlic and pancetta. Sauté until the vegetables start to brown, about 5 minutes.

Add the white beans, 8 cups of the veal stock, water, clove-studded onion, ham hock, tomatoes, bouquet garni, salt and peppercorns and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer until the beans are tender but not mushy, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, trim any excess fat from the lamb shoulder and cut into 1-inch cubes. In a large sauté pan over high heat, warm the olive oil. Working in batches, add the lamb. Sauté until the meat begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a plate and set aside.

Pour off the fat from the pan and return the pan to high heat. When the pan is hot, pour in the wine and deglaze by stirring to dislodge any browned bits from the pan bottom. Return the lamb to the pan, add the remaining 2 1/2 cups veal stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the lamb is tender when pierced with a fork, about 45 minutes.

Remove and discard the clove-studded onion and bouquet garni from the bean mixture. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Remove the duck legs from the fat and place on a rack in a baking pan, reserving the rendered fat for other uses. Heat in the oven for 2-3 minutes until the fat melts off.

Add the duck legs, lamb shoulder and sausage to the beans. Bring to a boil and boil for about 3 minutes, stirring gently, to blend the flavors.

Transfer the contents of the pot to a large, heavy-bottomed baking dish, distributing the meats evenly. Sprinkle the bread crumbs evenly over the top. Bake in the oven until browned on top, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.

RecID 729

nutrition information per serving

1016 calories; 53g total fat; 147mg cholesterol; 1257mg sodium; 68g carbohydrates; 24g fiber; 63g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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