- Serves 6-8
- Brian Streeter
- Pairs well with:
- Syrah, Napa Valley
Cassoulet is a rich, slow-cooked casserole originating in the south of France. It’s a perfect dish for winter and for our Napa Valley Syrah. Cakebread Cellars Chef Brian Streeter demonstrates how to make this perfect winter dish, which pairs perfectly with Cakebread Cellars Napa Valley Syrah. At the end of the recipe he also explains how to make Duck Confit and how to roast whole heads of Garlic.
2 ½ lbs. pork butt, cut into 1” pieces
salt and pepper
2 T. duck fat or vegetable oil
¼ lb. pancetta, minced
1 large onion, minced
2 carrots, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
½ c. plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
½ c. white wine
1 qt. chicken stock, preferably homemade
2 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1 head roasted garlic*
1 lb. Tarbais or flageolet beans**, soaked overnight
½ onion, cut in wedges
1 carrot, cut in 1” pieces
1 stalk celery, cut in 1” pieces
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. salt
6 legs duck confit (recipe follows)
2 T. duck fat
1 lb. small garlic sausages
1 c. panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
½ c. flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat a large wide-bottom skillet over high heat. Season the pork with salt and pepper. Add 2 T. duck fat to the pan and sear the pork in batches until brown on all sides. Remove to a plate while searing the rest of the meat. Once all the pork has been seared, drain off any excess fat and add the pancetta to the pan. Cook until it begins to lightly brown. Add the onion, carrot and celery. Cook for 3-5 minutes to soften the vegetables. Stir in the tomato and white wine and cook for 5 minutes to reduce.
Add the chicken broth to the pan, along with the thyme, bay leaf and the seared pork. Mash the roasted garlic with the back of a spoon and stir into the chicken broth. Bring to a simmer, cover and place in the middle of the preheated oven. Bake for 1½ hours until tender.
While the pork is cooking, place the beans in a large saucepan with the water they have been soaking in. If necessary add more water to cover by two inches. Add the onion, carrot, celery and bay leaf to the pan. Bring to a simmer. Skim off any foam that rises to the top and cook at a low simmer for approximately an hour until beans are tender. Remove from the heat, add the salt and allow beans to cool in their own broth. Drain the beans, remove the vegetables and bay leaf and stir into the pan with the pork. Bring the pork and beans to a simmer and return to the oven. Bake for another half hour to allow the flavors to develop. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
To assemble the cassoulet, use a large, deep casserole dish that all the beans and meats will fit into. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Sear the duck legs in the remaining duck fat to brown on both sides. Remove from the heat and set aside. Spoon a third of the beans and pork in the bottom of the casserole dish. Arrange half of the confit and on top. Cover with another third of the beans and pork and arrange the remaining confit on top. Cover with the remaining beans and pork and pour the braising liquid from the pork over the top to cover. Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 1 hour until the broth is bubbling and a crust is beginning to form on top.
While the cassoulet is baking, return the skillet to the stove. Sear the sausages on both sides to brown. Set aside. Pulse the breadcrumbs, parsley and garlic in the work bowl of food processor to combine. Remove the cassoulet from the oven, push the sausage into the beans, sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the top of cassoulet and bake for another 30 minutes to lightly brown.
*To roast garlic, preheat oven to 400°F. Cut the top third of the head of garlic off to expose all the individual cloves, place on a sheet of foil, drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil, enclose in the foil and bake in the oven for about an hour. Remove when the garlic is soft. Allow to cool and squeeze out the pulp.
**Tarbais is the bean traditionally used in the southwest part of France where cassoulet originates. Rancho Gordo, www.ranchogordo.com, a purveyor of heirloom beans, sells them as cassoulet beans. Feel free to substitute another white bean that will hold its shape over a long cooking period.