So to the recipe – this is a monster and simply bloody delicious.
My spin on the famous French dish of Cassoulet. A belter!
It’s basically a French casserole from Southern France – slow cooking is the order of the day for this one. This takes a while though, so prepare for a good couple of hours of prep and cooking. I did hear that the name comes from the dish they used to cook it in – the cassole – basically an earthenware bowl shaped thingy with slanting sides. This comes from places such as Toulouse, Carcassonne and Castelnaudary. As usual all vary in the ingredients town by town – so I have no issue in calling this one my very own as I took the basics and made up some additional ‘special’ ingredients!
Cassoulet from Singapore…
This will feed 4-6 easily. Nothing else needed with this dish as you’ll see in a minute it is indeed a meal in a meal!
- 2 tins cannelini beans – 1 tin drained the other not;
- 2 tins butter beans – 1 tin drained the other not;
- 500g pork belly cut to bite sized pieces and de-boned;
- 300g of speck cut in to bite sized pieces. If you can’t get speck you can use smoked ham or bacon as I did;
- 1 packet of garlic sausages – I actually used garlic and herb;
- 2 duck breasts or leg doesn’t really matter to me – maybe a question of are you a breast or a leg man?;
- 3 roughly chopped red onions;
- 5 garlic cloves roughly chopped;
- 3 sprigs rosemary;
- 4 sprigs thyme;
- 1 can chopped tomatoes;
- half a litre or s of chicken stock;
- half a packet of butter that you then melt quickly in the microwave;
- half a packet of breadcrumbs – I used Japanese ones; and
- secret ingredient – a pack or two of foie gras.
See what I mean – it’s a monster list of ingredients.
Off we go;
Preheat your oven to 180-200 degrees.
Fry the pork belly until browned and set aside.
Fry the speck until browned and set aside.
Fry the sausages until cooked and slice thinly in diagonal fashion and set aside.
Fry the duck on both sides until brown and then stick in the oven for about 15 minutes to bake. Take the meat off the bone and set aside.
OK nearing the end now – stir fry the onions and garlic in some oil in a pan until softened. Add in the tins of beans (remember two with the juice and two drained). Add the thyme and rosemary. Add the pork, speck, sausages and duck. Add in the tin of tomatoes. Add in the half litre of chicken sock. Give it a good season with a good pinch of salt and pepper. And finally add in my secret ingredient, the foie gras.
Bring this to a simmer – basically I was continually stirring until the foie gras had melted. Oh man! Then transfer all of this to a large baking dish, tangine or even cassole. Bake it for about 10 minutes then remove.
Mix the breadcrumbs with the melted butter and spoon that all over the top and bash it back in the oven until it goes crisp and golden brown – SERVE then as you don’t want the liquid to make those breadcrumbs soggy.
As I said this is an absolute BELTER – loved it! It went down a storm at a French style party too. Nice!