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Cassoulet Recipe

The French classic, Matty Matheson-style.
Cassoulet Recipe
Photo by Heami Lee

Servings: 4
Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 5 hours


for the lamb shanks:
2 lamb shanks (about 1 ½ pounds|680 grams)
1 medium yellow onion, halved
1 leek, dark green removed, roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 rib celery, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon kosher salt

for the cassoulet:
½ cup|125 ml duck fat
1 pound|500 grams pork belly, cut into 2-inch pieces
3 garlic cloves, smashed
2 ribs celery, roughly chopped
1 carrot, diced
1 leek, finely sliced
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
4 ½ cups dry navy beans, soaked overnight
2 sprigs rosemary
2 sprigs thyme
a small bunch flat leaf parsley
2 quarts|1892 ml chicken stock
2 tablespoons canola oil
7 toulouse sausage
1 ½ cups|167 grams breadcrumbs
6 confit duck legs


  1. Braise the lamb shanks: Put all the ingredients into a medium sauce pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, skimming off any scum that may arise. Simmer, uncovered, for 3 hours, or until the lamb shanks are tender and coming away from the bone. Drain, removing the lamb shanks and discarding the rest. Once the lamb shanks are cool enough to handle, tear the meat from them and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Make the cassoulet: Heat the duck fat in a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Add the pork belly and cook, turning as needed, until browned all over, about 10 minutes. Remove pork belly and set aside, leaving residual fat in the bottom of pot.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the garlic, celery, carrot, leek, and onion cook until onions are translucent and fragrant, about 7 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes. Add in reserved pork and the beans. Tie the rosemary, thyme, and parsley together using butcher's twine. Immerse herbs within beans. Pour in the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook until the beans are just tender enough to squish between your fingers, about 1 ½ hours.
  4. Heat the oven to 400°F. Discard the herb bundle and pour the beans into a large Dutch oven. Add the lamb meat and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Heat the oil on a large nonstick skillet over medium. Working in batches, cook the sausages, turning as needed, until browned all over, about 3 minutes. Nestle sausages into bean mixture.
  6. Cover beans and sausage with breadcrumbs. Arrange duck legs on top of breadcrumbs. Bake until duck legs are golden and crispy, about 25 minutes.

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