Cassoulet with confit duck

Serves 4 Starters and mains




  • 450g Tarbais or Coco de Paimpol beans, ideally, or any dried white beans
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 small onions
  • 150g carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 150g smoked streaky bacon, cut into lardons
  • olive oil, for frying
  • 2 Toulouse sausages

For the confit duck

  • 4 duck legs
  • 50g coarse sea salt
  • 1 litre duck fat

For the parsley crust

  • 100g dried breadcrumbs
  • 50g shallots, very finely chopped
  • 3tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley


Make the confit the day before, as it must be chilled for 12 hours and then left overnight. First, put the duck legs in a bowl and mix with the coarse salt. Cover with a tea towel and chill for 12 hours. Remove the duck pieces and wipe off the excess salt and
salty juices with a clean cloth.

Melt the duck fat in a large pan. Put the duck legs in a casserole or saucepan deep enough to
hold all of them comfortably. Pour over the melted fat, ensuring the legs are covered, and cook for around 11⁄2 hours over a low heat, skimming the surface from time to time. The meat is ready when you can pierce it easily with a wooden skewer. Leave the legs to cool completely in the fat, then set aside in a cool place overnight. Cover the beans with cold water and leave to soak overnight.

The next day, stick the cloves in the onions. Drain and rinse the beans, then place in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring the water to the boil, skimming the surface, then add the carrot, onions with their cloves, bouquet garni, garlic and bacon. Simmer for 2 hours, or until the beans are tender. Remove the onions and the bouquet garni and set the beans aside. Heat a frying pan over a medium heat. Add a drizzle of oil and fry the sausages on all sides until well caramelised and cooked through – around 10 minutes. Check that the sausages are cooked by inserting a very fine skewer – if it feels warm when touched to your lips, the sausages are ready. Slice the sausages and add them to the beans.

Heat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Transfer everything to a large baking dish. Mix together the ingredients for the crust and sprinkle them over the cassoulet. Roast for around 20 minutes, until the crust is browned and crisp.

Meanwhile, cook the duck legs. Lift them out of the fat. Heat a frying pan over a high heat. Add the legs, skin-side down, and sear until the skin is crisp and golden. Turn over and leave to brown on the other side – around 2 minutes.

When the cassoulet is ready, place the cooked duck legs on top and serve immediately.

Recipe and photo from Classic Koffmann by Pierre Koffmann. Photo by David Loftus (Jacqui Small, £30)
Recipe and photo from Classic Koffmann by Pierre Koffmann. Photo by David Loftus (Jacqui Small, £30)


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