Cassoulet with Crunchy Crumbs

Cuisine: French

Prep time:

Cook time:

Serves: 4

This French classic is a wonderful winter dish, and is great when feeding a crowd, or for simply enjoying in front of the fire with some red wine. It’s easy to make ahead, and as the flavours develop, some would say even better the next day!

Notes

Tinned beans can be used if you don’t have time to soak and cook the dried beans.
Try using Merguez or Chorizo sausages for a spicier version of cassoulet.
Confit duck can be made by slow-cooking duck marylands in olive oil or duck fat, or they can be bought from specialty food shops and delis in a tin.

Ingredients
  • crunchy crumbs:
  • 1 cup fresh sourdough breadcrumbs
  • 1 clove garlic, very finely chopped
  • ½ small red onion, very finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • cassoulet:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 red capsicum, deseeded and chopped into dice
  • 4 full flavored sausages, such as Toulouse, cut into 1 cm slices
  • 2 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
  • 1 confit duck breast, shredded off the bone
  • 1 400ml can chopped tomatoes + half a tin of water
  • 125g cannelini beans, cooked and drained
  • 125g black-eyed peas, cooked and drained
  • 175ml (3/4 cup) dry red wine
  • 4½ tsp Herbie’s Australian dried thyme
  • 1 tsp Herbie’s ground dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp Herbie’s sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp Herbie’s smoked sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp Herbie’s piment d’espelette

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180C. For crumbs, combine all ingredients, ensuring the breadcrumbs are well coated in oil, then bake for 5-10 minutes, or until golden (you may need to toss once or twice for even cooking). Remove from oven and reserve until ready to serve. Once cool, they can be kept in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
  2. For cassoulet, heat oil in a large cast iron pot over medium heat and saute onion until translucent, about 5 minutes, then add garlic and red pepper; saute for a further 2 minutes. Add sausages and brown on both sides, then add anchovies, duck, tomatoes, water, cannelini beans, black-eyed peas, wine, thyme, rosemary paprikas and espelette.
  3. Stir well, and reduce heat to low; simmer for 30 minutes until sauce has thickened and sausages are tender. Season to taste and serve topped with crunchy crumbs.