The French are anal about this dish. They treat it like a religion. Do not dare to cook this dish unless you strictly obey the classical ingredients and ancient cooking techniques... What I cooked here isn't strictly Cassoulet according to the French. Why? Because I've got a couples spuds in it... some tinned tomatoes and I use Spanish sausages, I use tinned beans and duck, I use streaky bacon lardons instead of belly pork. I came up with this when in Prades the other week. It's in the Catalan region, so a lot of the food has a Spanish edge. Hence having the chorizo and tomato in this recipe. But you know what, this is far superior to the bland, greasy, grey traditional style cassoulet. This is vibrant, bursting with flavours, light, aromatic, slightly spicy. How all food should be. Best part? It is dead easy! Ready in an hour!!
- Fry off the bacon lardons in a little oil.
- Add the onions, garlic, chorizo and potatoes.
- Fry off for a couple minutes.
- Add the tinned tomato and the fresh thyme.
- Place your duck pieces at the base of a casserole pot.
- Pour over the contents from the frying pan.
- Push down and flatten.
- Finally, pour over the drained beans.
- Pour over a table spoon or so of duck fat over the beans.
- Spread over evenly. season again and finally sprinkle over some paprika.
- Place, covered, in an oven at 150 degrees for 45mins.
- Check. Should be gently bubbling. There will be a layer of clear liquid at the top. This is the duck fat.
- If there is too much, skim it off.
- Turn the heat up to 200 degrees, remove the lid of the dish and return to the oven for another 15mins or until the top of the beans go brown and crispy.
- Serve with baguette.