Cassoulet L’ Absinthe
Recipe by Adam Keough, The Absinthe Group
Serves 6-7 people
Duck Confit Ingredients (should be prepped 1-7 days in advance)
3-4 duck legs
4ea Garlic cloves
3 sprigs Thyme
3-4 cups duck fat
Season the duck legs generously with salt and black pepper, cure for 4 hours under refrigeration.
Temper the duck to room temperature for 30 minutes in a casserole dish with high sides that just fits the duck legs with not to much extra room. Smash the garlic with your knife, add garlic and thyme to the dish.
Melt down the duck fat and pour over the duck until it is completely submerged.
Cover with foil or a lid and bake for 2.5 hours at 300F degrees. Or until just starting to pull away from the bone. Note: the duck will continue to cook until it cools down.
Cool completely fully submerged in the fat
Pork Shoulder & Fennel Sausage Confit (should be done 1-7 daya in advance)
1pound pork shoulder (cut into 3oz cubes)
3ea sweet fennel sausages (will be added the last 45 minutes to the confit)
4ea Garlic cloves
3 sprigs Thyme
6-8cups duck fat (re-use the fat from duck for even more flavor)
Season the pork generously with salt and black pepper, cure for 4 hours under refrigeration.
Temper the pork to room temperature for 30 minutes in a casserole dish with high sides that is large enough to hold the pork and the sausages. Smash the garlic with your knife, add garlic and thyme to the dish.
Melt down the duck fat and pour over the pork shoulder until it is completely submerged. Reserve the sausage for later.
Cover with foil or a lid and bake for 2 hours at 300F degrees.
Add the sausage and bake for 45 more minutes. Cool completely in the fat.
Cassoulet Beans Step 1 (prepared 2 days in advance to day-of is fine)
1pint cannellini beans (soaked in water over night)
1 small carrot (peeled, cut in half)
1 small celery stick (cut in half)
½ yellow onion (peeled, root left on, cut in half)
1 piece prosciutto scrap or ham scrap (2-3oz piece)
2ea roma tomatoes (cut in half)
6cups chicken stock
Sachet wrapped in cheesecloth: 2sprigs Thyme, 2sprigs sage, 2 sprigs parsley, 1ea bay leave, 5ea peppercorn
Add all ingredients in a large pot and cook at a slow simmer until beans are cooked through.
Remove the onions, carrot, celery, prosciutto, sachet and tomatoes with a slotted spoon and discard. Reserve.
Cassoulet beans Step 2
¼ olive oil
1tbs chopped garlic
1cup small diced onions
1/2 cup small diced celery
1/2 cup small diced carrots
1/2 cup small diced leeks
1tbs tomato paste
1/4 cup confit jelly (after confit cools the flavorful jelly will be at the bottom of the pan under the fat)
In a large heavy bottom pan, add a few tablespoons of duck fat from the confit and saute the garlic, onions and carrots for 3-4 minutes on med-hi heat.
Add the leeks, celery and sauté for 2-3 more minutes
Add the tomato paste and cook for 2-3 minutes. Deglaze with the confit jelly.
Pour the bean mixture into the pan of vegetable and begin to stew all together.
Cook the bean mixture down for about 30-45 minutes to concentrate all the flavors, reduce the liquid, and to cook some of the beans until they split which will create the best texture.
Duck Fat Bread Crumbs
1.5 cups hand pulled bread (older bread works best)
3tbs Duck fat (from the confit)
1tsp chopped thyme
1tbs chopped parsley
Salt & pepper to taste
Toss the duck fat and bread crumbs together with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Cook in a 325f degree oven until golden brown.
When out of the oven put still warm, sprinkle the herbs on and toss a bit to incorporate.
Cut the duck confit in half at the point of the leg and thigh. Add the duck to a large casserole dish. Cut the confit sausage in half and place in the casserole, then add the chunks of confit pork shoulder. Pour the beans on top of all the meat and begin to pat down the beans in between the meat and create one flat surface. Add a few tablespoons of the confit jelly on the top of the beans. Bake the cassoulet at 400f degrees for about 20 minutes until the top begins to lightly brown and crisp. The jelly on top will help with that. When out of the oven let sit for 5 minutes, add the bread crumbs and serve family style.