My French cassoulet recipe will appeal to all barbecue enthusiasts because it's a hearty variation on beans, it is classic dutch oven cooking using a load of smoked ingredients that you can smoke in advance.
It's a crisp cold Winters day and this is the perfect way to warm up. A meal in itself, all you need is a log fire and a glass of red wine for a delightful evening. When I make cassoulet, I always make a large batch because it freezes really well, in fact I'd go so far as to say that it's usually better for freezing and re-heating. Even when I make a fresh batch I always cook it day one and eat it day 2.
Before we go to the French cassoulet recipe ingredients I just want to list those that you can make in advance in your smoker:-
1½lbs or 750g dried white haricot beans (soaked overnight)
8 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bay leaf, thyme and 1 powdered clove (teaspoon tip)
1 onion finely chopped
1 tablespoon tomato purée
2 14oz or 400g tins chopped tomatoes
8 smoked sausages
8 pieces of smoked duck confit (you should get this off 2 duck legs)
Place the haricot beans in water and bring to the boil, the strain and rinse. This takes away the foam that forms when the beans are cooked (it's not harmful, I just prefer to wash it away).
Get your large dutch oven and fry the cubes of pork together with the garlic, onions, salt and pepper. Now add the haricot beans, herbs, tomato purée and chopped tomatoes, cover the mix with water and simmer gently for 2 hours.
The beans should now be soft and it's now time to add the sausage and confit of duck. Just lay it on top of the mix and transfer the pot to a the oven (320°F or 160°C for a final 30 minutes to ensure everything has heated through.
This final cooking is essential because it's at this point that the fat in the confit melts out into the sauce making for a thicker consistency.
It's a rustic dish so serve it simply in a bowl, break open a baguette and tuck into this steaming plate of deliciousness.