While far less intricate than a cassoulet in its preparation, this recipe borrows all that's good from the French classic: duck, pork, beans and crust. You'll need to begin it a day ahead.
- 2 tbsp duck fat (see note)
- 1 duck (about 2.3kg), cut into 8 pieces
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 300 gm smoked bacon or speck, cut into 2cm pieces
- 400 gm canned tomatoes, chopped
- 400 gm dried white beans, such as cannellini or navy, soaked in cold water overnight, drained (2 cups)
- 6 sage leaves
- 3 fresh bay leaves
- 4 whole allspice
- 140 gm fresh coarse breadcrumbs (2 cups)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1Heat duck fat in a casserole over high heat, add duck pieces and turn occasionally until browned (10 minutes). Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- 2Preheat oven to 150C. Add onion, garlic and bacon to casserole, reduce heat to low-medium, stir until softened (5-7 minutes), return duck to casserole and add tomato, beans, sage, bay leaves, allspice and 3 litres water. Bring to the simmer, cover and cook in oven until beans are tender (3-3½hours). Increase oven to 200C, season duck and beans to taste and transfer to a shallow 3.2-litre baking dish. Scatter with breadcrumbs, drizzle with oil and bake until breadcrumbs are golden (20 minutes). Serve hot.
Duck fat is available in cans from select delicatessens and French food shops.
This recipe is from the July 2012 issue of
Drink Suggestion: Gutsy, earthy red Minervois or a central Victorian shiraz. Drink suggestion by Max Allen