Recipe: Classic French Cassoulet



The cassoulet is a classic dish originating in southern France. It is a flavoursome, slow-cooked casserole that is a perfect homely dish for a big family. Even my fussy brother enjoyed this one! The beans are warming and creamy, while the breadcrumb crust gives a satisfying crunch.


140g smoked streaky bacon

300g garlic sausages

600g dried haricot beans

1 celery stick

1 onion

1 large carrot

6 garlic cloves

olive oil

1 bouquet garni (bay, thyme and parsley)

salt and pepper

1 clove, crushed

1 tsp lemon juice

4 duck legs

olive oil

40g dried breadcrumbs

1 garlic clove

fresh flatleaf parsley


– soak the haricot beans oven night in 3x their volume in water

– chop the bacon into lardons and roughly slice the sausages

– drain the soaked beans and discard the water

– tip the beans into a large saucepan with the bacon and cover with fresh cold water

– blanch for 15-20 minutes until the beans are soft, then rinse and discard the cooking water

– meanwhile, fry the duck legs, skin on, in olive oil until the skin is lightly golden and crispy

– roughly chop celery, onion and carrot and peel the garlic cloves, leaving them whole

(preheat oven to 120*c)

– sauté the celery, onion and carrot in a large casserole pan with the bouquet garni for around 5 minutes until the vegetables begin to caramelize

– add the sausage, beans and bacon lardons, then pour in 2 pints of water and bring to teh boil

– once boiling, skim off the scum from the top of the water and season

– add the clove and lemon juice, then transfer the casserole to the over and cook uncovered for 2 hours, stirring occasionally

– after 2 hours, the beans should be creamy in texture and the juices should have thickened (you may need to cook the casserole for a little longer if you have not achieved this result after 2 hours)

– remove cassoulet from oven and bury the duck legs into the beans

– sprinkle over a generous layer of breadcrumbs and drizzle with olive oil

– return to the oven and cook for a further 2 hours (after 2 hours, the duck meat should be tender and fall off the bone, so you can share the meat between more than 4 people if necessary)

– serve sprinkled with parsley

*serves 4-6 people




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One comment

  1. Pingback: French Classics | Dine&Discover

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