Beginner's Guide to Cassoulet

Cassoulet. Philip Wilkins / Getty Images

Cassoulet (pronounced "kas-oo-LAY") is a hearty French bean stew made with white beans and sausages, along with pork, lamb or other meat.

A classic cassoulet recipe features goose or duck confit and topped with breadcrumbs and fried pork or duck skins. A traditional peasant dish, cassoulet is customarily baked in an earthenware dish for two hours or longer.

Sometimes flageolet beans are used for making cassoulet.

To make a classic duck cassoulet, first you'd soak your beans and then cook them in stock, along with tomatoes, garlic, onions along with various herbs and spices.

Meanwhile, remove the skin and fat from your duck legs and pull the meat off the bones. (You can add the bones to the simmering beans.) Cook the skin and fat until the fat has liquefied and the skin is crispy. Set aside the skins.

Cook your sausages in the duck fat. When the beans are cooked, remove the bones and transfer the beans to an earthen baking dish along with the sausages and duck meat. Top with seasoned breadcrumbs and the crispy duck skins and bake for about two hours.

Serve with a simple salad and some wine.