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Slow Cooker Cassoulet
Slow Cooker Cassoulet

(cooking time: 8 to 10 hours + soaking; 12 servings)

  • Dried large white beans – 1 lb
  • 1 whole duck
  • Boneless leg of lamb – 1 lb, cut into large cubes
  • Kosher salt – 2 tsp
  • Fresh ground black pepper – ½ tsp
  • Garlic sausage – 8 oz, cut into 2-in long chunks
  • Smoked sausage – 8 oz, cut into 2-in long chunks
  • 1 onion, diced
  • Celery – 2 stalks, sliced ¼-in thick
  • Garlic – 4 cloves, minced
  • Ground nutmeg – ¼ tsp
  • Italian seasoning – 1 tsp
  • Ground cloves – 1/8 tsp
  • Dry white wine – ½ cup
  • Beef stock – 4 cups
  • Canned diced tomatoes – 1 can (15 oz), drained
  • Dry breadcrumbs – 2/3 cup
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley – ¼ cup, chopped
  • Place beans into a large bowl, add water to a level of 3 inches above the beans, let soak overnight.
  • If you don’t have enough time for soaking, add beans into a pot, cover with water and bring to a strong boil. Remove from heat, let sit for an hour in water; drain and use.
  • Disjoint the duck into 2 drumsticks, 2 wings, 2 breast halves, and 2 thighs. Remove the excess fat and skin, set aside.
  • Rub duck pieces and lamb with the ground black pepper and salt, set aside.
  • In a large heavy skillet, fry duck fat and skin to melt out ¼ cup of fact – it will take about 4 minutes. Discard the skin and remaining fat.
  • Sear duck pieces in the heated fat on both sides till brown – again 4 minutes per side. Transfer into a bowl and set aside.
  • Brown the lamb in small batches in the same skillet. Transfer into the bowl with duck.
  • Cook sausage chunks till browned, set aside.
  • Saute onions and celery in the skillet lightly till just browned. Season with nutmeg, Italian seasoning, and cloves, mix in minced garlic and continue cooking and stirring till the spices develop their aroma.
  • Add wine, bring to a simmer.
  • Add beef stock and diced tomatoes, bring to boil again, remove from heat.
  • Place beans into the bottom of the slow cooker pot, then add a layer of meat, repeat 2 more time and top with beans. Add the liquids from the skillet; cover the slow cooker with a lid and cook on low till the beans are tender (8 to 10 hours).
  • 35 minutes before serving, preheat oven to 350°F/180°C/Gas Mark 4.
  • Transfer cassoulet into an oven-proof pot, top with dry breadcrumbs mixed with parsley. Bake for half an hour till the breadcrumbs are browned.
  • Serve hot.