I normally only make Cassoulet for big dinners with 6 or 8 or 10 people. It’s one of those dishes that is best made for a crowd.
Properly made it should have duck confit and sausages and, maybe, some lamb chops or slabs of pork belly.
You can find my original Cassoulet recipe here, along with a more in-depth explanation of the types of cassoulet. It also has (small) photos of the assembly process. You really should have a look.
However…. After I started cooking beans with my Instant Pot, and loved having the beans on hand, I couldn’t stop thinking about cassoulet. Obviously, we weren’t going to be having a large gathering for dinner anytime soon so I decided to make it for the two of us.
The next time I do it, and there will be a next time, I will use Toulouse sausages in addition to the duck legs and plan on having it twice. As it was, there were enough beans left over for a risotto the next night, and beans for lunch for a few days.
Neither of us complained…..
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Cassoulet, for two
I cooked the beans in the Instant Pot but instructions are also given for the traditional stove-top method, which requires soaking the beans first. They don’t need to be soaked for the Instant Pot.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 hours
- Total Time: 5 hours 20 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: One Dish Dinners
- 2 cups dried white beans (13oz, 375gr), lingots, cannellini, Great Northern
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3oz (90gr) bacon, chopped
- 2oz (60gr) dry-cured ham, such as Bayonne, Prosciutto, chopped
- 2 bay (laurel) leaves
- 1 tsp paprika
- 3 cups (24oz, 750ml) chicken stock
- 2 cups (16oz, 500ml) water
- 2 tbs duck fat
- 2 duck legs – confit de canard
- 1 cup (8oz, 250gr) tomatoes, peeled, chopped
- Instant Pot:
- Put fat, bacon, ham, onion, garlic in the Instant Pot.
- Set it to Sauté for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Onions should be tender and bacon cooked.
- Add broth, water, paprika, bay leaves, and stir well to scrape up any cooked-on bits.
- Add beans, stir, put the lid on, and set the Instant Pot to Pressure, (high pressure) for 40 minutes.
- Let release naturally.
- Discard bay leaves.
- Cook top:
- Soak beans for four hours or overnight. Drain.
- Sauté bacon, ham, onion, in fat until bacon is cooked.
- Add garlic and sauté briefly.
- Add remaining ingredients and enough additional water (if needed) to cover the beans by 2 – 3 inches.
- Cover and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer until beans are tender, 1 1/2 – 2 hours.
- When done discard bay leaves.
- Assembling the Cassoulet
- Wipe the fat off of the duck legs.
- Put a layer of beans in the bottom of a heavy pot.
- Lay the duck legs on the beans.
- Add another layer of beans.
- Spread the tomatoes on the beans.
- Top with remaining beans.
- Add enough bean liquid / chicken stock / water to almost cover the beans.
- Bake, uncovered, at 350F (175C) until you see the top bubbling. Reduce the heat to 250F (125C) and continue baking for 3 hours. When the top gets dry and crusty, take the back of a spoon and push it gently into the liquid. If it starts to dry out, add more liquid.
There is normally a lot of fat on the duck confit. Take it off the duck and save it for frying potatoes.
I use 2 tbs duck fat for frying the onion and bacon. Substitute 1 tbs olive oil
You could substitute chicken legs and thighs for the duck, but I think using smoked sausages would be a better choice.
Keywords: cassoulet, duck confit, beans
If you can’t get duck confit you could use smoked sausages or pork chops or chicken thighs or lamb chops. If using pork, lamb, or chicken I would suggest using more of the dry-cured ham for flavoring.
As to the leftover beans….
Pick any Risotto from my list and use 1 1/2 cups of beans for the condimenti. Or 1 cup of beans and 4 oz sausage, crumbled and fried.
Or a little bit of leftover duck confit.
So many choices….. Pasta would be good, too.