1 lb. lamb stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces
Olive oil for searing
1 cup white wine
1 quart low-sodium chicken stock
4 bay leaves1 head garlic
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 carrot, roughly chopped into 1-inch pieces
3 cups dried flageolet beans, soaked overnight
1 smoked ham hock
1 bunch fresh thyme
4 links Toulouse or other garlic sausage
Duck leg and thigh confit (see accompanying recipe)
2 cups plain bread crumbs
¹/³ cup olive oil, plus extra for sautéing
1 can whole plum tomatoes, drained, seeded and halved
• Prepare the lamb: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Coat the bottom of a Dutch oven with olive oil and sear the lamb. Add the white wine; 1¼ cups chicken stock; 2 bay leaves; ¹/³ of the garlic cloves, chopped; and ¹/³ each of the chopped onion, celery and carrot. Cover the pot and bake for 1 to 1½ hours or until the lamb is tender.
• Prepare the beans: Drain the beans, place them in a large pot and fill with water. Bring to a boil and then drain again. Add the beans back to the pot and add the ham hock; 2 bay leaves; thyme; all but 2 of the garlic cloves, chopped; and remaining chicken stock, onion, celery and carrot. Simmer until the beans are tender. Add salt to taste. Leave the beans in the cooking liquid.
• In a sauté pan, grill the sausage links until cooked through.
• Remove the duck confit pieces from the fat and cut each piece in half, leaving the bone in.
• In a sauté pan, combine the bread crumbs, olive oil and 2 cloves chopped garlic; mix well. Toast over low heat until golden brown.
• Raise the oven temperature to 400 degrees.
• Assemble the cassoulet: Cover the bottom of a shallow, earthenware casserole dish with a layer of beans and some of their cooking liquid, taking care to leave out the onion, carrot and celery pieces. Add the tomato halves. Next add the sausage, lamb and confit pieces. Cover the meats with more beans and cooking liquid, again taking care to leave out the onion, carrot and celery. The cassoulet should be somewhat soupy. Top with the toasted bread crumbs.
• Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cassoulet is brown and bubbly.