Duck and Pork Cassoulet
Adapted from Scott Dolich, Park Kitchen. Serves 6 to 8
1½ pounds pork belly, cut into 1-inch cubes*
2 large white onions, peeled and finely diced
4 celery stalks, peeled and finely diced
2 large carrots, peeled and finely diced
1 medium head garlic (at least 10 cloves), peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
4 bay leaves
¼ cup tomato paste
1 pound dried tarbais, flageolet or navy beans, rinsed and soaked overnight**
4 cups chicken broth, plus more as needed
Ground black pepper
4 legs duck confit
1. Cook the pork belly in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until lightly browned and much of the fat has been rendered, 8 to 12 minutes.
2. Add the onions, celery, carrots, garlic, thyme and bay leaves. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the tomato paste and continue to cook until the paste darkens, about 5 minutes longer.
3. Add the beans and broth and bring to a simmer. Adjust heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer, and cook until the beans are just tender, about 1 hour, adding additional broth if necessary to keep the beans covered. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Transfer the bean mixture to a baking dish. The beans should be covered by at least 3/4 inch of liquid; add additional broth as needed. Place the confit pieces, skin side up, on top of the beans and bake until a thin browned crust covers the beans, 1 to 2 hours. Serve immediately.
* If you can’t find pork belly, substitute Boston butt or boneless country-style ribs.
** When in season, substitute fresh fava beans for half the beans.