I am really enjoying working my way though Fran Warde’s book ‘new bistro’, which was given to me by my friend Sue; she bought it during her visit to England earlier this year.  Now, with perfect timing, Pseu has asked for one-pot suggestions (that can be made ahead and frozen) for her annual Christmas dinner. I can’t think of anything more perfect than cassoulet; it does, as Ms Warde says, have something for everyone.


So here; for Sue (thanks again for this special book) and Pseu (I hope your guests enjoy it) is Fran Warde’s cassoulet:

Preparation: 15 minutes, plus soaking the beans the night before.

Cooking: 45 minutes (for the beans), then 1 hour.

Serves: 6

500g haricot beans (lingot variety recommended)

2 onions

1 clove

1 carrot chopped

5 garlic cloves

1 bouquet garni (parsley, bay, rosemary, thyme)

115g pork rind (I use streaky bacon)

250g salt pork belly, chopped

50g duck fat (I use olive oil)

300g shoulder of lamb, cubed (I omit this)

300g loin of pork, cubed (Also omit this)

1 dsp tomato puree

500g preserved duck (Omit this too)

300g Toulouse sausages, sliced (I use double the amount of chourizo sausage)

Sea salt and ground pepper

300g fresh breadcrumbs (I don’t included this step)

The day before, soak the beans in cold water, changing the water 2-3 times. The next day, place 2.5 litres fresh water in a large pan with the soaked beans, 1 onion studded with the clove, the chopped carrot, 2 cloves garlic, bouquet garni, pork rind and chopped salt pork belly. Place a lid on, just bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes, removing the froth that rises during cooking. When cooked, remove the bouquet garni and pork rind and discard. Drain the bean mixture and reserve the cooking liquor.

Heat the duck fat in a large, flameproof casserole dish, add the lamb and pork and fry until browned. Chop the remaining onion and cloves of garlic, add to the meat pan and cook for 2 minutes, then add the tomato puree and 1 litre of the reserved cooking liquor from the bean mixture. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4.

Finally, top with a layer of breadcrumbs and place in the oven to bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 160C/325F/Gas3 and cook for a further 20 minutes until golden and bubbling.



  1. Aha! Thanks for another dish that would be a great source of protein. It would be tasty without the meats…however I love chourizo sausage. This is where it’s handy being an 85 percenter. I could sneak in some sausage.

  2. I am very tempted to give this a go Cind – it’s certainly hale n Hearty!!! I am also looking for a duck riette recipe – if there is one in that book please let me know. xxxx Jan

    • There is a recipe for duck rillettes with green peppercorns on page 98. I will type it up and mail it to you. I won’t be making it as nobody here will eat it except me ;p

    • I must confess I had to Google her, Jamie. Most of our TV viewing and reading of foodie-related stuff here is rather Eurocentric, with the BBC Lifestyle channel being the only one to focus on celeb chefs. But I am now very intrigued, especial as I find that Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook was named as one of the 50 best cookbooks of all time by The Observer. Her book ranked number 11 on the list.
      Thanks for giving me something new 🙂

      • All I can say is oven-roasted garlic cloves in their slips with potatoes in chunky slices, olive oil, seasoning … then one at a time squeeze the garlic “cream” onto a slice of potato and …Ahhhhh….You can probably think of a wine to go with ….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s