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.


40 Comments Add yours

  1. MissChris says:

    Sounds devine and if I tried it would definatley add the lamb – lovely!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Tell me if you do make it 🙂

  2. nrhatch says:

    New Cookbooks are such fun to wade into. 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      This one is proving a real treat 🙂

  3. I love cassoulet!
    In France I use to buy them in cans, but fresh is better…thanks for the recipe, Cindy, I will try it!

    1. theonlycin says:

      In cans? Goodness me, I can’t imagine that 🙂

  4. souldipper says:

    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.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I often make it with only sausage 🙂

  5. your blog is terrible………..for my waist line.

    1. theonlycin says:

      LOL! Small portions 😀

  6. just enjoyed the movie “Babette.” think u would too….

    1. theonlycin says:

      I own a copy of the film on DVD and have watched it countless times, it is a feast of a movie 🙂

  7. Lyndatjie says:

    Hmmm… does Woolies have it in a pre-packaged vegetarian version?
    If I EVER had to cook for myself I would lose a LOT of weight and a LOT of friends. *sigh*

    1. theonlycin says:

      hahaha, so you’re the reason they call Cape Town the windy city? *runs away*

  8. This sounds full of flavour and great that it is still so tasty by omitting some of the ingredients.
    Love the pic of your bouquet garni.
    🙂 Mandy

    1. theonlycin says:

      Your fishcakes are coming up in a post later today 🙂

      1. You’re a Honey, thank you!;-)

      2. theonlycin says:

        You’re most welcome 🙂

  9. Tandy says:

    we are going to Castelnaudary where this dish originates from 🙂 Have a great day today!

  10. leigh says:

    Bouquets garni, the season to be jolly 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      jolly garni, pretty gnarly … Gnarles Barkley … yes!

  11. deepercolors says:

    Your bog nearly always makes me hungry. 🙂

  12. 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

    1. theonlycin says:

      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

  13. I’d rather have your prawn salad and similar cold delights for christmas here

    1. theonlycin says:

      Doing a cold mussel chowder with your stuffed oyster-bread for starter, turkey and plums for mains and my eton mess for pud this year.

  14. Supa says:

    So pleased you are enjoying the book.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I actually keep it next to my bed 😀

  15. Yay, my kind of meal – one pot 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Cooks itself really, and freezes well 🙂

  16. Sounds great. Alice Waters has a wonderful cassoulet recipe in one of her books too. Wonder if she’s a popular elsewhere as she is here in the U.S.

    1. theonlycin says:

      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 🙂

      1. 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 ….

  17. Pseu says:


    1. theonlycin says:

      You are most welcome, Pseu 🙂

  18. Pseu says:

    PS Do you think this would freeze, or be better made for the day?

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