Christmas day cassoulet

This month's DK challenge was a doozy. For me, it was a perfect dish to serve on Christmas day, when our absolutely fantastic family made the trek up to our home in South Dallas (that's a Houston in-the-loop joke) for a cornucopia of foods. I was planning to write a whole heck of a lot of blog posts detailing the recipes we used for Christmas dinner, and then I got caught up with some work commitments - but I am back, baby, and I'm gonna start with the main dish and work my way along the buffet till we hit our delightful desserts and then enjoyed a food coma kind of an afternoon,

The dish of which I blog is a big French stew traditionally prepared in a earthenware dish but, for convenience's sake, made in my lovely aqua Le Creuset dutch oven in our version. We first confited duck legs (which can be found for a rather reasonable price at the semi-local Hong Kong market) in fat (I didn't have duck fat so I used good old-fashioned lard), then prepared a lovely concoction of white beans, duck's legs, sausage, and pork belly, with a good distribution of garlicky bread crumbs on top. The recipe comes from Tony Bourdain and is reputedly the way he made it at his old stomping grounds, Les Halles. The recipe as printed did not include a breadcrumb topping, so I searched around and got some suggestions from various websites and made my own.

The best part? Even with 13 people here for Christmas, we still had enough left to send my mom home with the biggest Tupperware we could find, plus more in our fridge and another giant Tupperware (the second-biggest) in the freezer. Plus there are 2 more confited duck legs stored for another day.

Our January 2011 Challenge comes from Jenni of The Gingered Whisk and Lisa from Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives. They have challenged the Daring Cooks to learn how to make a confit and use it within the traditional French dish of Cassoulet. They have chosen a traditional recipe from Anthony Bourdain and Michael Ruhlman.


  1. I love your garlicky topping. Any you are right - a perfect Christmas day dish! We have only just finished ours for lunch today!

  2. I'm loving the garlicky bread crumb topping too (is that panko?). I still wish I had added crumbs to one of my preparations. Your cassoulet look fantastic, and kudos to serving it Christmas Day! So perfect for it, but I'm forever stuck in Prime Rib or Turkey land. Thanks so much for taking part in our challenge this month!

  3. Yes this the perfect Christmas dish so delicious and you can make so much of it at once and it is simple if you make it over a few days. And your breadcrumbs look perfect great it went down so well with the family. Great job on this challenge.

    Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.


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