Main Dish

Fast French Cassoulet

Lauterbach Cellars

3420 Woolsey Road
Windsor, CA 95492

  • RECIPE YEAR: 2019
  • RECIPE BY: Laurel's Catering
  • YIELD: Serves 8
  • PAIRS WELL WITH: Lauterbach Syrah

This classic French stew prepared modern fast-food style is still delicious! If you have more time, you don't need a pressure cooker and can cook traditionally in ingredient batches, from the beans to the sausage and duck, to the cassoulet itself. This dish pairs well with a Syrah or Pinot Noir from Lauterbach. Bon appétit!

  • 4 duck legs
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil as needed
  • 4 pork sausages, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, red wine or stock
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 pound cannellini or navy beans, rinsed
  • 6 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 or 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup bread crumbs (gluten-free, if desired)
Pat the duck legs dry with paper towels and season generously with salt and pepper.

Set an Instant Pot or other multi pressure cooker to the sauté function, pour in a small amount of olive oil and heat until hot. Add the duck legs, skin side down, and cook until browned and the fat begins to render, about 5 minutes. Turn the duck legs over and cook until lightly browned on the other side, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add the sausages to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the vinegar and deglaze the pot, stirring to scrape up any browned bits. Add the onion, carrots and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the duck legs, then the tomatoes, white beans, 3 or 4 of the thyme sprigs, the bay leaves and stock to the pot. Stir to make sure the beans are submerged in the liquid. Season with about 1 teaspoon salt and a generous pinch of pepper.

Put the lid on the Instant Pot and lock into place. Program it to cook under high pressure for 60 minutes.

About 15 minutes before the stew is done, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a small baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. 

Spread the bread crumbs out on the prepared baking sheet. Remove the leaves from the remaining thyme sprigs, then mix them into the bread crumbs along with a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Bake in the oven, stirring once halfway through, until the bread crumbs are golden brown, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

When the cassoulet has finished cooking, let the pressure release naturally if you have time, or carefully release the pressure manually. Remove the lid. Taste the cassoulet and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Remove and discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaves.

Transfer the duck legs to a cutting board. The meat should be fall-off-the-bone tender. Using a fork, gently separate the meat from the bones, discarding the bones, and cut the meat into chunks. Return the duck meat to the cassoulet. Transfer the cassoulet to bowls and sprinkle with the bread crumbs. 

Lauterbach Cellars

3420 Woolsey Road
Windsor, CA 95492