Simplified Cassoulet with Lamb and Andouille Sausage

Published January 1, 2000.

Why this recipe works:

To streamline our cassoulet recipe without compromising its essential character, we used brined chicken legs cooked in bacon fat, which simulated the smoky flavor and moist texture of confit. With our mock confit in place, we made short work of the balance of the cassoulet recipe: the meat to… read more

To streamline our cassoulet recipe without compromising its essential character, we used brined chicken legs cooked in bacon fat, which simulated the smoky flavor and moist texture of confit. With our mock confit in place, we made short work of the balance of the cassoulet recipe: the meat to use for stewing (we decided on the flavorful blade-end pork roast or thick lamb shoulder chops), canned versus dried beans (the canned beans were out because they fell apart during cooking), and the type of sausage (the classically correct French sausage being too hard to find, we substituted kielbasa or andouille sausages; we liked their smoky flavor).

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Serves 8

To ensure the most time-efficient preparation of the cassoulet, while the chicken is brining and the beans are simmering, prepare the remaining ingredients. Look for dried flageolet beans in specialty food stores. Additional salt is not necessary because the brined chicken adds a good deal of it. Lamb, with its robust, earthy flavor, makes an excellent substitute for the pork in the related cassoulet recipe. Andouille sausage adds a peppery sweetness that tasters loved.

Ingredients

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