Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Light comfort food, part two: Cassoulet

I was really looking forward to making a lightened-up version of the classic French dish cassoulet, a mix of duck meat, sausage, lamb, white beans, and all sorts of other savoury ingredients in a thick stew-type dish.

Unfortunately I had a hard time finding some of the ingredients I needed so I had to make some substitutions, although they were all on the lighter side so I probably reduced the calorie count even more. For instance I used a spicy turkey sausage rather than a pork sausage, and I could only find a duck breast, not duck legs, so I used that, and cut away the thick layer of fat. I know that meant sacrificing some of the flavour but I figured that between the sausage, lamb, tomato, and duck meat it would still taste rich.

The most time consuming part of the recipe was cooking everything separately but once everything was in the pot it became much simpler, just needing a stir now and then. Definitely give yourself enough time for this dish, whether you're making a light version or not -- I believe the night I made this I didn't sit down to it until 10pm! It was worth it though, a bit more stew-ish than the typical cassoulet but very tasty.


1/4 cup salt
6 (8oz) duck leg quarters
1 1/2 tbsp canola oil
4 bacon slices, sliced crosswise into strips
1 boneless leg of lamb, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup no-salt-added tomato puree
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
4 (15 oz) cans white beans, drained
8 oz cooked spicy Italian sausage, diagonally sliced
1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs

Rub salt evenly over duck; cover and refrigerate 30 min.

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add bacon to pan; cook 7 minutes or until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon from pan using a slotted spoon; set aside. Increase heat to medium-high. Add lamb to drippings in pan; cook 8 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove lamb from pan and set aside.

Preheat oven to 300F.

Rinse duck with cold water; pat dry with paper towel. Add half of duck, skin side down, to pan; cook over medium heat 15 min or until golden brown. Turn duck over and cook 10 min or until browned and fat under skin is melted. Remove duck from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining duck, reserving 1 tbsp duck fat; set duck aside. Add onion and pepper to pan, cook 7 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomato puree and garlic; cook 1 min. Return lamb to pan. Nestle duck into lamb mixture; add broth and 2 cups water. Cover and bake at 300F for 2 1/2 hours or until lamb and duck are very tender. Remove duck from pan; let stand until tepid. Remove skin from duck; discard. Cut duck legs in half through the joint. Return duck to lamb mixture. Taste and adjust seasoning, if desired.

Increase oven temperature to 375C.

Stir 2 cans of beans into lamb mixture. Add bacon, sausage, and duck; top mixture with remaining 2 cans of beans. Sprinkle breadcrumbs evenly over top. Cover and cook for 1 hour and 10 min. Uncover and cook an additional 20 min or until browned and bubbly.

12 servings (serving size: 1 drumstick or thigh and 3/4 cup bean mixture)

Calories: 323
Fat: 14.4g (sat 4.6g, mono 4.4g, poly 1.2g)
Protein: 27.1g
Carbohydrates: 20g
Fibre: 7.1g
Sodium 821mg



Comments? Email suzannekathrynellis@gmail.com

No comments:

Post a Comment