Amy Hess Cassoulet
In her version of a classic cassoulet, Amy Hess of Lemons and Olives in Brooklyn, NY, makes her own confit and uses a smoked ham hock to impart flavor while cooking the beans. It all comes together with lardons of both pork loin and ventrèche and is finally crowned with garlic breadcrumbs and piment d’Espelette.
- 4 Rohan Duck Legs
- 4 springs of thyme
- Duck Fat enough to cover legs, warmed until liquid
- 454 g French Coco Tarbais Beans, soaked overnight
- Olive Oil
- 60 g onion, small dice
- 60 g carrots, small dice
- 5 gloves garlic
- 227 g smoked ham hock or neck bones
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 g chili flakes
- 10 g salt
- Water to cover
- 130 g French Garlic Sausage ,sliced 1/4-inch and halved
- 100 g Ventrèche ,sliced 1/4-inch and cut into lardons
- 454 g boneless Pork Loin cut into 1-inch pieces - small dice
- 1 carrot, coarsely chopped
- 50 g all-purpose flour
- Olive Oil
- 1 g white wine
- Piment d’Espelette to taste (optional)
- Garlic bread crumbs (optional)
- Soak the beans overnight before starting. Strain and rinse.
- Thoroughly season the skin of each duck leg. Place in a single layer in a half hotel pan with thyme and rosemary. Cover with melted duck fat. Wrap the pan in foil and cook at 275 degrees for 3-4 hours or until done. Set aside.
- Sweat garlic, onion, and carrot in olive oil until just starting to turn translucent. Add beans, ham hock, bay leaf, chili flake, and salt, and continue to sweat for another minute. Add enough water to cover. Cover the pot with a lid or foil and simmer until the beans are just starting to get tender (about 1 hour). This can be done in the oven or on the burner.
- While the beans cook, prepare all the meats in separate bowls. Thoroughly salt and pepper the diced pork loin and dredge in flour. Heat olive oil in a pan and sear the pork until browned on all sides. Transfer the pork to a separate bowl and add the pancetta and garlic sausage to the pan and brown slightly. Deglaze with white wine and return the pork loin to the pan with the pancetta and sausage, turning off the heat.
- Once the beans are starting to get tender, add all the remaining meats, cover, and continue to cook until the beans are fully cooked. Spoon the beans onto a plate and top with a whole duck leg, garnish with garlic bread crumbs, and piment d’Espelette.