This easy slow cooker cassoulet calls for beans, garlic, store-bought duck confit, and sausage, just like the traditional cassoulet recipe from France.
“Cassoulet, the peasant-cum-gastronome casserole from Toulouse, is a time-honored gut-buster,” says author Andrew Schloss. Being the resident Fatty Daddy of cassoulets around here, I can tell you two things about Andy: 1.) He ain’t talking trash, and 2.) The guy knows from easy. That’s why I love his slow cooker cassoulet. It’s one of those lovely sorts of dishes that you can pull off in a Crock-Pot–which isn’t an oxymoron anymore. What makes cassoulet so freaking perfect for the slow cooker is that the dish traditionally bathes in the duck fat for hours on end in the oven or on the stovetop, which means there are minimal tweaks to translating it to the countertop. Originally published February 17, 2014.–David Leite
Slow Cooker Cassoulet
- Quick Glance
- 1 H
- 10 H, 45 M
- Serves 8 to 12
Special Equipment: 6-quart slow cooker
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Recipe Testers Reviews
This slow cooker cassoulet was quickly and simply assembled and made a satisfying dish. It could definitely be served as a party dish with some crusty bread and wine. My cassoulet cooked for 9 hours total and the beans were done and the duck was falling-off-the-bone tender.
(After 5 hours of slow cooking, some of the beans were coming to the top and turning hard, so I added an additional 3/4 cup broth and pushed the beans down into the liquid.) Also, I would suggest cooking the duck fat and skin over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes and watch that it doesn't burn. Then, measure out the needed 1/4 to 1/3 cup to saute the duck, lamb, and sausage. Keep the remaining rendered duck fat in the freezer for frying potatoes. Don't waste any of the duck fat. We loved the crumbs on top. This recipe is definitely a keeper and great to make and forget about for hours. Our few leftovers the next day had even more flavor.
I was so excited to try this slow cooker cassoulet. The finished dish was spectacular—and even better the next day. It was slightly time consuming to make, considering everything was thrown in the slow cooker, but it's completely worth it. I don't care for lamb, so I substituted pork for the lamb and this worked beautifully. I could only find a frozen culver duck and this duck was frozen; I thawed the duck for 2 days in my fridge prior to beginning to cook it. I had never cut a duck before, and it's similar to cutting a chicken. I just did the best I could. I had no trouble rendering enough duck fat to brown the meats and sauté the vegetables. I used store-bought Italian seasoning and Chardonnay. Once the cooking was completed (roughly 9 hours), the smell in the house was fantastic. The flavors melded beautifully together, and the broth became very thick and flavorful. I served the cassoulet with warm, crusty bread that soaked up the rich juices. This recipe makes a lot, and I would suggest serving this to company, it's that good. It felt like sophisticated comfort food.
It does take some planning, what with soaking the beans and, in my case, thawing the duck, but it's so, so worth it!
The resulting slow cooker cassoulet was tasty and had a good gravy. This recipe required quite a lot of time to cut up the lamb and the duck. I also removed the bones, fat, and skin from the duck so that the meats would be similar in texture, rather than one still containing bone. Although it's very French to brown off the meats in the duck skin fat, I'd prefer, for health reasons, to brown the meats in olive oil. I boiled the duck and lamb bones separately to make stock, and since I felt the cassoulet required a little more liquid, I added a little of the duck stock.