Cassoulet is glorified pork and beans, but the glory is in the nuanced taste and richness.
4 cups chopped tomatoes, with their juice (canned are fine)
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
4 cups white beans, nearly fully cooked (drained if canned)
1 cup stock, dry red wine, bean cooking liquid or water
Salt to taste
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 pound Italian sausage, preferably in one piece
1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 boned duck breast
Combine tomatoes and garlic in a large saucepan, bring to a boil and add
beans. Bring to a boil again, stirring occasionally, then reduce heat so mixture
bubbles regularly but not furiously. Cook about 20 minutes, adding stock or
other liquid when mixture thickens. Add salt and cayenne when beans are
tender and flavorful.
While beans are cooking, put sausage in a skillet, and turn heat to mediumhigh;
brown on both sides, turning only once or twice. Add to pot with bean
mixture, along with pork cubes. Raise heat a bit if necessary to keep a simmer
going. Stir beans occasionally so pork cooks evenly.
Cut a ›-inch crosshatch in skin side of duck breast, right down to fat layer.
Put breast, skin side down, in skillet that sausage cooked in, and turn heat
to medium-high. Cook until nicely browned, pouring any rendered duck fat
and juices into bean mixture. Turn duck, and brown meat side. Then crisp
up skin side again for a minute or so, once more pouring any fat into beans.
Total cooking time for breast will be 6 to 8 minutes. When it is done, add
breast to beans.
To serve, carve sausage and duck breast into serving pieces, and place on
plates. Top with beans and pork.