This dish came from exploring the depths of our larder in search of a winter warming meal and combining a bunch of stuff to make something with Moroccan flavours and vaguely themed on a cassoulet. Whilst being accurate, that wouldn’t have made a snappy recipe title.
So we called it Moroccan Cassoulet instead, simple and descriptive. Very flavoursome, and perfect for a cold winter night.
- Chopping board
- Sharp knife
- Dutch oven or casserole dish
- Roasting tray and rack
The dutch oven/casserole dish must be safe to use on a stove.
- 6 Moroccan lamb sausages
- 4 duck legs
- 100g red lentils
- 2 carrots
- 2 sticks of celery
- 1 white onion
- 1 small red onion
- 1 clove smoked garlic
- 100ml red wine
- 2 tsp cracked black pepper
- 2 tsp ras el hanout spice mix
- 2 x 400g tinned chopped tomatoes
- 2 x 400g tin canellini beans
- 1 x 400g tin kidney beans
- Olive oil
If your local butcher or supermarket doesn’t have Moroccan lamb sausages, you can make them with normal lamb sausages and a Moroccan spice mix. You can also use pork instead of lamb.
In the approach below, I cooked the duck and sausages in advance to render out the fat. I did this because I find traditional cassoulet can be incredibly fatty, giving the dish a slightly cloying texture. I’m also fairly certain my arteries would thank me.
- Pre-heat the oven to 160°C/320°F. Place the sausages and duck legs on a rack over a roasting tray and cook them for 45 mins to render out the fat.
- Meanwhile, chop the onions, carrot and celery into small chunks. Crush the garlic clove. Drain the beans and set aside.
- When the meat is nearly ready, warm a small amount of olive oil in a casserole dish over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrot chunks along with the garlic and simmer for 2-3 mins. Then stir in the cracked black pepper, ras el hanout and a pinch of salt, simmer for another 2 mins.
- Add and stir in the tinned tomatoes, lentils, drained beans and red wine. Simmer on a very low heat.
- When the meat is ready, remove it from the oven and lower the oven’s temperature to 125°C/250°F. Using a knife and fork, chop the sausages up into bite-sized chunks.
- Add the sausage chunks and duck legs into the casserole dish, stir into the other ingredients. Add enough water so that the sauce just covers the contents.
- Put the lid on the casserole and place it in the oven for 1½ to 2 hours. Check occasionally to make sure it hasn’t dried out, if so add a little more red wine or water.
Hints, Tips and Pictures
- This can be cooked in a Big Green Egg to get some smokey flavours into the dish. Simply do the low and slow oven bit in the Egg with a cherry or alder smoking chunk. Leave the top off the casserole dish and add red wine/water to keep it moist.
- The dish is best served the following day to allow the flavours to infuse. This is especially true if it has been smoked in a Big Green Egg.
- A more likely traditional Moroccan cassoulet recipe was published in The Guardian (second recipe down the page).
- The picture below shows the amount of fat that didn’t go into the dish as a result of cooking the meat first.