Moroccan Cassoulet

Moroccan cassoulet served with cabbage

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.


Moroccan Cassoulet

15-20 mins prep
3-4 hours cook
Easy
4-6 servings
Cabbage
Angel’s Share Shiraz

Equipment

  • Chopping board
  • Sharp knife
  • Dutch oven or casserole dish
  • Roasting tray and rack
  • Colander

The dutch oven/casserole dish must be safe to use on a stove.

Ingredients

  • 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
  • Salt
  • 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.

Celery, onions and carrots chopped and ready
Sausages and duck legs cooked and ready for the cassoulet
Duck legs and sausage chunks added to the dish

Method

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Meanwhile, chop the onions, carrot and celery into small chunks. Crush the garlic clove. Drain the beans and set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. Add and stir in the tinned tomatoes, lentils, drained beans and red wine. Simmer on a very low heat.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
Moroccan cassoulet served with cabbage

Hints, Tips and Pictures

  1. 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.
    Moroccan cassoulet smoking in the Big Green Egg
  2. 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.
  3. A more likely traditional Moroccan cassoulet recipe was published in The Guardian (second recipe down the page).
  4. The picture below shows the amount of fat that didn’t go into the dish as a result of cooking the meat first.
    Fat rendered from the meat that didn't end up in the cassoulet

2 thoughts on “Moroccan Cassoulet

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