Nothing says hello winter quite like comfort food. Executive Chef Sofian Msetfi of Ormer Mayfair by Sofian shares his fine dining recipe for Confit duck leg, Toulouse cassoulet and Cavallo Nero. Hearty and full of flavour, this plate is bound to impress at any upcoming dinner parties (or home-cooked date nights).
• 2 duck legs
• 500g duck fat
• 2L white chicken stock
• 300g dried haricot beans
• 300g dried cannellini beans
• 2 sticks celery
• 2 shallots
• 4 plum tomatoes
• 12 cloves garlic
• 200g pancetta lardons
• 300g Toulouse sausage
• 300ml good quality white French wine
• 2 bay leaves
• 10 peppercorns
• 8 sprigs thyme
• 6g salt
• 1 small bunch flat leaf parsley
• 50 ml malt vinegar
• 500g Cavallo nero
• Fine salt to season
• Veg oil for cooking
1. Both types of beans need to be soaked in 3 x their volume of water for 24 hours.
2. Salt duck legs lightly for 4 hours, rinse off the salt and dry with a towel to ensure all excess water has been removed.
3. Melt the duck fat, pour into a heavy dish, ceramic or cast iron is ok, place in duck legs, add 6 cloves garlic and 4 sprigs of thyme. Cover tightly with foil, bake at 140 degrees Celsius for 4 hours.
4. Check for tenderness, the meat should just come away from the bone. Lift the legs out of the fat onto a flat metal tray lined with parchment, place another piece of paper on top, then another tray above with a small weight to press the legs slightly, and chill.
5. Chop the pancetta into lardons and the Toulouse sausage into 8mm thick slices.
6. Chop the vegetables into a small mirepoix size, the garlic finely sliced, make a bouquet garni with the peppercorns, bay leaves and thyme.
7. In a cast iron pot, add a little veg oil, brown off the pancetta and sausage slightly, remove from the dish, add the chopped vegetables except the tomatoes, cook until you a reach a medium caramelisation level, add the tomatoes, turn up the heat to evaporate some of the tomato juice, add the white wine and reduce by half.
8. Bring the chicken stock to the boil and add to the cooked vegetables, add the chopped, caramelised meat. Add the soaked, rinsed and drained beans and the weighed salt.
9. Bring to the boil, skim off any scum that comes to the top, add the bouquet garni, make a cartouche, place on top of the stew, finally place a foil lid on the dish and cook for 2-2.5 hours at 110 degrees Celsius. Check the beans to make sure they are tender and not hard, cook for longer if necessary.
10. Prepare the Cavallo Nero by stripping the tough centres of the leaves, then chop them in half to give you long strips of cabbage.
11. In a frying pan, heat a little veg oil, take the duck legs, in a medium heat pan, place the legs, skin side down and begin to crisp up the skin. When you start to see some colour, reheat the duck legs in the oven, still skin side down in the pan, for 10-12 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius until hot
12. In a frying pan, heat some veg oil, high heat, cook the cabbage intensely, encouraging caramelisation until ¾ cooked. Add the vinegar and evaporate and season.
13. To serve, finely slice some flat leaf parsley, take a large ladle of cassoulet from the stew pot, ensuring you take some sauce also, place the crisp and hot duck leg on top, add some of the cooked cabbage to the side of the leg and finish with the fresh parsley.
Recipe courtesy of Executive Chef Sofian Msetfi of Ormer Mayfair by Sofian