I've found the perfect Christmas Eve supper. So, so perfect.
This was a little cassoulet, cooked in a Staub cocotte (3/4 qt., I think; just right for two appetites with no leftovers). Cassoulet cooks itself, so you can busy yourself elsewhere wrapping gifts or singing along with Brenda Lee.
All you have to do is soak and cook the beans. We used cannellini, and they were just right, with a tender thin skin. Cook them with a little bacon fat and a bay leaf, trust me on this.
Save a little of the bean cooking water.
OK, shred or dice your meat. We used a Toulouse sausage, a confit of chicken thigh, and half a single breast of duck bacon. Fry these all up in, I don't know, duck fat? Yeah, duck fat. Because...
OMG, duck bacon! We'd made it a year ago and stashed it in the freezer. I was grumping because our confit was chicken, not duck, but Cranky remembered this, and... OMG. Can I use the word "perfect" again?
OK, the usual assemblage ensues. A dab of frozen tomato sauce for pinky sweetness. Thyme leaves. Garlic, garlic, garlic. Some of that bean water mixed with sparkling wine, to drown the mess.
Bake for as long as you can stand, covered or un-. Just keep an eye on it between Perry Como songs.
Hey, it'd make a great New Year's Eve supper, too.