From Seasoned with Love, January/February 2022.

Chefs Marcel and Stephanie Remillieux say that this hearty dish from the countryside of southwestern France is about slow cooking and honoring French traditions. This cold-weather comfort food takes time to make and will appear often on the menu of Mille. You can substitute kielbasa or other garlic sausage for Toulouse—but don’t tell Marcel!

14 ounces French dried coco (Tarbais) beans, available online

6 cups chicken stock

2 carrots, cut into thin strips

1 onion, cut into 8 pieces

2 large garlic cloves, slightly crushed

2 bay leaves

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

4 small confit duck legs, available in specialty food shops and online

4 Toulouse (pork garlic) sausages

8 ounces pork belly, cut into thick pieces

4 ounces pork rind, chopped

½ cup bread crumbs

Makes 4 servings


  1. Soak the dry beans in cold water overnight. The next day, rinse the beans, place them in a deep saucepan, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, turn off heat, and steep for 30 minutes.

  2. Drain the beans and add stock, carrots, onion, garlic, bay leaves, and rosemary and simmer, covered, for at least 1 hour or until tender, stirring occasionally.

  3. Place the confit duck legs in a frying pan, skin side down, on a gentle heat and cook until the fat has rendered. Remove legs and set aside; reserve the fat.

  4. Brown the sausages in the duck fat, then set aside. (Toulouse sausages are uncooked, so they should be sliced after sautéing. Kielbasa is smoked, so it can be sliced before sautéing.)

  5. Fry the pork belly in the remaining fat until golden.

  6. Line the bottom of a deep casserole (I love the ones from Le Creuset) with the rind pieces. Remove the bay leaves, rosemary, garlic, and onion pieces from the beans. Using a slotted spoon, place half the beans over the pork rind. Reserve the stock.

  7. Add the duck and pork belly to the casserole and finish with the rest of the beans. Push the sausages into the beans, then pour in just enough stock to cover everything.

  8. Drizzle 1 tablespoon reserved fat from the sauté pan over the beans. Top with bread crumbs. Cook uncovered in a preheated oven at 300° for 2 to 3 hours. A crust will form, which should be broken several times while cooking—except for the last time it forms. Bring straight to the table from the oven without breaking the crust. Enjoy the accolades.


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