2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup olive oil
3 pounds assorted fully cooked smoked sausages (such as kielbasa and andouille)
a whole duck, breast skinned and boned and cut into about 8 pieces, and two intact legs.
4 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced
6 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 medium apple, peeled, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 1/2 teaspoons dried rubbed sage
1/2 cup brandy
2 14 1/2-ounce cans diced tomatoes with roasted garlic in juice
3 15-ounce cans Great Northern beans, drained, liquid reserved
1 10-ounce package frozen baby lima beans, thawed
1 cup (or more) canned chicken broth
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
4 cups diced country-style bread
1 pound tomatoes, seeded, diced
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large ovenproof pot over medium heat. Add sausages; sauté until brown, about 25 minutes. Transfer to plate and cut into 1/2-inch rounds.
Add leeks and garlic to same pot. Sauté until beginning to soften, about 8 minutes. Mix in apple, rosemary and sage. Add brandy and simmer until almost evaporated, about 5 minutes. Mix in canned tomatoes with juices, canned beans with 1/2 cup reserved liquid, lima beans, 1 cup broth, tomato paste and cloves. Add sausages. Season with pepper. Bring cassoulet to boil. Cover pot and transfer to preheated oven; bake 30 minutes.
(Can be made up to 2 days ahead. Uncover; cool 1 hour. Refrigerate until cold; cover and keep refrigerated. Before continuing, rewarm in covered pot in 350°F. oven 40 minutes, adding more broth if dry.)
Heat remaining 1/4 cup oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add bread and sauté until golden brown, stirring often, about 25 minutes. Combine fresh tomatoes and parsley in large bowl; mix in bread. Season topping with salt and pepper. Spoon onto warm cassoulet. Bake uncovered 15 minutes longer.
Margo added the duck. Make this a day ahead for the best flavor.
Source: Bon Appétit March 1999, Colm Wood, West Topsham VT
Prepared by: Margo for the September 2005 meeting