Courtesy of Chef Emily Buller, The Farmhouse
1 pound dried Cannellini beans, soaked overnight
4 duck legs
8 ounces pork sausage
4 ounces pancetta, cut into small cubes
1 smoked ham hock
6 sprigs thyme
3 bay leaves
6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
6 carrots, peeled and medium diced
1 large yellow onion, medium diced
1 head celery, medium diced
2 cups chicken or duck stock
2 bay leaves
½ cups slightly toasted bread crumbs
2 cups red wine
Salt and pepper as needed
Dry duck legs and salt and pepper both sides. Sear in a cast iron pan with a little olive oil on high heat, skin side down until skin is golden brown. Turnover and brown meat side. Place skin side up in a baking dish or pot. Leave the rendered duck fat from the skin in the pan and add the carrots, celery, and onions and sauté until caramelized. Place the vegetables in the pot with the duck legs. Add red wine to the pan and scrape the bottom of the cast iron pan to get all the “browned bits”.
Pour over the duck legs and vegetables. Add stock, thyme, parsley, bay leaves and garlic. Cover the baking dish or pot and place in a 350 degree oven. Cook covered for 1 ½ hours. In a stock pot, brown the pancetta, and sausages. Remove the browned sausages and set aside. Drain the beans and place them in the stock pot with pancetta and ham hock. Cover with water and cook on low heat until slightly tender-about 1 hour. When the beans are slightly tender and the duck legs are finished cooking, remove duck legs and strain the braising liquid and save to the side.
Strain the beans, pancetta and ham hock, discarding liquid. Slice sausages and pull the meat off the ham hock. Return the legs and the braising liquid to the cooking pot and add the beans, sausages, hock meat and pancetta. Add a couple of pinches of salt and some fresh cracked black pepper. Make sure the legs are skin side up. Coat with bread crumbs and place uncovered in a 375 degree oven for 30-45 minutes. Beans will now be very tender. Serve either family style out of one big cooking pot or spoon into individual dishes.