3 lbs. boneless lamb shoulder cut into 1˝ inch cubes
3 T. olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. mild Italian sausages
˝ lb. smoked cooked sausages such as Kielbasa cut into 6 pieces
2 boneless duck breasts (Muscovy if possible)
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup dry red wine
2 large onions cut into medium dice
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto, minced
2 tsp. dried thyme, or 1 T. fresh, minced
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
6 cans (16 oz each) white cannelloni beans, drained & rinsed
3 cups fresh breadcrumbs
3 T. butter, melted
1/3 cup minced parsley
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 450°.
Place lamb cubes in a bowl. Drizzle with 2 T. olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt & pepper, turning to coat.
Place Italian sausages, 1 cup water, and remaining 1 T. oil in a large heavy roasting pan set over two burners. Cover with heavy-duty foil and turn heat to med-high. Cook until sausages lose their raw color (5 min). Remove foil (reserve it) and continue to cook until water evaporates. Add smoked sausages and cook, turning frequently, until all are browned (5-8 min.) Transfer to a plate. When cool, cut into bite-size pieces.
Generously sprinkle the duck breasts with salt & pepper. Reduce heat a bit & add duck breasts, skin side down. Cook until fat has rendered and skin is mahogany brown (10-12 min). Turn duck over and cook other side 5 minutes longer. Remove and drain duck fat for later use. Cut each half breast into 4 pieces.
Return pan to med-high heat. Add lamb cubes and cook, turning once, until a brown crust forms on both sides. Transfer to a large ovenproof pan, set roasting pan aside. Add chicken broth and wine and cover with reserved foil, pressing down until it almost touches meat, leaving a small escape hole for steam to escape. Bring to a simmer and simmer for a few minutes until all the alcohol is burned off. Seal foil completely and put cover on pan. Bake, without touching for 1 hr and 15 min, meat will be very tender.
Re-heat roasting pan & add about 2 T. of the duck fat. Add onions & garlic & sauté until soft. Add Proscuitto & thyme & sauté to blend flavors. Add tomatoes and beans and mix, cook about 10 min. more to mix flavors. Remove from heat.
Transfer lamb and broth to roasting pan. Add duck, and sausages & enough water to make a soupy casserole. You can let this mix remain at room temperature for about 2 hrs, or refrigerate when cool for up to two days before re-heating & continuing.
An hour before serving, adjust oven rack to lover-middle position in oven & heat to 350°. Bring cassoulet to a simmer. Mix breadcrumbs, melted butter, and parsley and sprinkle over cassoulet. Bake until browned and golden and stew is bubbly. About 45 minutes. Let stand for 5 min. and serve.