" Shanghai Noon" Hopalong Cassoulet

Each week, Dinner & a Movie on TBS serves up a very funny film and a movie-themed recipe. Check out Hopalong Cassoulet, created for the film Shanghai Noon.

You will need:

For the beans

  • 2 pounds dried Great Northern beans (or French haricot lingot du Lauragais, available online)
  • 8 quarts cold water
  • 1 onion, halved and studded with 6 whole cloves
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1/2 pound slab butcher’s bacon cut into 1/2” cubes and fried until not quite crispy, drippings reserved
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 Turkish bay leaf, 3 parsley stems and 3 sprigs thyme tied together at the stem with kitchen twine for easy removal
  • 4 quarts rich homemade chicken or beef broth (or low salt canned broth)
For the Stew

  • 1 pound boneless pork shoulder butt, well trimmed, cut into 1”cubes and seasoned lightly with salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 8 lamb shanks
  • 2 pounds fresh Toulouse style, pork-garlic sausage (or fresh Italian sausage that’s not too spicy)
  • 6 tablespoons rendered duck fat or olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 2 cups homemade chicken or beef broth (or low salt, canned broth)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 whole, unpeeled head garlic, sliced open at the shoot end
  • 2 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped, or one 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes
For Assembly

  • 1/2 pound pork rind, boiled until supple, about 30 minutes and cut into 2” strips (this ingredient is optional)
  • 1 whole confit of duck, or 4 duck confit leg quarters (see DAAM website recipe for Mr. Holland’s Opus)
  • 2 cups toasted fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup chopped, flat leaf parsley


  1. In a large, heavy stockpot, cover beans with the cold water and bring to a boil. Cook at a full boil for 3 minutes and then remove from heat, cover and let soak 1 hour. Discard soaking water, rinse beans well and return to the stockpot.

  2. Add the onion halves, celery, bacon cubes, minced garlic, black pepper, tied herb bundle and beef stock. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce heat to a simmer and then cook uncovered for 45 minutes, or just until the beans are not quite fully tender. Skim and stir occasionally. Salt to taste and then remove and discard the onion, celery and herbs; drain and reserve any remaining cooking liquid and set beans aside.

  3. In a large, enameled casserole or Dutch oven, heat the duck fat or olive oil and brown the cubed pork shoulder in 2 batches and set aside. Brown the lamb shanks until golden brown on each side. Prick the sausages a few times and brown on all sides. Reduce the heat, replace the lamb shanks, cover and continue cooking an additional 10 minutes, until about half cooked. Set the lamb shanks aside. Once cool, slice the sausages diagonally into 1” pieces and set aside.

    Discard all but a few tablespoons of the fat and sauté the sliced carrot and diced onion until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the reserved pork cubes and any accumulated juices, the reserved bean cooking liquid, chicken broth, white wine, garlic head, the tomatoes and their juice. Season with salt and pepper and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat immediately and then gently simmer for 2 hours (never letting the mixture boil again).

  4. Preheat oven to 325F and adjust oven rack to lower third of the oven. Gently warm the beans over a low heat; cover and keep warm.

    Rub a 5 to 6 quart earthenware or ceramic casserole with all of the garlic paste squeezed from the cooked head of garlic. Throw away the remaining cooked garlic peelings. Line the bottom of the casserole with the blanched pork rind strips, fat-side down (optional). To assemble the cassoulet, layer one third of the hot beans over the pork rind; use a slotted spoon to layer half of the hot pork mixture, and then add half of the sausage, half of the lamb shanks and half of the duck confit over the beans. Repeat the process with another third of the beans and the remaining pork, sausage, lamb shanks, and duck confit. Finish building the layered cassoulet with the last one third of the beans as the top layer. Add enough of the liquid from the pork mixture to cover the top layer of beans. Top the beans evenly and generously with the parsley bread crumb mixture. Dot with butter or drizzle with the reserved bacon drippings and bake for 90 minutes, pushing down on the crumb topping with the back of a serving spoon every 20-30 minutes to form a crust.

  5. It is best to allow the Hopalong Cassoulet to rest 15 minutes before serving. Delicious!

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