IMG_0546So, what’s a cassoulet? Good question! A cassoulet is a French slow-cooked casserole. The name comes from the type of dish the cassoulet is traditionally cooked in, a cassole, which is a round, deep pot with a tapered base and a flared top. The variety of meats in this dish, including lamb, pork tenderloin, bacon and sausage make for a savory delight for any meat lovers. It’s definitely a longer preparation time and a lot of simmering, but the result is worth it. Ready to try this American twist on a classic French cassoulet recipe for dinner? Bonne chance!

Great Northern Bean Cassoulet

Yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Ingredients

  • 1 48 oz. jar Randall Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 strips bacon, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1/2 pound pork tenderloin cubed
  • 1/2 pound lamb stew meat**
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup whole peeled tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups chicken broth, canned or homemade
  • 1/2 pound smoked sausage
  • 2 small whole onions
  • 3 sprigs parsley
  • 3 leafy celery tops
  • 1 whole green onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 slice bacon, cut into 6 pieces
  • 2 cups fine bread crumbs
  • 4 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
  • 1/3 cup parsely, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Rinse Randall Beans with cold water and drain well.
  2. In a large skillet, sautè 3 strips diced bacon until crisp and brown. Remove from skillet and reserve for later. Add lamb and pork cubes to skillet and brown in the bacon drippings until well browned on all sides. Add more fat if needed during browning. Transfer meat to casserole for later use. Add onion to fat in skillet and sautè about 5 minutes. Add garlic and celery, sautè 2 minutes. Add wine and cook until mixture is reduced about half. Stir in tomatoes, bay leaf, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Pour over meat cubes in casserole. Bake in 325 degree oven about 1 hour or until meat is tender.
  3. While meat is baking, prepare sausage.
  4. Pierce skin of sausage in several places with sharp knife. In same large skillet, add chicken broth, whole onions, parsley, celery tops, green onion, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, bacon pieces, and sausage. Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes. Remove sausage, skin and cut into 1/4 inch thick pieces. Strain broth and reserve for later use.
  5. At this point, you can complete casserole or store foods in refrigerator until later use.
  6. To assemble casserole: In heavy 2 quart, or larger, casserole, at least 3 inches to 3 1/2 inches deep, prepare as follows. Place layer of rinsed and drained beans, next place layer of drained lamb, pork, sausage, and cooked bacon. Repeat with layer of beans and a layer of meat, reserving some sausage slices and beans for the top layer. Pour combined chicken stock and meat juices into casserole until liquid almost covers the beans. Cover top of casserole with bread crumbs, drizzle melted butter evenly over top of crumbs. Bake in top half of oven at 350 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours until crumbs are browned and crusty. Remove from oven. Sprinkle parsley on top of casserole and serve.
  7. Note: If you have refrigerated foods – heat stock and meats before assembling casserole and proceed as above.
  8. ** Lamb gives this dish a special flavor, however, pork can be substituted for lamb.
  9. To save time and energy you can use same skillet for all preparation.
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