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Author Notes: When I was first learning to cook, I was game to try anything that sounded fancy and impressive, irrespective of the grunt work involved. Cassoulet was one of my early dishes. With loads of slow-cooked beans and plenty of pork fat, it’s the kind of food that speaks my language. My first attempt was a several day affair. And it was good.
Now I’m guessing that most people don’t have the desire or the time to spend 3 days preparing a dish. But I don’t want you to miss out on making this dish at home because a simple version can be made in an hour. I make mine with ingredients that you’ll likely have on hand. No Toulouse sausage, no pork skin. Just raid your pantry and most of the items should be there. - Feed Me Dearly
- 2 well-seasoned pork sausages (Sage, Cotechino, Fennel, etc.)
- 8 ounces good quality bacon, I like Applegate Farms’ Sunday bacon
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 2 tablespoons of tomato puree
- 1/3 cup white wine
- 28 ounces canned cannellini or other small white beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced finely
- 1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
- Handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped and divided
- 2 cups of fresh breadcrumbs
- Add the sausages on one side, and snip the bacon with kitchen shears onto the other side.
- Cook the sausages and bacon, stirring frequently, so that the sausage is cooked through and the bacon is crisp.
- If the sausage cooks firs, remove it and continue to cook the bacon a minute or two more.
- Remove the pan from the heat, and using a slotted spoon, drain the bacon onto a paper towel.
- Pour off the bacon grease into a cup (reserving as you’ll use some of it later), and leave 1 Tablespoon in the pan.
- When cool, dice the sausage into large chunks and add, along with the bacon, into a large bowl.
- Put the pan back on the heat on medium, and add the onion and carrot and a pinch of salt.
- Sautee the vegetables until soft (about 6-8 minutes).
- When the vegetables are almost done, add the tomato paste, and sautee for another minute.
- Add the wine, and deglaze the pan, scraping at all of the brown bits. Cook the wine down for a minute or two until the vegetables have lost most of their liquid.
- Scrape the vegetables into the bowl with the bacon and sausage.
- Add the liquid to the bowl with the vegetables and the meat.
- Add the beans to the bowl, along with the diced tomatoes, herbes de Provence and all but 1 Tablespoon of the parsley.
- Toss to combine and season with a little more salt & pepper.
- Add your beans mixture to a medium sized casserole dish, or 2 individual-serving casserole dishes.
- In a separate bowl, toss your fresh breadcrumbs with the remaining parsley, and moisten with a few Tablespoons of the leftover bacon grease.
- Season the breadcrumbs with a little salt, and then scatter over your baking dish(es).
- Cover your dishes with foil and bake in the oven for 20 minutes; uncover, and bake for another 20 minutes.