Dinner Party

Colby Garrelts' White Bean Cassoulet with Pork Loin

January 31, 2019
4 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 2 hours 45 minutes
  • Serves 6 to 8
Author Notes

Chef Colby Garrelts' take on cassoulet (a traditional French stew typically made with white beans and multiple types of pork or sometimes poultry) offers the same rich flavor and hearty broth, but cuts the cooking time in half. His trick: Use fresh pork loin, which cooks more quickly than tougher cuts such as pork shoulder or ribs, but still remains tender and flavorful after a bit of time in the oven. —Food52

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe is featured in the story, A French Pork Stew That Cooks in Half the Time (but Doesn’t Skimp on Flavor), and was developed by Colby Garrelts and our partner Smithfield Fresh Pork. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 2 Smithfield Original Recipe Pork Loin Filets (about 3 pounds total), trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 pound dry cannellini or Great Northern beans, soaked overnight
  • 8 cloves plus 3 cloves garlic, divided (8 cloves are whole, 3 cloves are minced)
  • 1 medium plus 1 small yellow onion, divided (medium onion is peeled and halved, small onion is diced)
  • 1 ham hock
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 5 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 pound andouille sausage, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Mix breadcrumbs and butter together in small baking dish. Bake, tossing occasionally, until light golden brown and crisp, 8 to 12 minutes. Cool to room temperature; set aside.
  2. Bring beans, whole garlic cloves, onion halves, ham hock, salt, pepper, and 8 cups water to a boil in stockpot over high heat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until beans are almost fully tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Do not overcook the beans. Drain beans and discard garlic, onion, and ham hock.
  3. Brown bacon in large Dutch oven over medium heat until fat is well rendered. Remove bacon with slotted spoon and drain. Carefully remove all but about 2 tablespoons of bacon grease from pan.
  4. Place Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season pork loin cubes with salt and pepper. Working in 2 batches, sauté half the pork until well browned, about 5 minutes. Set aside on plate. Repeat with remaining pork; set aside.
  5. Add chopped onion to Dutch oven and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add 3 cloves minced garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, thyme, and bay leaf to onions; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  6. Add wine and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in chicken stock; increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Cover pan; reduce heat and simmer 40 minutes. Remove cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove thyme sprigs and bay leaf.
  7. Gently stir in browned pork cubes, andouille sausage, drained beans, and reserved bacon. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
  8. Heat oven to 425°F. Sprinkle panko topping evenly over surface of cassoulet. Bake for about 15 minutes until meat is hot and breadcrumbs are deep golden brown. Poke a small hole in the panko crust and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • erinrae
  • Tom Thalon
    Tom Thalon
  • Smaug

4 Reviews

erinrae October 11, 2021
This is great! It still takes a while but it's perfect for a Sunday dinner. I didn't make any changes except leaving out the hamhock (onions, garlic and salt made the beans plenty flavorful). I'm not sure the bacon step is necessary, I would probably browning the pork in olive oil next time. I also cut down the two rounds of simmering time and kept the broth at a higher heat to reduce more quickly. Definitely recommend!
Tom T. February 20, 2019
Honestly, I just made braised pork yesterday and it was barely 45 minutes. I guess it wasn't traditional cassoulet. I briefly sauteed garlic and white onions, then added precut chunks of pork stew meat, as the store package was labeled. S&P, some white wine all to a mild boil, then way down.
Any longer than the 45 mins. and it would have been fork tender but also all the flavor leached out, too.y experience with chunk cuts of meat is there's a fine line if that fork tender doneness and super tender but no moistness. I advise checking your meat 30 minutes in.
I got lots of nice sauce plus I served with mounds of wild rice.
Smaug February 20, 2019
There are any number of traditional cassoulets from different regions, most of which don't contain pork (other than in sausages or pork skin) at all; if you want to be really traditional, you would start with a goose confit, or maybe duck.
Smaug February 20, 2019
Pretty similar to a recipe I've made regularly for years- one major difference is I use Herbes de Provence in place of thyme, and less fat. I also make a very quick version using leftover, pre-braised pork (I don't eat poultry) and canned beans, which might not thrill traditionalists but makes a fine, reasonably quick bean dish. I use andouille sausage, ham and pork for the meats, all of which I brown, generally in their own fat. Traditional cassoulet is quite fatty, but I prefer t otherwise.