Cassoulet our way.

More delicious peasant food coming your way. Upscale versions often include things like duck confit, lamb, and goose fat; here’s a more affordable, healthier – and much simpler – version of this casserole from the South of France.

I originally tried this with chicken thigh meat as well as the chicken sausages, but I honestly didn’t like the flavor as much as I did when I made it with only the sausage. Perhaps it’s more of an upgraded beenie-weenie recipe than a downmarket cassoulet this way; it’s delicious no matter how you look at it. It’d be easy enough to make this vegan by simply using soy sausage (Tofurkey makes some great varieties these days) instead. I tried this with a few dashes of Liquid Smoke as well, which made it even better.

CASSOULET-ESQUE WHITE BEAN CASSEROLE

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

6 chicken or turkey sausages

1 carrot, diced

1 stalk celery, diced

1 medium onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 pound or 1 15 oz can cannellini/Great Northern beans

1 15 oz can diced tomatoes

1 bay leaf

2 cups vegetable broth

dash or two Liquid Smoke (optional)

2 teaspoons Herbs de Provence

salt and fresh black pepper to taste

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add sausages and brown, turning as needed, for about 7-8 minutes. Remove sausages. Add remaining olive oil and saute carrots, celery and onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 2 more minutes. Stir in tomato paste. Deglaze pan with wine. Add beans, diced tomatoes, bay leaf, and broth. Slice sausages (I like to do so on the bias) and return to pan.  Add Liquid Smoke if using, herbs, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and coook for 15 minutes. Adjust seasoning and discard bay leaf. Top with croutons, ideally homemade ones.

— posted by Anne

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