I was born and raised in Kansas and learned to cook alongside my mother. Now, along with my wonderful husband, I have taken the plunge into the city life in New York. These are my food adventures: in my own tiny kitchen, and in the many restaurants of the city.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Cheater's Cassoulet

We are finally getting some more winter-like weather around these parts after a rather warm season (not that I'm complaining about the beautiful temps we've had!). Despite spending most of this particular winter craving lighter meals, when the snow finally fell last week I longed for something rich and hearty. Cassoulet seemed to call to me, but after the busy days (fitting in runs, writing for another website, workshops, and work) I had no energy to spend hours slaving away on the dish.

I decided to instead come up with the Cheater's Cassoulet. Using some of the traditional flavors of the dish, but breaking it down and simplifying so it can be prepared on any weeknight. It doesn't have the depth that the original carries, but will fit the bill when you just don't have the time. Feel free to substitute prepared duck confit or leftover braised pork for the sausage (or add in addition to the sausage) if you have some on hand.

Cheater's Cassoulet
4 servings

4 sausages (I like wild boar sausage for this recipe, but any will do)
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
3 t. chopped fresh thyme
2 15oz. cans cannellini beans
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
3 TB butter
1/2 c. panko breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat a dutch oven or deep oven safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausages and sear all over. Then remove the sausages to a plate. 
Add the chopped bacon to the pan. Cook until the bacon is crispy then remove to a plate.
Add the onion to the bacon grease and cook until translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Then add the garlic and thyme and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and then stir in the cannellini beans, salt, pepper and cooked bacon. Place the seared sausages into the beans.
Melt the butter and mix with the breadcrumbs. Sprinkle this mixture on top of the beans and sausages. Place uncovered into the oven and cook for 30 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are slightly browned and the sausages are cooked through.


That Girl said...

I love your cheater's cassoulet idea. Even if I have never had "leftover duck confit" in my life. People really leave some of it behind?

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