Many of the recipes I make grab my attention by the photo I see of them online or in a magazine. I guess its my right brain or whatever, but man, has it paid off. This recipe is one of those such pay offs. I saw a photo of this recipe the latest issue of Cooking Light magazine and my stomach started growling immediately. I had no idea what a cassoulet was, and I’m not a huge sausage person, but man, that photo looked delicious!
Sure enough, I made it and it WAS delicious! So much, in fact, that The Hubs made several “I can’t believe how good this is” comments AND we finished the WHOLE pan via leftovers! (Usually we end up throwing away the last serving or two of everything). This cassoulet (definition: A French dish of white beans and meats, slow cooked in a covered pot) was so easy, very hearty, and very “winter”
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 (4-inch) pork sausages, sliced (about 8 ounces)
- 4 (4-inch) lamb sausages, sliced (about 6 1/2 ounces)
- 4 (4-inch) duck sausages, sliced (about 8 1/2 ounces)
- ***Note: I found some turkey/pork/beef or something like that, combo sausages at the store which I just bought about 24 ounces of and used those. Where do you buy duck sausage anyway?!?!
- Cooking spray
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
- 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup cognac or brandy
- 5 thyme sprigs
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
- 3 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 (4-ounce) piece French bread baguette (***Note: I used canned bread crumbs cause I’m lazy like that)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1. Preheat oven to 325°.
2. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add sausages; cook 6 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove sausages from pan using a slotted spoon; drain. Wipe pan with paper towels, leaving browned bits on bottom of pan. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion and next 5 ingredients (through salt); cook 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add wine and cognac; bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.
3. Place thyme sprigs, bay leaves, and cloves on a double layer of cheesecloth(** Note I used a sterile gauze pad and some string since I didn’t have cheesecloth). Gather edges of cheesecloth together; tie securely. Add cheesecloth bag, broth, beans, and tomatoes to vegetable mixture; stir to combine. Return sausages to pan; stir. Bring mixture to a boil, and remove from heat.
4. Place bread in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until fine crumbs measure 2 cups. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add crumbs to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until golden, stirring frequently. Sprinkle crumbs evenly over bean mixture. Bake at 325° for 40 minutes. Discard cheesecloth bag before serving. (***Note. I poured all mine into a casserole dish and baked it that way. Didn’t have the energy to haul out the oven safe dutch oven)