Cassoulet is a fairly complex and slow-cooked meat and bean French dish, so named from the earthenware pot, cassole, it is cooked in. This is a much more streamlined, yet still tasty, version, that uses sausage and cooked beans. If you wish, you can forgo the meat. Sauté the vegetables in some oil. As with so many of our recipes, you can use any greens you have on hand, and, as this is a stew, you can add other root vegetables to the pot.
4 slices bacon, cut into small pieces (lardons)
1 lb sausage, cut into pieces or not
1 T vegetable oil, optional
2 onions, sliced into half-moons
1 celeriac, peeled and chopped into 1″ or so pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1/2 t dried thyme leaves or 1 sprig fresh thyme
1 T tomato paste
1/3 c or so red wine; or broth, stock, or water
2 1/2 c broth or stock
1 t Worcestershire sauce; or steak sauce, or soy sauce
1 T (Dijon) mustard
1 bunch kale, stemmed and finely chopped
2 c cooked or canned white beans, rinsed and drained if canned
black pepper, to taste
1. In a Dutch oven, or deep sauté pan, fry the bacon until it just begins to render some fat. If your bacon is lean, you may want to add some oil. Add the sausages and continue to cook both, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. Remove the sausages and reserve.
2. Add the onions, and cook, for about 10 minutes. Turn down the heat if the onions are starting to brown quickly. Add the celeriac and stir to coat with the bacon and onions. Add the garlic, bay leaf, thyme, and tomato paste. Cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes. Stir in the red wine, and deglaze the pan–using a wooden spoon to loosen the sticky pieces from the bottom of the pan. Add the broth, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard. Bring to a simmer, then return the sausages to the pot or pan.
3. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the celeriac is tender and the sausage is cooked through. Stir in the kale and cook another 10 minutes. Add the white beans and some pepper, and cook another five minutes or so, until the beans are heated through.