Thursday, January 7, 2010

Cassoulet (Meat Surprise!)

Last month I decided on lazy Sunday to try and make a French Cassoulet. Pretty much it is a peasant dish consisting of slow-cooked meat and beans. What kind of meat? All kinds of meat. Fatty ducks and fatty lamb and fatty pork and beans. I tried to lighten it up as much as I could. I replaced pork shoulder with trimmed pork stew meat, and I used skinless chicken thighs instead of skin-on duck legs.

First you cook up a couple slices of bacon and set them aside. I did not try to lighten up bacon.

Next is the stew pork! You could use chunked leg of lamb if you'd like to have a heart attack.

Boneless, skinless, chicken thighs! I wish I could afford that much duck confit.

Cast iron is getting all dark brown and meat sear-y. Mmmmmm.

Onions and garlic go in to scrape all of the brown bits off the bottom.

Tomato paste, too. For more brown-bit scraping.

Then you toss the meat back in. I didn't take a picture, but at this point you also add about 4 spicy chicken sausages, cut in half down the length of them. So many different meats.

Four cups of chicken stock are next. I like to use the chicken stock concentrate from Trader Joe's, that way I don't have to lug heavy broth up to my apartment where I have no room to store it.

Meats in meat water. You also add a whole ton of great northern beans in here now too. Four cans.

Top with panko breadcrumbs and bake for like, 4 hours.

The finished product deceitfully looks like it's covered with a thick layer of cheese.

Scoop out some into a bowl- you never know what kind of meat you'll get, so it's an exciting gamble.

Cassoulet (adapted from a Cooking Light recipe- no really, I had to lighten a Cooking Light recipe):

  • 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 4 bacon slices, chopped into pieces
  • 1 lb of chunks of pork
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup tomato puree
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cans Great Northern beans, drained
  • 4 spicy Italian chicken sausages
  • 1/4 cup panko
Brown meats and drain. Sautee onion and garlic and tomato paste. Add meats back to pot. Cover with chicken broth. Bake at 300° for 2 1/2 hours. Stir in beans. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the top of the casserole. Bake at 375°for 1 hour covered, then uncover and cook until brown and bubbly, about 15 minutes.

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