This Easy Cassoulet recipe is based on a French classic, which when done fully can be intimidating and time-consuming – so here is my cheat’s shortcut.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 45-50 minutes
6 lamb merguez sausages
250g diced pork belly, speck or bacon
2 large (490g) brown onions, coarsley chopped
1 small fennel bulb, or 2 stalks celery including leaves, sliced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
400g can diced tomatoes
½ cup (125 ml) dry white wine or water
2 x 400g cans cannellini beans (drained and rinsed)
Fresh garden bouquet – thyme, rosemary, parsley, bay leaf
½ day old baguette or similar (1 cup or 170g breadcrumbs)
¼ cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C) fan.
- Cook sausages in a lightly greased frying pan, over medium heat until golden brown all over, around 10 mins. Remove and set aside. Slice thickly on an angle when cool enough to handle.
- Meanwhile cut pork, speck or bacon including skin into large dice or lardons, removing any bones. Add to frying pan and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.
- Add onion with fennel or celery to the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently for 10-15 minutes, until softened and aromatic. Add tomatoes, wine, beans, and salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper to taste and stir well. Poke in garden bouquet. Bring to the boil.
- Place half the bean mixture in a 2-litre casserole. Top sliced sausage and finish with remaining bean mixture.
- Process bread in food processor to make breadcrumbs. Toss with oil and scatter thickly over bean mixture. Bake for 25 minutes until the crust is golden. Serve immediately.
Lyndey’s Note: Duck confit is traditional in cassoulet but time-consuming to make. You can buy duck confit in packets and roast on a baking tray along with the cassoulet. The duck meat can be shredded and mixed through the cassoulet, or served beside it. The legs (really Maryland pieces) can be cut in half.
Related Recipe: Quick Chicken Cassoulet with Preserved Lemon