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Cassoulet of Pork and Toulousian Sausages

Posted Aug 24 2008 8:12pm
I went out for lunch in a local restaurant a few days ago and ate the most fabulous cassoulet. Not your average classical French cassoulet but more a cassoulet that made me think of Moroccan flavours. It was mainly duck and very good sausage with very few beans, but the broth was unbelievable - spicy but not hot with a tang of tomatoes

Now I want to remind myself of the flavours of a traditional French cassoulet, if there is such a thing as traditional cassoulet. Cassoulet should contain duck and should have duck fat as an ingredient. I don't fancy a heart attack any time soon, so have reduced the cholesterol element by using a vegetable oil and omitting the duck. Cassoulet should also have about half a pound of breadcrumbs added after the two hour coking phase, I decided to forego them

To serve 4 - 6

1 lb 2 oz belly of pork, skin separated from meat and cut into half inch dice

8 GF Toulouse sausages (Sainsbury's)

Bean stock

1 cup haricot beans

1 cup butter beans

1/2 onion

3 cloves garlic

Sprig fresh thyme

sprig fresh rosemary

whole carrot


2 tbsp sunflower oil

3 large carrots, peeled and diced

2 tomatoes, skinned and diced

1 onion, peeled and diced

3 cloves garlic

1 tsp dried rosemary

1 tsp dried thyme

Salt and pepper

In a large saucepan, add the onion, garlic, carrot, thyme, rosemary, beans, diced pork and pork skin, bring to the boil and simmer for 70 minutes

Preheat the oven to 160 centigrade / 300 Fahrenheit / gas mark 2

Meanwhile heat 1 tbsp of oil in a heavy based casserole, lightly saute the diced onions and garlic until softened

Remove onions and garlic from the casserole and place in a large bowl with the diced carrots and tomatoes

Add a further tablespoon of oil to the casserole and fry the sausages until browned, remove from the casserole and cut into three pieces, place in the bowl with the carrots, tomatoes etc

Drain the bean stock, reserving the stock for later use

Place all the other ingredients from the bean pan in a large roasting tin, discard the carrot, onion, pork skin, herbs and garlic

Pick out the pork and place in the casserole dish and lightly fry until golden brown, then place in the bowl with other vegetables and sausages

Add half of the beans to the casserole, add the meat and vegetables from the bowl and the herbs, then add the remaining beans. Add the stock, filling to the level of the beans, add some boiling water if necessary

Put the casserole without the lid in the preheated oven and cook for two hours

Check seasoning, I added one teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of pepper at this point

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