Friday, January 24, 2014

Sausage Cassoulet

In this amazing one-pot meal, Italian sausages are combined with cannellini beans to braise over the course of a few hours in the oven. This dish couldn't be more simple or more comforting.

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I remember the first time I ordered cassoulet at a restaurant. I was expecting a fancy dish to grace the table, but what arrived was a rustic, homey, and utterly amazing casserole of food.
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You see, even though the name sounds upper class, this dish couldn't be more humble. 
Luckily, in this case, humble equals delicious.
And it's all made in one pot.
It just keeps getting better!
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You'll start by browning some of your favorite sausages and some pancetta in a pot. You'll then add in some onion, garlic, tomatoes, and sauté with some spices. Pour in some cannellini beans and chicken broth, then off to the oven it goes to simmer and braise into the most comforting dinner you'll ever eat.
You'll want to top with some fresh breadcrumbs then back in the oven to crisp up.
Believe me when I say, this dish is beyond delicious and it's definitely made it's way to my list of winter staples!

Sausage Cassoulet
serves 4

1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
6 Italian sausages, pork or chicken
4 oz pancetta, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
6 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
13 oz can cannellini beans
13 oz can diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme
½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp ground coriander
1 Tbsp dark brown sugar
2 cups chicken stock, warmed on the stove
½ cup fresh breadcrumbs
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 285º F. 
Heat the olive oil in a flameproof casserole over medium-high heat and fry the sausages until they are golden and well colored, about 2 minutes per side. Remove to a plate and set aside.
Add pancetta to pan and cook until crisp, about 3 minutes.
Remove to the plate with the sausages.
Add onion to the pan and sauté until translucent, about 6-8 minutes. Add garlic and continue to sauté for one additional minute. 
Add beans and diced tomatoes, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add bay leaves, thyme, paprika, coriander, and sugar. Stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add chicken stock and bring just to a boil. Cover casserole and place in the oven. Allow to cook for 2 hours.
Remove lid and top with bread crumbs. Continue to cook, uncovered, for an additional 30 minutes, until bread is crisp.
Spoon onto plates and enjoy!
This is perfect served with a crusty loaf of bread and a crisp green salad.

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