Have you ever read Julia Child’s version of Cassoulet? It is, quite simply, insane. If you have ever attempted to make it from scratch I salute you fervently and will forever feel inadequate in your presence. The thought of soaking dry beans, buying rendered goose fat and making my own sausage patties with armagnac and truffle feels incredibly out of reach, but I think I found a happy compromise tonight.
It is hearty, tasty and on the table in under an hour. If you don’t have shredded pork on hand, feel free to leave it out. The kids didn’t hate it, which is probably as near as high praise as you might get from them.
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 rashers bacon, rind removed
7 pork sausages, cut into chunks
100g (or a large handful) of shredded pork
8-10 mushrooms, quartered
1 tin cannellini beans (or other white beans)
1 cup red wine
1 cup beef/chicken stock
4 cloves chopped garlic
3 sprigs thyme
1 Tbsp tomato paste
3-4 slices bread (processed into breadcrumbs)
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 Tbsp grated parmesan
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
2. Chop bacon and leek into small pieces.
3. In an oven proof fry pan saute the bacon and leek in 1 tbsp of the hot butter until leek is softened, then remove from pan.
4. Pan fry the sausage chunks until browned, then remove from pan.
5. Place 1 tbsp of butter and the olive oil into pan, leave until froth has almost subsided, then add quartered mushrooms. Cook until beads of moisture appear on surface (3-5 mins).
6. Add bacon, leek and sausages back into the pan and pour in liquid ingredients (wine and stock) along with the tomato paste, garlic and thyme.
7. Add in shredded pork and cannellini beans and allow to simmer for 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.
8. Process bread into breadcrumbs along with the chopped parsley. Scatter over top of casserole. Top with grated parmesan.
9. Place in pre-heated oven for 10 minutes or until top is golden brown.
10. Top with sprigs of parsley and serve along with green beans, carrots or mashed potato (or other desired sides).