Smoked Sausage Cassoulet

When it comes to comfort foods, it’s hard to find one that won’t leave you feeling stuffed and sluggish. I thought that until I tried cassoulet for the first time at one of my favorite Indianapolis restaurants, Napolese. Now if you aren’t familiar with cassoulet, it’s a recipe that originated in southern France that consists of a meat (typically pork), pig skin (I subbed in bacon), and white beans. All of these ingredients are placed into a heavy bottom pot and cooked in a stock with a variety of herbs, garlic, spinach and cheese to create a rich, decadent stew. Add a chunk of crusty bread on the side for dipping and let your taste buds say hello to your new rainy day comfort meal.

Not only will this recipe leave you satisfied, but you won’t feel like you’re slipping into a food coma like many other comfort dishes do. While a traditional cassoulet calls for pig skin, I subbed in leftover applewood smoked bacon from Smoking Goose. Cassoulet can make a great appetizer or first course for a dinner party or holiday celebration. Plus, it’s easy to make and requires only one pot, so cleanup is a breeze!

Instructions

 

  • Heat EVOO in cast iron or other heavy bottom pot.
  • Sauté onion 5 minutes, and season with salt and pepper. Then add garlic and sauté 2 more minutes.
  • Add sausage, bacon, stock, half of beans, rosemary, oregano, more salt and pepper.
  • Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer uncovered about 1 hour until reduced and thick (mashing some of beans with fork if needed).
  • Add in remaining beans, fresh grated Parmesan and spinach and simmer until spinach is wilted.
  • Serve topped with more Parmesan and a few pieces of crusty bread for dipping.

Recipe Credit

James Nimmer is the Director of Partnerships & Engagement at Green Bean Delivery and has been with the company since early 2010. When he’s not spreading the word about local farmers, artisans and food events, you can find James cooking up new recipes in his kitchen, getting his hands dirty in his garden, or exploring restaurants throughout the Midwest. Follow his culinary adventures on Instagram: @JamesNimmer