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Cassoulet is a fine, fine thing…

Serves: 4 Time: mins
Ingredients:

For the basic beans

  • 400g dried white haricot beans – soaked overnight in cold water
  • 1 small onion – peeled and whole
  • 1 carrot – peeled and whole
  • 1 piece of bacon rind (from below)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and whole

For the meats & cassoulet

  • 2 kid shanks
  • 200g whole piece of bacon, skin removed & kept (for beans above)
  • 8 Provencal kid sausages
  • 2 onions, peeled and sliced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tin whole tinned tomatoes
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Handful of breadcrumbs
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method:

For the base beans

  1. Drain the beans and put them in a large pot with the shanks, onion, carrot, bacon rind, bay leaves & garlic. Cover with water and bring to the boil. Skim off any froth that appears on the surface. Turn the heat down to simmer, then cook until the beans are almost tender.
  2. Drain the beans and shanks, keeping the cooking liquor and discarding the flavourings. Remove the shank meat from the bone and roughly chop.

For the meats & cassoulet

  1. Cook the sliced onions and garlic and soften in 3 tbsp olive oil, then add the tomatoes along with the bay leaves. Cook until sticky thick. Put to one side.
  2. Cut the bacon piece into thick strips and gently brown in the same pan for about 5 minutes together with the sausages and shank meat. Mix the onion & tomato to the meat.
  3. Lay 1/2 the meat mix in the bottom of a deep casserole and cover with 1/2  the beans. Add another layer of the meat, then the rest of the beans. Top up with some of the cooking liquor from the beans to just cover.
  4. Top with half of the breadcrumbs and place in the preheated oven at 140 for an hour.  After an hour, break the crust that has formed and stir it back into the cassoulet and top once more with the rest of the breadcrumbs.  Return the dish to the oven for a further hour until the crust is golden.
  5. Serve the cassoulet with a green salad.

James Whetlor

Author James Whetlor

Owner and head butcher at Cabrito.

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