We’re taking the guess work out of Cassoulet with this simplified American version
- 1 pound slab bacon, cut in 1/2” x 1/2″ x 2” lardons
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut in large 4-ounce chunks
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 garlic sausages (or bratwurst or sausage of your choice), halved
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 pound white or Tarbais beans, soaked in water overnight
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup minced parsley
- Put the bacon in a French oven or cassoulet dish and add just enough water to cover. Place the pot over high heat. When the fat begins to crackle, lower the heat to medium and stir, turning the bacon to brown it on all sides. Remove the bacon to a bowl or plate.
- Turn the heat to medium-high. Season the pork liberally with salt and pepper. Sear the pork in the bacon fat until browned. Remove the pork to the bowl or plate with the bacon.
- Next, brown the sausage in the bacon fat just enough to color the casing. Reserve it along with the bacon and pork.
- Preheat the oven to 300°F/149°C.
- Add the onion and carrots to the pot and cook until they’re tender and evenly browned. Return all the meat to the pot. Add the beans. Cover all with water by about half an inch (or you can use red or white wine if you like). Push the bay leaves below the surface. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat for about 30 minutes. Add a teaspoon of salt.
- Place the uncovered pot in the oven and cook 1 to 2 hours, until the pork is tender and the beans are cooked through. Check occasionally and add more water and/or wine if it’s too dry—you never know how much the beans will soak up.
- Serve each bowl with bacon, pork, sausage, beans, and cooking liquid. Garnish with parsley.