October 7, 2010

Classic Cassoulet

cassoulet, originally uploaded by Sam Turner.
This may be one of the worst dishes to photograph... all gloppy and stewed looking with unexciting beige-y colors. But man O man. It is divine in terms of how it makes the house smell on a crisp weekened day and it will lure people to your home, kitchen and table like nobodies business.

Yummy oven-crisped garlic bread served on the side to scoop up the soupy bits would be perfect too.

I'm throwing down the gauntlett this weekend with my favorite classic French cooks-all-day recipe, but if anyone cares to engage in a Cassoulet Off with me, please plan your recipe, create and photograph it then email me the results. 
I can't wait to find out which ones are best. And this weather SCREAMS for it darlings.

Any ideas for an apple dessert?

Smoked Sausage Cassoulet (or apple chicken sausage is good too)
Just plan to make a day ahead for the best flavor...

  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 pounds assorted fully cooked smoked sausages (such as kielbasa and andouille)

  • 4 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced
  • 6 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 medium apple, peeled, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried rubbed sage
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 2 14 1/2-ounce cans diced tomatoes with roasted garlic in juice
  • 3 15-ounce cans Great Northern beans, drained, liquid reserved
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen baby lima beans, thawed
  • 1 cup (or more) canned chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 4 cups diced country-style bread
  • 1 pound tomatoes, seeded, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley


Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large ovenproof pot over medium heat. Add sausages; sauté until brown, about 25 minutes. Transfer to plate and cut into 1/2-inch rounds.
Add leeks and garlic to same pot. Sauté until beginning to soften, about 8 minutes. Mix in apple, rosemary and sage. Add brandy and simmer until almost evaporated, about 5 minutes. Mix in canned tomatoes with juices, canned beans with 1/2 cup reserved liquid, lima beans, 1 cup broth, tomato paste and cloves. Add sausages. Season with pepper.
Bring cassoulet to boil. Cover pot and transfer to preheated oven; bake 30 minutes. (Can be made up to 2 days ahead. Uncover; cool 1 hour. Refrigerate until cold; cover and keep refrigerated. Before continuing, rewarm in covered pot in 350°F. oven 40 minutes, adding more broth if dry.)
Heat remaining 1/4 cup oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add bread and sauté until golden brown, stirring often, about 25 minutes. Combine fresh tomatoes and parsley in large bowl; mix in bread. Season topping with salt and pepper. Spoon onto warm cassoulet. Bake uncovered 15 minutes longer.

{Recipe found on Epicurious.com.  It's hands down the best one I've tried!}


  1. Ok, Jeff is in for some home cooking this weekend! Thanks Heidi. I think you're inspiring.

  2. he will fall even MORE madly in love with you. It is delish!