It might be the weather. Or it might be under the influence of Tour de France. Or it just might be Bastille day that I wanted to make a cassoulet. I love slow cooked dishes. It just oozes comfort and especially in winter, it is perfect for warming the tummy and soul. Not that I really need that in Sydney. The winter weather has been great. The skies are still usually blue and I can walk around without a thick jacket or scarf. It is brilliant.
But it does not stop me from cooking this dish. It is an adaption of the infamous cassoulet.
I love the pork toulouse sausages from Victor Churchill. It has a rather strong porky taste so will only recommend if you love your pork. The pork fillet and bacon is from Eveleigh farmers market. I added white wine because it was leftover and just sitting in the refrigerator. And did I mention that these lightly smoked chillies were from this old couple at the market too? I really need to remember the name of the stalls.
- 6 pork toulouse sausages
- 500g of pork fillet, thickly sliced
- 4 bacon (trim off the fats but store it for another day)
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 sticks of celery, diced
- 2 small bunch of kale
- 2 big cloves of crushed garlic
- 1 medium onion
- 2 x 400g tinned diced tomatoes
- 1 can of butter beans or cannellini beans
- 200ml of white wine
- 500ml of chicken stock
- 6 lightly smoked red chilli
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Heat a heavy bottom pot with olive oil at medium heat. Brown the sliced pork fillet and set aside. Next brown the sausages and set aside. Add the bacon and smoked chilli. Allow them to render for a couple of minutes. Keep doing this at medium heat
- Add the onions and garlic. Stir a little and then allow it to sit for a couple of minutes. Then add the carrots and celery. Combine and sit for another couple of minutes until the vegetables turn soft. Try not to stir too much. Just allow it to sit in the pot at a medium heat
- The onions, garlic and vegetables should cook by now. Add the white wine and allow it to bubble off the alcohol. Scrap the bottom of the pan to remove the best bits. Then add the kale and stir it through to soften the kale a little. Add the first tin of tomatoes and combine again
- Season lightly with salt and black pepper. Return the sausages and pork fillet back to the pot. Add the stock, beans, the second tin of tomatoes and bay leaves. Distribute the sauce on top
- Do not stir anything. Bring the heat up a little and when you hear the small bubbling of the liquid, place the pot with lid on into a 140 pre-heated oven for about 2 hours
- After 2 hours, remove the lid and then place back into the oven for another 20mins. Serve hot with crusty bread
It is really simple to cook. You may also choose to add confit duck or goose as the French do. Or even use meats like lamb shoulder. It is the perfect comfort food that makes you go back for more.