Thursday, September 11, 2008

Parle Vous...


Cassoulet (from Occitan caçolet [kasuˈlet]) is a rich, slow-cooked bean stew or casserole originating in the southwest of France, containing meat (typically pork sausages, pork, goose, duck and sometimes mutton), pork skin (couennes) and white haricot beans.

Awhile back I came across this recipe online, printed it out, and added it to my ever-growing stack of "recipes to try". Finally, last winter, I made it for the first time. Greg and I both really liked it, so it went into the "keep" pile. I have no idea who posted this recipe. I think it was someone on a freezer cooking email group I used to belong to, so my apologies for not being able to credit anyone.

This is a hearty dish, good for Fall and Winter. It's easy and cooks in the crockpot, so there's little effort or mess. Perfect for a busy day. And the leftovers freeze well.

Layer the following ingredients in a crockpot that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Don't stir. Cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 8-9 hours.
1 onion, sliced

3 carrots, sliced (I chopped up several baby carrots)
3 cloves, garlic, minced

3 cans Great Northern white beans with liquid

3 tsp. chicken boullion granules (I don't have that, so I used a very generous teaspoon of chicken base.)

1 bay leaf

1 tsp powdered thyme (I ran out to my herb garden and cut some fresh. Just throw the whole thing in - the leaves will fall off and the stems will be fished out later.)

3 sirloin pork chops, cut in half (I used 2 large-ish bone-in regular chops from a 'family-sized' package)
1/2 lb. smoked garlic sausage, cut in pieces (I used lean turkey sausage. Not as strong a flavor, but a little healthier)
1/4 lb. bacon, cut in small pieces (I used about half that much, and cooked it first)

Now put the lid on your crockpot and walk away. Don't stir this until you're ready to eat. And you'll be wanting to eat, since it smells so good as it cooks!

I'll use this as a one-dish meal since everything is included. That's the beauty of it. Only one crock to wash. We all love that!

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