We’re up to no good with some pork and beans today. This Sausage Cassoulet is a stew of all the meats, beans, a tomato-y broth, and… wait for it…. a whole head of roasted garlic. Can’t stop now – now you already know – this is going to be delicious. It’s ok – go ahead and picture yourself at the stove, standing over a simmering pot of rich tomato broth full of sliced smoked sausage, generous hunks of pork and chicken, creamy beans, just squeezing an entire head of buttery, sweet roasted garlic into the mix.
Roasted garlic is, technically, edible gold. It’s complex and pungent and smooth and caramely. It adds depth and flavor to anything and it’s a cinch to make. Just slice the top off a head of garlic, drizzle on some olive oil, salt and pepper, wrap it up in foil and pop it in a 425 degree oven for 45 minutes. So little effort for so much in return!
So, yes, we’re adding that showstopper garlic to an already mouthwatering stew and topping it with some quick homemade croutons. If this is the first time you’re meeting Homemade Croutons, let me prep you for the introduction: Homemade Croutons gets along with everybody and is an over achiever. He is adaptable in almost any situation and considers teamwork a personal strength. Here’s a quick picture of mine in progress:
At some point, I learned that tearing the bread instead of slicing it into cubes makes for a much more pleasing texture in your mouth. I want to say (Queen) Lidia Bastianich said that somewhere but I’m not positive. This is just torn up sourdough bread, tossed in olive oil and salt in the pan (no need to dirty a bowl for this) and sauteed for 5-10 minutes over medium heat. Just like the roasted garlic, so little effort, so much reward. These are amazing in just about any soup or salad. Or pasta. Or dessert. Just kidding. Although… could you saute chunks of bread in some melted butter and sugar? Hmm. Noting that for another day.
garlic and crouton’s new best friend
Are you ready to discuss the meat and beans? Traditionally, cassoulet is made with duck and various cuts/forms of pork. I vote to choose whatever you find tasty and available. For me, today, it was chicken thighs, country style pork ribs, and this great pecan-smoked sausage:
Begin this bowl of yum by browning each of the meats and an onion in a dutch oven. Add in some tomato paste and let it cook a little to open up the tomato-ness of it. Next comes agents of flavor and proper stew-making: wine, chicken stock, a can of diced tomatoes, and a can of white beans. I like to throw in a pinch of brown sugar and a pinch of red pepper flakes at this point – I think that’s good juju when working with a bunch of canned tomato stuff. Then, cook that thing. For about an hour. During this time, you can do other cassoulet/stew-related activities, like lighting a fire in the fireplace, putting on your slippers, or taking a nap:
Look at that pumpkinhead.
Once the chicken and pork are tender enough to shred easily with two forks, do that and then do the thing you’ve been waiting for. Squeeze in that garlic gold:
Garlic Stalactites! Not the prettiest thing but looks aren’t everything, you guys. Stir the sweet, buttery roasted garlic in and serve this rich and tasty cassoulet with your homemade croutons on top!Print
A simple version of Sausage Cassoulet with roasted garlic and homemade croutons.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil
- salt & pepper
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2 boneless country style pork ribs (about 1/2 lb), cut into 2″ chunks
- 1/2 of a smoked sausage or kielbasa (about 1/2 lb), sliced in 1/4″ rounds
- 1 head of roasted garlic (slice the top off a head of garlic, drizzle on some olive oil, salt and pepper, wrap it up in foil and pop it in a 425 degree oven for 45 minutes)
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 T tomato paste
- 3/4 C white wine
- 2 C chicken stock
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 can great northern beans, rinsed
- pinch of brown sugar
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 t fresh thyme or 1/2 t dried
- croutons, for serving (2 C of torn sourdough bread, tossed in olive oil and salt in a skillet, and sauteed for 5-10 minutes over medium heat, until browned)
- Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Salt and pepper the chicken thighs and pork ribs.
- Brown the chicken thighs, pork ribs, and sliced sausage (in batches) and transfer them to a plate.
- Turn the heat down to medium-low and saute the onion until soft, 3-4 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the wine to the pot and let it cook a bit while you scrape up the brown bits from the bottom. Add the chicken stock, the diced tomatoes, the beans, then the chicken, pork ribs, and sausage to the pot. Stir in the brown sugar, red pepper, and thyme.
- Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat, put a lid on, and let it simmer for about an hour, until the pork and chicken are tender. Shred the pork and chicken into smaller chunks with 2 forks.
- Squeeze in the whole head of roasted garlic and stir to combine. Serve the cassoulet with croutons on top!