contemporary cassoulet

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Servs: 8

Make this at least one day and up to two days ahead for best flavor. This is a much simplified version of the classic smoked meat and bean cassoulet.

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  • add   1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • add   1/4 cup olive oil
  • add   1 cup (or more) canned low-salt chicken broth
  • add   3 15-ounce cans Great Northern beans, drained
  • add   6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • add   1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • add   4 bacon slices, coarsely chopped
  • add   3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • add   2 14 1/2-ounce cans diced tomatoes in juice
  • add   1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • add   2 medium onions, chopped
  • add   4 cups coarse fresh breadcrumbs made from crustless French bread
  • add   1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • add   1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • add   1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • add   1 10-ounce package frozen baby lima beans, thawed
  • add   3 pounds fully cooked smoked sausages (such as kielbasa), cut crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick rounds
  • add   1/2 cup brandy


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Cook bacon in heavy large ovenproof pot over medium-high heat until brown and crisp, about 4 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to bowl. Add sausages to drippings in pot; sauté until brown, about 15 minutes.
  3. Transfer to bowl with bacon. Pour off all but 1/4 cup drippings from pot. Add onions and garlic to pot and sauté until beginning to soften, about 10 minutes. Stir in rosemary, thyme, and crushed red pepper. Add brandy and simmer until almost evaporated, about 3 minutes. Stir in canned beans, tomatoes with juices, lima beans, 1 cup broth, tomato paste, and allspice. Return sausages and bacon to pot. Season cassoulet with salt and pepper. Bring to boil.
  4. Cover pot and transfer to preheated oven; bake 30 minutes. (Can be made up to 2 days ahead. Uncover; cool 1 hour. Refrigerate uncovered until cold; cover and keep refrigerated. Before continuing, cover and rewarm in 350°F oven 40 minutes, adding more broth if dry.)
  5. Increase oven temperature to 400°F. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  6. Add breadcrumbs and sauté until light golden, about 4 minutes. Transfer to small bowl. Mix in Parmesan cheese; season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over warm cassoulet. Bake until breadcrumb topping is deep golden, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle cassoulet with parsley and serve.

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