Cassoulet takes me back to culinary school when I first learned how to make it. When I tasted it I was so blown away by the layers of flavor, and it’s my favorite dish I made there. It is one of the most incredible dishes to come out of France and it is also one of those dishes that everyone thinks they make best. I’m not kidding when I say there have been barroom brawls over the proper way to make cassoulet! My take on it is a bit of a shortcut version with a few more accessible ingredients than the traditional. There are three components to a cassoulet: the bean mixture, the stew and the trimmings that get all assembled together into one glorious dish. First, I prepared the beans.
After it cooked in the oven, I cooled the cassoulet for just a few minutes so that I wouldn’t burn my tongue. Then I ladled it into pretty bowls to serve! Oh my goodness, all of the layers of flavor I remembered from school were there. The beans were loaded with flavor from the pork and onion pique, and the beef was insanely tender. I loved how the chorizo gave a little heat to the mix and the breadcrumbs gave it body. This cassoulet was French comfort food at its best. It took a little time but trust me when I tell you that it was so worth it!
Cassoulet is such an amazing, rich and comforting hot dish right out of classic French cooking. Lots of meats and beans come together for a perfect bite!
- 3 cans small white beans 15 oz size
- 3/4 pound salted cured pork or a ham hock
- 1/2 an onion peeled
- 2 whole bay leaves
- 4 whole cloves
- 3 cups water
- 1 dash olive oil
- 1/2 pound slab bacon diced small
- 8 links chorizo sausage casings removed
- 1/2 an onion thinly sliced
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 pound beef cubes
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 dash worcestershire sauce
- 1 quart beef stock
- 2 whole bay leaves
- 1 1/4 cups bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- fresh thyme leaves as needed for garnish
- First, prepare the bean mixture. In a large pot combine the beans with their liquid and the salted pork. On the onion, lay the two bay leaves across it's open face and secure them onto the onion with the whole cloves to make an onion pique. Add the onion pique to the pot along with the water, then bring the mixture to a low boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let the beans cook for an hour.
- Next, prepare the stew. In a pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the diced slab bacon and let it cook and render out for about 5 minutes. The sausage goes in next, let it cook with the bacon while you gently break it up into chunks for another 5 minutes. Remove the sausage and bacon from the pot with a slotted spoon onto a plate and set it aside.
- The onion, celery, cherry tomatoes and garlic go in next to cook in the bacon fat just until soft and tender, for about a minute. Then the beef cubes go in. Let them brown for 3-4 minutes while you give them a pinch of salt, then deglaze the pot with the red wine. Let the wine cook off for 3-4 minutes, then add the Worcestershire sauce, beef stock and bay leaves. Bring the stew to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer and let it cook for 30 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and olive oil and stir them both together until it resembles wet sand. When the beans and stew are both done simmering, take them off of the heat and get out a sturdy, large dutch oven. Remove the onion pique and pork from the pot of beans and discard them, then drain the beans. Remove the bay leaves from the stew.
- Assemble the cassoulet by scooping the beans into the bottom of the dutch oven. Pour the beef stew over the beans and add in the cooked sausage and bacon. Give that all a stir, then sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top to absorb into the liquid. Cover the dutch oven with its lid, then get it into the oven to cook for an hour to an hour and a half.
- Take the cassoulet out when it's done and let it cool for a few minutes. Then just ladle it into bowls and sprinkle a little fresh thyme on top. Serve hot and enjoy the comfort!
22 thoughts on “Cassoulet”
This was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had cooking. Not only did it turn out perfectly deliciously, but it was fun to make. My guests loved it, they are used to my quick and easy brand of cooking, so this was a first for all of us. It was well worth the time and effort. I wouldn’t change one thing. It was excellent!
Oh my goodness, you just made my Sunday! Thank you!! I’m so happy it turned out well and that you and your guests loved 🙂
I love French food, so I’ll definitely have to give this a try. It looks and sounds delicious! I think my entire family would enjoy eating this, especially during these cold temperatures we’ve been having lately. What a great way to warm ourselves up, by enjoying a delicious meal!
Oh yes, this is such a warming and comforting stew! I hope you love it, thanks so much for stopping by :-).
I’ve never had or made cassoulet before! This looks perfect for the cold weekend we’re expecting!
It really is! I hope you try it out and love it!!
What a hearty recipie. I always struggle of making something feeling for my husband, since I’m a salad and fish kinda girl. Will have to try making it this weekend
It is definitely so hearty and rib sticking for the cold. I hope you and your husband love the recipe, thanks for the kind words!
This looks so delicious! A timely read as I will be preparing my grocery list for recipes this next week. Can’t wait to add this one and try it!
Thank you for sharing!
No, thank you for the kind words!! I hope you enjoy the recipe and that it warms you up :-).
I’ve never heard of a cassoulet before but I think I need to try making it!
Oh definitely try it out, it’s so good!! Thanks for the comment, I hope you enjoy the recipe :-).
This is such a classic dish! Crazy, I never had to make it in culinary school.
It was one of my favorite lessons because of this dish! We did whole modules on French cooking, Italian cooking and Asian cooking.
I’ve never had cassoulet before, but it sounds delicious! Anything with chorizo is almost guaranteed to be flavorful!
Definitely! Thanks very much!!
This is guranteed to be wonderful . Looks perfect for the cold winters we are having.
Definitely, thanks very much!!
I’ve never heard of this before but it looks delicious. I wonder if my family would enjoy it.
I bet they would, it’s such a yummy and hearty winter stew!
It sounds absolutely delicious, I’d love to try more from French cuisine
Thanks very much!!
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