Sort of a Cassoulet

Cassoulet is a classic French dish.  Typically it contains, sausage, confit duck, pork, and beans. It’s delicious and slow-cooked and fiddly.  I’m on board with cassoulet, but if I’m cooking something quick, I don’t want to take that kind of time.  This dish is a nod to classic cassoulet, but the only protein is sausage. I’ve used pork sausage here, but I generally use chicken sausage, which is milder and less fatty. Both work.  Don’t worry, we’re not trying to be authentic here.

This version is simple and it consists mostly of pantry staples, so you can pick up a package of sausages and have it on the table any time. This recipe yields a lot, and leftovers can be frozen for an easy dinner later.

Sort of a Cassoulet

Ingredients
  

  • 10 pork or chicken sausages
  • Olive oil
  • 6 slice thick-cut bacon finely chopped
  • 1 Spanish onion chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic peeled and halved
  • 4 14 ounce cans of cannellini beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme tied in a small bundle
  • 1 14- ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 4 Tbsp melted butter

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Use the tip of a paring knife, prick the sausages on all sides. In a 12-inch non-stick pan, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add sausages in batches, cook until browned on both sides, and cooked through about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  • Add 1Tbsp olive oil to the pan, then add bacon until it’s brown and almost crisp. Move sausage to a plate, then remove all but 2 Tbsp fat.
  • Increase heat to medium-high and add onions and garlic. Cook, stirring often until onions are softened and translucent. Add the drained beans and broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes so flavors can marry. Stir in bacon, thyme, tomatoes, and sugar. Bring up to a simmer, then cook for about five minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Spray a glass 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray, then pour in the bean mixture. Nestle the sausages into the beans.
  • Mix the melted butter with the fresh breadcrumbs, then sprinkle over the beans and sausage.
  • Bake, uncovered for 25-30 minutes until breadcrumbs are brown and the beans are bubbly. Let cool to set up slightly before serving.
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