Guys. It’s pretty cold out, huh? The idea of eating a salad or a little sandwich for dinner is just… no. We need something filling, meaty, warming, and comforting as the days continue to get shorter. Does a dish with beans, sausage AND BACON sound good to you? Then read on.
This recipe is an ode to a classic French dish called cassoulet. While the basic ingredients are similar, this is an “ode to” because the traditional version takes half a day to make. This one will take you 40 minutes. I’ve adapted the recipe below from this version.
serves 4-6; active time 20 minutes, total time 40 minutes
- 2 tablespoon olive oil, divided (plus more for drizzling on the dish before baking)
- One package (4-6 links) garlicky pork sausages, such as mild Italian
- 5 garlic cloves: 4 minced and 1 whole
- 4-inch piece of baguette, cubed
- 2 tablespoons of chopped flat leaf parsley
- 2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 2 slices of thick-cut bacon, cut into batons
- 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes (liquid discarded)
- 1/2 white onion, finely diced
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 2/3 cups vegetable broth
- 2 15-ounce cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- Preheat the oven to 475°F. Heat a skillet on medium-high with 1 tablespoon olive oil, then add the sausages. Brown the sausages.
- While the sausages are browning, make the breadcrumbs. Drop the whole clove of garlic into the food processor, and blitz. Add the cubed baguette, 1 tablespoon of parsley, and 1 teaspoon of thyme. Blitz until the cubes are crumbs. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and salt and pepper, and blitz to combine. Set aside.
- When the sausages are almost ready, add the bacon to the pan with the sausages, and sauté until the bacon is golden brown. Take the sausages out of the pan, and set to one side.
- Lower the heat to low, and add the onion. Season with salt and pepper, and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the garlic, and sauté another 2 minutes. Add the drained tomatoes. Raise the heat to high, and cook until the pan is almost devoid of liquid. Add the wine, and again, cook until the pan is nearly dry.
- Add the vegetable broth, 1 tablespoon of roughly chopped parsley and another teaspoon of thyme, along with the beans. Cook for 1 minute, until the broth is bubbling.
- Transfer the bean mixture to a wide, shallow baking dish. Arrange the sausages on top. Then top the sausages with the breadcrumb mixture. Drizzle lightly with olive oil, and bake in the center of the oven for 20 minutes. Prior to removing from, the bean mixture around the sides of the pan should be bubbling and the breadcrumbs should look toasted. Serve hot with some crusty baguette on the side.
This is a dish that takes some attention, and you should read the instructions carefully before diving in. But the result will be worth the effort. This version of sausage and beans comes across as pretty darn fancy, for what it is, and is well-suited to a wintertime dinner party. At around $5.20 per serving, it’s not too hard on the budget either. And it will certainly leave everyone at the table full!