A simple version of the famous French cassoulet. This buttery bean and smoked sausage casserole is very easy to make and perfect for a warming lunch on a cold winters day.
It works well with Polish or Italian smoked sausage and if you can’t find salt pork you can use belly pork with the rind removed.
An alternative way of preparing the beans is to place them in a large pan with plenty of water, bring to the boil, cover and remove from the heat. Leave to stand for 30 minutes then drain and use as required. This cuts out the soaking time but it may also cut down cooking time as well so check the casserole after about an hour.
450 g salt pork or rindless belly pork, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 2.5cm pieces
450 g dried haricot beans, soaked overnight and drained
bouquet garni consisting of 4 parsley sprigs, 1 thyme spray and 1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
450 g smoked pork sausage cut into 2.5cm pieces
Beurre de Gascogne:
8 cloves garlic, peeled
85 g butter
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoon chopped parsley
Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4.
Place the pork and beans in a casserole dish and pour in just enough boiling water to cover them. Add the bouquet garni to the casserole, cover and cook in the oven for 2-3 hours, until the beans and pork are tender.
Season to taste and stir in the sausage pieces. Cover and return to the oven for a further 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the Beurre de Gascogne.
Half fill a small saucepan with boiling water. Add the salt and bring back to the boil over a high heat.
Add the garlic cloves and boil for 6 minutes, until tender. Drain and transfer the garlic to a mortar or small bowl.
Add the butter to the garlic and mash together until smooth. Stir in the mustard and parsley. Set aside.
Remove the casserole from the oven and drain off most of the liquid. Check the seasoning, discard the bouquet garni and stir in the Beurre de Gascogne. Serve.