Cheap and Cheerful Cassoulet

By Rodney Bowers
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  • 1 good baquette
  • really good olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp chopped thyme


  • 3 cups white beans
  • 2 large carrots, small chop
  • 2 sweet onions, small chop
  • 1 /2 stalk celery, small chop
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 leek sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 big sprigs of thyme
  • 1/2 bunch parsley
  • 1 smoked pork hock
  • 1 lb pork shoulder, cubed
  • 4 pork sausages
  • 4 chicken legs (spilt with thighs)
  • 1 smoked hard sausage sliced thin
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 onions sliced thin
  • 2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 14oz can whole organic tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • a few dashes of hot pepper sauce
  • salt to taste



1. Slice the baguette 1/4 inch thick and toss in a large bowl with the oil, garlic, thyme and salt and pepper.

2. Lay out on a baking tray and lightly toast until barely golden set aside.


1. Soak the white beans in water overnight.

2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

3. Cut the onion, celery, carrots and leeks into 1/2 inch mire poix (reserving one layer of leek for the bouqet garni). Tie together the bay leaves, parsley, and thyme with the leek, smash the garlic . Toss all of this in a pot with the pork hock and pre soaked beans. Cover with water and season lightly.

4. Bring to a boil then simmer until slightly tender (about 1 hour). Skim any scum that comes to the top.

5. Remove the pork hock pick apart and chop the meat and set aside keep the beans as they are. Season lightly.

6. Lightly salt and pepper the meat  (except for the smoked sausage) and brown in a large pot or dutch oven set on medium high with the butter and oil. Set aside to drain on some paper towel.

7. Add the smoked sausage, onions and garlic to the pot and stir until soft. Add the tomato paste and cook out for 2 mins. Add the red wine and the can of tomatoes.

8. Add back in all of the browned meat as well as the chopped pork hock.

9. Add the contents of the bean pot. Make sure the beans are covered with liquid (just add cold water if theyre not).

10. Bring to a boil and cover with a lid, place in the oven and bake for about 11/2 hours.

11. Check midway to to see if the beans need anymore water. At this point you can add the syrup, tabasco and season give it a stir and put it back in the oven.

12. During the last 5 minutes of cooking lay the crostini on top of the cassoulet and pop back in the oven uncovered.

13. Take out and serve drizzling with good olive oil.


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