The Husband and I came home to my parents’ last night, where the food feast has already begun. My parents now live about 2 1/2 hours from the airport, so by the time we got in, we were very, very hungry. My mom had this cassoulet – really just a rich, white bean-based stew – waiting for us in the fridge. Add a salad, some crusty bread, a wedge of blue cheese, and a (few) glasses of wine, and this was more than a meal – it was a celebration.
Welcome Home Cassoulet
- about 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Vidalia onion, diced
- 4 celery sticks, grated
- 4 carrots, grated
- optional: about a pound of chicken or pork sausage, crumbled (my dad pretty much insists it’s not a meal without meat)
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 15 oz cans of cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
- about a cup of dry white wine
- vegetable bouillon and 4 cups water OR 4 cups veggie broth
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 4 bay leaves
- a large handful parsley, chopped
- large handful basil, chopped
- a good dash black pepper
- a good dash red pepper flakes (even though my mom says this is “so not French”)
- In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil and saute onions, carrots and celery, until softened.
- If using meat, this is a good time to add it, making sure it crumbles all the way through.
- Add garlic, saute a minute or two, and then add beans, wine, spices and the veggie broth/bouillon + water.
- Bring the stew to a boil and then turn down the heat; cover and simmer for an hour minimum. NOTE: This is even better reheated, when the different elements have had a chance to come together.
Whether it was the flavors melding together in the fridge, our hunger, or just the fact that it was so nice to taste my mom’s cooking again, the cassoulet was amazing. Credit for the original recipe goes to one of my dad’s business partners. YUM.