Tuesday, April 19, 2011

New recipe - about time!

A few months ago, I had cassoulet at a local bistro. I don't know how authentic it was, but, given the various opinions on what cassoulet is in France, I'm not sure it matters. What I do know is that it was GOOD!

This month we've been having cooler and wetter than normal weather. After a spending a cold weekend at a Boy Scout camp for a cooking symposium, and watching snow and graupel come down during work, I wanted something warm and comforting for dinner. I remembered the cassoulet I had and decided to make something like it. It's not cassoulet, but it's inspired by it.

Cassoulet-inspired Bean Stew
1 15oz can of white beans
1 15oz can of cannelini beans
1 15oz can of great northern beans
1 15oz can of pinto beans
1 15oz can of red beans
1 duck leg
2 links Andouille sausage
1 smoked ham hock
6-8 oz pearl onions
4-6 oz sliced mushrooms
3-5 tablespoons fresh garlice
1/2-1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Roast the duck leg for 30 to 45 minutes. Simmer the ham hock in a couple cups of water. Slice the sausage into coins and carmelize in a hot skillet.

Remove all meat from bones and add all meat (and bones) to water. Add all remaining ingredients (including fluid from beans) to soup pot and simmer for at least 45 minutes. The longer you can let this simmer the more the flavors will marry.
I was ecstatic to discover I can get duck parts at my local grocery. I was afraid I would have to wait until this weekend to make the stew so I could thaw the whole duck in my freezer.

The stew was everything I wanted: savory and hearty with just a hint of heat. I wish I had fresh bread to eat with it, but I don't usually have time to make it after work.

In case you hadn't noticed, the recipe makes a lot of bean stew. Fortunately, this is the type of stew that gets better as it sits, so today's dinner tasted even better than it did yesterday!

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