A warming winter combination of haricot beans, cubes of pork and spicy garlic sausage, and lots of vegetables makes this classic country dish from south-west France a real winner. It is full of rich flavours and, in traditional fashion, is topped with a breadcrumb crust. Serve simply with a green salad to follow.
For a really crisp breadcrumb crust, put the casserole under the grill to brown lightly. * This is a great dish to make in advance for easy entertaining or family meals. Before serving, reheat thoroughly, then scatter over the herby breadcrumbs. * Instead of pork fillet and garlicky sausage, use cubes of lean lamb fillet and 2–3 herby or spicy fresh pork or lamb sausages. * To make a vegetarian cassoulet, omit the pork and sausage, use vegetable stock and increase the quantity of beans to 300 g (10½ oz). Use a variety of beans, such as haricot, borlotti and flageolet. In step 4, simmer for 45 minutes, adding 250 g (8½ oz) shelled fresh broad beans for the last 10 minutes of the cooking time. For the topping, cook 55 g (2 oz) pine nuts with the breadcrumbs and parsley, then remove from the heat and stir in 30 g (1 oz) freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Haricot beans provide protein in casseroles and stews such as this classic dish, which means the amount of meat used can be quite modest. * Lean pork has a lower fat content than beef or lamb. It is a good source of zinc and it provides useful amounts of iron. * Turnips contain the B vitamins B6 and niacin as well as vitamin C in useful quantities.
A * C, calcium, copper, iron, potassium * B1, B6, E, folate, niacin, selenium, zinc
Made this some time ago but thought I had lost the recipe. I use diced pork, non-garlic sausage, and Gourmet Classic cooking wine, and it is well worth the effort. Friends loved it, especially the one who is not keen on garlic. - 22 Aug 2014