Cassoulet

Cassoulet is a rich, slow-cooked casserole originating in the south of France, containing meat (typically pork sausages, goose, duck and sometimes mutton), pork skin and white beans. The dish is named after its traditional cooking vessel, the cassole, a deep, round, earthenware pot with slanting sides. The traditional homeland of cassoulet is the region once known as the province of Languedoc, especially the towns of Toulouse, Carcassonne, and Castelnaudary.

Ingredients:

350g chicken thigh fillets
350g lean lamb
350g pork loin
200g cooked smoked bacon
200g smoked pork sausage
60g lard
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 sticks celery, chopped
1 tablespoon plain flour
1 tin tomatoes, drained but reserve the juice
250ml white wine
sprig fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
3 cloves
freshly ground black pepper
1 tin white cannellini beans, drained

Method:

Dice the meats into bite-sized pieces. Heat a large heavy based pan and add the lard when hot add the chicken and cook until browned. Remove and set aside. Next cook the lamb until brown, remove and set aside. Add the onions to the pan and cook until golden, add the garlic and celery and cook for for 1-2 minutes. Remove and also set aside. Sprinkle the flour into the pan and stir well, add the chopped tomatoes, tomato juice and wine, continue stirring until the sauce thickens. Add the thyme, bay leaves, cloves and pepper. Bring back to the boil and reduce the heat leave to simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes. Place the chicken, vegetables, beans and lamb back into the pan, cover and leave to simmer gently for an hour. Remove the lid and add the diced bacon and smoked sausage, stir, cover and simmer for a further 30 minutes.

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