The first time I had Cassoulet was growing up with my great cooking parents. My dad had found a recipe and made it and our family LOVED it! According to Wikipedia, Cassoulet is a rich, slow-cooked casserole originating in the south of France, containing meat, pork skin and white beans. The dish is named after its traditional cooking vessel, the cassole, a deep, round, earthenware pot with slanting sides. I remember the recipe my father used as being a very hearty dish with a medley of flavors, very satisfying.
Unfortunately, my dad lost the original recipe he had used, and through the years, though trying to find it many times, we were never able to locate it. This is a Cassoulet recipe my father came across from The CL Diet Habit, and it closely resembles what we grew up with. You can use chicken along with the sausage, or beef, or whatever, but I have to say that the sausage really makes it, so don’t leave it out!
When I made this, instead of cooking the veggies in a Tbl of oil as suggested, I cooked the sausage and then used the same pan with drippings to sauté the veggies so they soaked in the flavor of the meat. I used a little more of each vegetable too, just because that’s how I roll. ;-)
So, let’s get cooking!
In a skillet large enough, cook the sweet Italian sausages until thoroughly done.
While the sausages are cooking, dice the celery and onion, peel and slice the carrots, peel and cube the rutabaga into 1 inch pieces, and peel and mince the garlic.
When the sausages are cooked, set aside to cool, and sauté the veggies and garlic in the same pan with the drippings for 5 minutes.
Slice the sausages into ¼ inch rounds.
In a 6 qt crock pot, place the veggies, diced tomatoes, cannellini beans, sausages, chicken stock, thyme, and black pepper.
Cover and cook for 8 hours on low. Or, as I did, 2 hours on high and then 4 hours on low. Omg, it makes the house smell so good when it’s cooking!!
In a smallish skillet, melt the butter and add the bread crumbs. Cook over medium heat, stirring almost constantly, until browned. Add the Parmesan cheese and mix thoroughly.
Stir half of the bread crumb mixture into the Cassoulet in the crock pot as a thickener, and then sprinkle the rest on top. Serve and watch the smiles!
SLOW COOKER SAUSAGE CASSOULET
6 sweet Italian sausages
1 md onion
½ md rutabaga
2 stalks celery
2 massive cloves garlic
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
2 15oz cans cannellini beans,
rinsed and drained
1 c chicken stock
1 tsp dried thyme
½ tsp black pepper
½ c bread crumbs
¼ c Parmesan cheese
1 Tbl butter
2 tsp dried parsley