The temps might be teasing spring weather but it’s not time to pack up your sweaters just yet. Chef Michael Schlow offsets the on-again, off-again chill with a twist on traditional cassoulet. He switches up the proteins in this slow-cooked casserole from the South of France, adding in American lamb and garlic pork sausages for hearty meat taste (optional duck confit increases the complexity of flavor). Bread crumbs make a crunchy crust, covering a stew of creamy white beans, softened veggies and tender lamb that will help you stay cozy, belly-first, through the end of the season.
- 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound lamb stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 pound garlic pork sausages
- 1 clove of garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 carrot, medium diced
- 1 white onion, medium diced
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 pounds dry white beans (cannellini beans) soaked overnight in water
- 1 large sprig rosemary
- 1 quart veal stock
- 2 quarts vegetable stock
- 8 ounces duck confit, removed from the bone (optional)
- 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
- Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof casserole dish over high heat. Add the lamb and sear until browned on all sides. Transfer onto a platter and reserve.
- Roast the garlic sausages in the oven for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool. Then cut into 1 1/2-inch slices and reserve.
- Add the garlic, carrot, onion and celery to the casserole dish and cook over medium heat on the stovetop for two to three minutes.
- Add the tomato paste and white wine and cook for another two minutes.
- Add the reserved lamb, beans, rosemary, veal stock and enough vegetable stock to cover the beans by about one inch. Cover the dish and cook in the oven until the lamb is meltingly tender and the beans are cooked, two to three hours. Check occasionally and add more vegetable stock if the beans are absorbing all the liquid.
- Remove the lid, mix in the reserved sausage and duck confit, and cook uncovered in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Adjust the seasoning with salt, if needed. The beans will continue to absorb liquid as they cool, so let the cassoulet sit if it seems too runny; it should be thick and creamy. Allow to cool for 30 minutes.
- Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the cassoulet and place under the broiler until the bread crumbs become crisp and richly browned.