Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Pork Cassoulet

Talk about one down-home hearty dish.  What could possibly be better on a blustery cold winter day then a triple pork and beans bake I ask?  Not much else comes to mind once that craving has been baited in your brain.  At least not for me.  Completely hook, line and sinker to this girl. This was absolutely amazing.  Possibly winning me over more than chili.  I know, I know that is almost sac-religious.  It was so rich and flavorful and full of roasted goodness, that can only be achieved from starting and finishing in the same cast iron pot.  Nothing else short of cooking out over the campfire can pull of that taste and texture. 

2 T. of extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 lb. of pork shoulder roast (cut into small bite-sized pieces, I found a 3 lb. one and just cut it in half and froze the rest)
sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
1/2 lb. of zesty pork breakfast sausage
1 large red onion (diced)
2 stalks of celery (sliced)
4 cloves of garlic (minced)
2 cans of stewed sliced tomatoes (un-drained)
3 T. of tomato paste
2 1/2 tsp. of herbes de Provence
2 cans of seasoned southern-style northern beans (un-drained)
5 slices of bacon (cooked crunchy)
grated Parmesan cheese
fresh parsley for garnish (chopped)

-Preheat your oven to 325*.  Heat your e.v.o. in a large dutch oven (I use a cast iron one-gives the best flavor) over medium-high heat.  Once you can smell it, toss in your chopped pork roast with a little salt and pepper.  Then add in your crumbled pork sausage and get a nice light browning on it all.  Toss in the onion and celery, a bit more salt and pepper and once they begin to soften, you can stir in the garlic.  Once you can smell the garlic (about 30 seconds or so) you can add in the un-drained tomatoes and the tomato paste.  Stir in the herbes de Provence and bring this to a nice simmer.  Remove it from the heat, cover with the lid and place in your oven to bake at 325* for 2 hours.  Then reduce your oven heat down to 300*, stir in your un-drained beans, replace the lid and finish baking at 300* for 1 more hour.  Top each bowl with some crumbled crisp bacon, a nice sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and a bit of fresh parsley.  Serves 4-6.  Enjoy!