Sausage-bean Cassoulet

Warm up on a cold winter day with this comforting combination.

Ingredients

  • ¬†1 T. vegetable oil
  • ¬†1/2 pound Kielbasa or Polish sausage, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • ¬†1 cup chopped onions
  • ¬†1/2 T. minced fresh garlic
  • ¬†1 cup sliced carrots, 1/8-inch thick
  • ¬†1 cup chopped celery
  • ¬†1 T. minced fresh or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme (crumbled, not ground)
  • ¬†1 T. minced fresh or 1 tsp. dried, crumbled sage
  • ¬†1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • ¬†generous pinch ground cloves
  • ¬†2 cups chopped, commercially or home-canned tomatoes, drained (reserve liquid)
  • ¬†1/2 cup reserved liquid from tomatoes
  • ¬†1 cup good-quality chicken stock
  • ¬†1 large bay leaf
  • ¬†38 ounces canned navy or great northern white beans, drained and rinsed

Topping

  • ¬†2 T. butter
  • ¬†1/2 T. minced fresh garlic
  • ¬†2 cups fresh (not baked or dried) bread crumbs
  • ¬†2 T. chopped fresh parsley

Preparation
In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add sausage, onions, garlic, carrots, celery, herbs and spices, and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes or until onions are soft. Add tomatoes, reserved liquid, chicken stock and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Add beans; reduce heat, and simmer for about 30 minutes or until slightly thickened. Discard bay leaf and pour mixture into a 2-quart ovenproof casserole dish.

Meanwhile, prepare the topping. Melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for about 2 minutes or until softened. Stir in bread crumbs and chopped parsley. Sprinkle over cassoulet. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes or until casserole bubbles, and topping is crusty and golden on top.

Serves 6.

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