Thomas Keller’s Slow-Cooker Cassoulet
Sunday afternoon I said to the Snook: “There are 500g of dried Great Northern Beans in the pantry. What we can we do with them? How about a stew?” Some googling led me to Thomas Keller’s Slow-Cooker Cassoulet. Interesting! So we got everything together and I did all the prep and initial cooking on Sunday night.
Some recipe notes for you: My slow-cooker doesn’t have a fancy metal insert (it’s just ceramic), so I did the initial cooking in a pot on the stove and then transferred it after. I only made a half-recipe. The pork shoulder comes with a thick layer of fat on it, most of which I cut off. I didn’t bother frying up the panko until Day 2 (when the slow-cooking was done). I did fry up the bacon though to get the grease, and I stored the bits in the fridge for garnish later. For the beans, we basically did a variation of the quick soak method. We boiled them for a couple minutes, then let them sit for an hour to soak. Then we drained and refreshed the water before cooking for an hour or so (until they were tender but not falling apart). My 500g made just about six cups of cooked beans in the end, so I didn’t have to use any of the canned ones I had on backup. I used the Spanish chorizo, even though some commenters didn’t like it. (We like chorizo.) My garlic was annoying, as when I sliced it in half the top half all came out of the paper. So those cloves I peeled. For the bottom half, I just removed as much of the loose paper as I could without it falling apart. It all went into the crockpot and then into the fridge overnight. Before work, I put the cooker on Low and left it for about 12 hours. When I tested it, the pork fell apart easily. I didn’t have much fat to skim so I didn’t bother. I fished out the half-head of garlic but left the individual cloves in. Then I fried up the panko and folded that in along with the parsley. We didn’t bother with the bread/broiling (since our oven isn’t working), so we had sourdough toast on the side. The half-recipe made six good-sized portions.
So what’s the verdict? It was good! I think I expected it to be life-changing, but instead it was just a good, hearty pork-and-beans-and-sausage stew. Probably as good a cassoulet as you’re going to get without confit duck legs… 🙂
Apologies for the photo. We were so hungry last night I forgot to take one! This is from my leftovers at lunch today.