Sausage & Borlotti Bean Casserole

I never tried to make a cassoulet from scratch. It seems awfully complicated. Though Simon makes a mean cassoulet-express, it is a good dish but to be honest it does not bare very much resemblance to the cassoulet I know, lovingly prepared by Mrs Tin or Boite de Conserve as we call her in France. In fact now, I write about it, I have never eaten a cassoulet made from scratch.

However as the weather does not show any sign of warming up, bean casseroles feel like the thing to cook. I spotted this recipe in February Olive magazine. It is not easy, in a cassoulet-sort-of-way, don't skimp on the quality of the beans as they have to melt in the mouth which ASDA's beans did not do and would have never done, even with a million hours in the oven. The cider needs to be dry not too sweet. All the tastes marry well, a warming winter dish.
Sausage & Borlotti Bean Casserole

8 pork sausages
olive oil
2 onions , peeled and diced
8 juniper berries
2 bay leaves
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp cornflour
500ml cider
200g rindless pork belly or streaky bacon, diced
2 x 400g tins borlotti beans , drained and rinsed
Dijon mustard , to serve
1.Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Divide up the sausages but do not prick. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in an ovenproof casserole on a medium heat. Add the sausages and brown, turning from time to time. When they are burnished and crisp, remove to a plate.
2.In the same pan, add the onions and cook until turning transparent. Now add the juniper berries, bay leaves, cumin seeds and cornflour, mixing thoroughly to coat the onions. After a few moments, add the cider and turn the heat up to high. It should begin to take on a silky, slightly thickened texture.
3.Add the pork belly or bacon, bring to a simmer, cover then put in the oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Fold in the borlotti beans, season and return to the oven for 10 minutes to heat the beans through.

PER SERVING 590 kcalories, protein 30.8g, carbohydrate 29.4g, fat 37.8 g, saturated fat 11.5g, fibre 4.1g, salt 1.91 g


Sarah said...

Mmm, sounds nice. Beans and sausages sound like a combination my husband would love. I think that juniper berries seem an excellent addition. The only thing I have used them on before is with cabbage, which was delicious. But now I have a lot of juniper berries that need using up. Any other ideas?

Sari @ Cook Your Dream said...

I'm sure my bf would love this dish. His favourite food is lentils with red wine and sausages. I should try this for a change :)

Solange Berchemin of Pebble Soup said...

How lovely to find your commentsafter spending a few days shivering with a bad cold
To Sarah, the only place I saw them, before these little berries landed in my cupboard thanks to my neighbourg moving abroad was "Choucroute". I have to say I was a little suspicious, they seem to go with strong flavours, I would suggest venison.
To Sari, I have got a treat in store for you with my next post



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