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Cassoulet au Gratin

This traditional French farmhouse dish, I've thickened with potatoes and baked with a crispy cheese topping

Traditionally made with Toulouse sausage, I am once again using what there is in the fridge - so say hello to the chorizo. I used floury potatoes for the topping, but also added them to the cassoulet, as they thicken it up; not necessary or traditional, but I like it! It's one of those "traditional" rural dishes that has countless variations depending on region and family tradition. So a really good one for those times you want to use up bits and pieces and make something really tasty at the same time.

INGREDIENTS

onion

diced pork (if you have stewing steak, lamb or chicken thighs, use that instead)

Toulouse sausage (I'm using chorizo)

garlic

potatoes

courgettes

haricot beans - I have cannellini and pinto

mixed fresh herbs (I used oregano, marjoram and thyme)

nutmeg

Raclette cheese - or something similar

breadcrumbs

pepper or cayenne

butter

Watch the video


METHOD

  • Slice the potatoes coin-thick - enough to cover your casserole dish. Cut any leftover into chunks to pop in the stew

  • Thickly slice the courgettes

  • Stuff your herbs in a muslin bag (you can get a pack of these from Amazon or whomever: they're cheap and washable). Or tie them with thread or string. As mentioned previously, this is a bouquet garni, and it saves folk picking stalks out of their food/teeth

  • Peel the garlic, but leave it whole

  • Slice the sausage into decent chunks

  • Slice the onion

  • Heat some olive oil in the pan

  • Add the onions, garlic and all the meat

  • Give it a good stir

  • Add the potato chunks - if you don't have any after cutting the slices for the topping, don't worry; they're not vital

  • REMEMBER: the potatoes you're putting in here are any leftover chunks; do NOT put in those nice slices you made!

  • In go the courgettes

  • Add the beans - not drained

  • Add enough hot water to just cover the contents of the pot (I pour it into the bean tins to use up any remaining goodness)

  • Stir well and add the bouquet garni

  • Bring it up to a boil them down to a simmer

  • Skim off any foam (sounds nicer than scum)

  • Cover and simmer for 1 hour

  • Spoon the mix into a casserole dish

  • Put a layer of potato slices over the dish

  • Drizzle some olive oil; sprinkle some nutmeg

  • A layer of Raclette (or something like Emmental or Gruyère)

  • Cover in a layer of breadcrumbs

  • Sprinkle with pepper (or cayenne)

  • Dot with butter

  • 30 minutes at 180ºC

#frenchcuisine #pork #stew #dinnertime

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