Cassoulet. It just sounds fancy doesn’t it? But then again, most French words sound fancy. In fact, this dish is probably as far from fancy as you can get. A cassoulet is a slow-cooked casserole that started out as a peasant meal. Basically, all the scraps of meat, bones, and vegetables were placed into a clay baking dish and cooked over low heat for a long time to make a delicious cross between a casserole and a hearty stew.
Over the years, chefs and restaurants got a hold of it and “elevated” it to make it good enough to be put on expensive menus. The truth was that not much needed to be changed to make a delicious dish because sometimes the simplest things are the tastiest.
I made this cassoulet a little different than the traditional dish because I didn’t include any meat. It is still a very rich dish that is great for the cooler nights we’ve been having. You can also add meat if you wanted or mushrooms if you wanted to keep it vegetarian but add a “meaty” component.
This dish can be made ahead of time and then just popped in the oven when it’s time for dinner. It tastes like you have spent all day cooking it, but we can just keep that our little secret! So impress your friends and family with a tasty and fancy cassoulet that is as simple as could be.
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 6 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cup onion, diced
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp marjoram
- 1 tsp rosemary
- 1/2 cup dry red wine (I used a malbec, but you can use whatever you have on hand)
- 1 cup carrots, peeled and diced into rounds
- 3/4 cup celery, sliced
- 1 can diced tomatoes (I used fire-roasted)
- 1 tbsp molasses (you could use maple syrup too)
- 1 tbsp spicy brown mustard
- 1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 and heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add in the onions, garlic, thyme, marjoram, and rosemary. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes
- Add the 1/2 cup wine and bring to a slow simmer. Cover the dish and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove cover and stir in the vegetables and simmer for another 10 minutes. Add in the rest of the ingredients and return to a simmer.
- Taste and adjust the salt and pepper to your taste. Transfer the whole things to a 9 x 13 casserole dish and cover with aluminum foil. Cook in the oven for 45 minutes.
See? It really is a simple meal. After cooking in the oven for 45 minutes, you’re left with a meal that is stick to your ribs good and is loaded with good for you vegetables and legumes. If you want to do this meal with meat, I would use chunks of beef because they will handle the long cook time well. Just make sure to brown them before adding them into the dish.
Oh, and Adam wants me to make sure to tell you to serve this with bread. But then again he wants me to serve bread with every meal…
Have a great Friday everyone and I will see you on Monday!