Fresh, simple, and delicious, this cassoulet recipe tastes very real. The fresh vegetables retain their colour and flavour and the dried beans cook up deliciously as they are simmered with the meat. I can only imagine how amazing it would be with homemade stock and duck leg confit, as this was done with ingredients I could easily find.
I remember the first time I saw this Mark Bittman recipe in his Food Matters book. This is the book he wrote that explains his philosophy of eating vegan until Dinner. The book itself contains quite a few recipes that sound good which are either vegan, vegetarian, or more frequently emphasize vegetables as the main ingredient. Personally, I found the book to be a watered down, or more nicely simplified, Michael Pollan philosophy. However, I do generally buy into this thinking and moreover like his recipes.
This particular recipe is an interpretation of a cassoulet, a stewy French dish which focuses on dried beans and an assortment of meats. Although Bittman includes a version of this recipe using canned beans, I chose to use dried and was glad I did. I also added rosemary and mushrooms. If you are making this cassoulet recipe on a weeknight do choose the canned bean version.
Easy Cassoulet Recipe with lots of Vegetables(serves 4-6)
Adapted from Food Matters
In a large dutch oven heat oil to medium and add meat, cook until well browned on all sides. Add beans and enough stock to cover. Cover with a lid and bring to a light simmer. Cook for 60 minutes.
Heat a large skillet to medium low, add oil, all chopped vegetables and a pinch of salt. Sweat for 5 minutes then add herbs and tomatoes as well as some pepper. Bring to a simmer and add to the beans. Continue cooking beans and meat until beans are tender. It should be about 30-90 minutes depending on the age of the beans. Remove bay leaves and any herb stalks. Remove meat to a cutting board. Trim off any bones, chop into pieces and add back to stew. Taste and correct for seasoning.