Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Sausage & Pork Cassoulet


I'm a sucker for tradition. When I was 22 and spent New Year's with my ex-husband's family we ate black-eyed peas with our dinner. Apparently beans represent prosperity, and I'm all for any superstitious practice that will bestow luck and success.

Truth be told, I'm not a fan of black-eyed peas. And to truly eat paleo means no legumes at all. So I made a little compromise: white beans that I soaked overnight and cooked in a delicious meat and tomato-based stew. The kids loved it, and it was unbelievably easy to put together. We were able to enjoy some family time out and about today, only to come home to a comforting dinner waiting on us.

By definition a cassoulet requires meat and beans. If you don't want to include them, you might want to try some root vegetables instead. Half of the beans are mashed to add some body to the dish, so you'd need a sturdy substitute to achieve the same purpose. 


Sausage & Pork Cassoulet

2 nitrite-free bacon slices
1 large onion, chopped
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
4 minced garlic cloves
generous amount salt & pepper
2 14.5 oz. cans organic diced tomatoes (undrained)
2 cups white beans (I soaked mine overnight and parboiled them)
1 lb. boneless pork roast, trimmed and cut into small cubes
10 oz. turkey kielbasa or other nitrite-free sausage, cut into small cubes
fresh parsley, minced (for garnish)

Cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Remove to a paper towel, leaving grease in skillet. Add onion, Italian seasoning and garlic to skillet. Cook on medium heat until soft. Crumble cooked bacon and add to skillet along with tomatoes. Season generously with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cook for 1-2 minutes then remove from heat.

Meanwhile, put 1/2 of beans in a large bowl and mash with a potato masher. Add remaining beans, pork and sausage.

Pour 1/2 of tomato mixture into a crock pot, then top with half of pork mixture. Repeat layers and put lid on crock pot. Cook for 5-6 hours on low. Serve garnished with minced parsley.

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