Friday, January 16, 2009

Two Day Cassoulet


This recipe was on the cover of the latest issue of Cuisine at Home and sounded like the perfect winter meal.  It was a two day process but most of the work was done in the crockpot.  One problem was when I asked for kielbasa at my butcher shop and they handed me a package with a "polish sausage" sticker on the front I assumed it was the right stuff. But I was looking for the kind you can slice, and the kind I ended up with was fresh, uncooked sausage that just crumbles.  I think it had the same flavor though.  So it was a really tasty meal but I'm not sure it was worth the two day event.  It made way more meat than we can possibly eat (we'll be freezing some) and I felt like it was just as good as a really good one-day pot roast.

DAY ONE
1 lb. dried navy beans
4 c. low-sodium chicken broth
2 c. chopped onion
1 c. dry white wine
4 garlic cloves, smashed
6 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 t. dried thyme leaves
5 whole cloves
4 bay leaves
1 t. pepper
3 lb. chuck steaks
2 lb. pork shoulder
6 strips of bacon

DAY TWO
2 c. sliced carrots
1 can diced tomatoes in juice
1 pkg. kielbasa sausage, sliced
Pepper to taste

Place beans in a bowl and cover with water.  Let stand at room temp for 24 hours.  On the same day, in a LARGE slow cooker, stir together broth, onion, wine, garlic, thyme, cloves, bay leaves, and pepper.  Add chuck, pork and bacon.  Cover and cook on low setting for 8 hours.  Remove beef and pork.  Strain broth, discard solids.  Return meat to the broth, cover and refrigerate overnight,

Skim off and discard fat that had hardened on top.  Transfer meat and broth back to slow cooker.  Drain and rinse the beans.  Add beans to slow cooker.  Add carrots, tomatoes, and kielbasa.  Cover and cook on low hear setting for 8-10 hours or until beans are tender.

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