This recipe for Slow Cooker Cassoulet is adapted from Thomas Keller. If you can’t get pork shoulder, pork leg or even loin would work too – just get the butcher to remove the fat for you. If you wanted to add in some veg, a few carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal, would work well.
Serves 8 to 10
- 450 g dried cannellini or haricot beans, or 2 x 400 g tins of beans
- 1.5 kg boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch pieces (you can ask your butcher to do this for you)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- olive oil
- 3 medium onions, coarsely chopped
- 500 ml dry white wine (or use stock or water if you prefer not to use alcohol)
- 60 ml tomato puree
- 2 x 400 g tins whole plum tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped
- 500 ml chicken stock
- 450 g fully cooked or smoked chorizo or garlic sausage links, sliced on the diagonal
- 1 garlic head, halved crosswise
- 100 g breadcrumbs
- a handful of chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus extra for garnish
- crusty bread, to serve
- If you’re using dried beans, soak the beans in plenty of cold water overnight. Drain the beans and put them in a large pot with enough fresh cold water to cover them by 1 inch (see above if you want to add some aromatics). Bring to the boil and skim off any scum that rises to the surface, then reduce the heat and simmer until the beans are tender but still retain their shape, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, season the pork generously with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Heat a large frying pan and add a splash of olive oil. Add half of the pork to the pan and brown on all sides, 7 to 8 minutes total. Transfer to the slow cooker and repeat with the remaining pork.
- Add the onions and 1 teaspoon coarse salt to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and softened, about 7 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 8 minutes. Transfer the onion and wine mixture to the slow cooker, then stir in the tomato puree, tomatoes, stock, cooked beans, chorizo and garlic.
- Set the cooker to low and cook, covered, until the pork pulls apart easily with a fork, about 8 hours (though it could be as much as 10 hours). Skim off any fat and remove and discard the garlic. Fold in the breadcrumbs and the parsley. Taste and season as needed.
- Let the cassoulet stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving. Sprinkle each serving with parsley and serve with warm crusty bread.
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