Lamb and Sausage Cassoulet

Cassoulet in a traditional cassole
  • 1 cup dried Great Northern beans
  • 2 teaspoons EVOO
  • 8 ounces boneless lamb, trimmed and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 ounces kielbasa, chopped
  • 1 or 2 slices of bacon, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped onion
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped carrot (about 2 medium carrots or 1 large)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped celery
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups water, (or chicken broth)
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 3 Oz. slice French bread or baguette
  • 3 Oz. Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Sort and wash beans; place in a large saucepan. Cover beans with 3 cups boiling water. Cover and let stand 1 hour. Drain; set beans aside.
  3. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Sprinkle lamb evenly with pepper and salt. Add lamb to pan; sauté 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Add lamb to beans.
  4. Return pan to medium-high heat. Add sausage and bacon to pan; sauté 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic to pan; sauté 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add onion mixture to bean mixture. Add tomato paste to pan; sauté 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in broth, 1 1/2 cups water, (or chicken broth), and brandy; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir bean mixture into broth mixture. Cover and bake at 350° for 1 hour. Uncover; bake 1 hour, uncovered.
  5. Tear bread into small pieces. Combine torn bread and grated cheese in a food processor; process until coarse crumbs measure 2 cups - OR - use 3 Oz Panko crumbs and mix with parmesan. Sprinkle over the top of the dish. Bake an additional 30 minutes or until topping is crust-like and golden brown and beans are tender. Sprinkle mixture with chopped fresh parsley.
  6. Crack crust and dig deep with serving spoon, ladle into bowls.