Sunday, 13 January 2013

Hairy Bikers Cassoulet

I've been looking at this recipe since last year and quite fancied making it as we all like these rustic beany concoctions. I think that cassoulet is the work of the gastronomic angels themselves, I love the combination of confit duck and melting unctuous beans yum yum .....this however was always going to be a compromise so here goes...

Serves 6 ( if you're not too hungry)

Spray olive oil
6  Good quality meaty pork sausages
4 Celery sticks chopped at a fancy angle
3 Carrots peeled and chopped into discs
2 Fat garlic cloves peeled and crushed
2 Medium onions peeled and sliced
6 Boneless skinless chicken thighs chopped in half
200g Lean gammon chopped
2 x 400g Tinned tomatoes
150mls Red wine ( or water if you prefer )
300mls Cold water
1 Tspn Dried chilli flakes
1 Tspn Caster sugar
1 Bayleaf
3-4 Sprigs fresh thyme
1x 400g tin Cannellini beans drained and rinsed
1 x 400g tin Butter beans drained and rinsed
Salt and pepper to taste
Flat leaf parsley chopped to serve.

Spray a large frying pan with enough oil just to stop your sausages from sticking and fry until starting to colour - I like to remove any skins at this stage as they go a bit floppy after being casseroled ( yuk ), add the onions and garlic into the pan and fry for about 8 minutes taking care not to burn the garlic.

Add the chicken to the pan and cook for a further 4 minutes, stir in the gammon, celery, carrots, tomatoes, red wine and water and then add the sugar, chilli flakes, bay leaf and thyme. Stir well, cover and bubble gently for 45 minutes.

After 45 minutes add the beans, season and cover and cook for 30 minutes.
Just before serving sprinkle chopped parsley on top.

Minus the parsley of course.What was it like - well - it was quite nice. I don't think it tasted like cassoulet particularly but it was flavoursome and for 464 calories per portion it was better than a lot of calorie controlled dishes out there. I would say that the portions here are a little on the skimpy side though and it would have to be served with a good deal of something low calorie veggie wise to beef it up.


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