An unusual Cassoulet for the Holidays.

IMG_4951It’s always fun coming back from vacation.  Especially when it comes to finding things in the ‘fridge.

Fortunately, there was no aching stench of rot exuding from any corner of my house upon return, and the refrigerator was no exception.  With the mistake of leaving “organic” salad greens (that surprisingly did not remotely change– sketchy!), I did discover two bottles of both red and white wines, corked, yet opened.  What am I cooking tonight?  SOMETHING WITH WINE.

Not wanting to spend more dough than I already did on vacation for more food that I may already have in my place, I scoured the shelves for non-perishables, and the freezer for any remnant protein.  Cha-ching!!!  Found some dried cannellini beans in the cupboard, with two nice Sweet Briar Farms Italian sausages in the freezer.  Looks like we’re having red wine cassoulet tonight for dinner.  I am just fine with that.

IMG_4950<–red wine is nice when drunk.  It is also nice reduced with garlic, onions, and sausage brown bits. 

Beans in the Fridge<–I recommend cooking your own cannellini beans with paprika, a bay leaf, and dried rosemary instead of the canned alternative.  The health and flavor benefits are phenomenal, and you can use the extra liquid instead of stock!  (the beans are cooling in the refrigerator in this photo since I made them in advance– saves a lot of time when you’re hungry for that cassoulet come 7 o’clock!)

This dish is not only a breeze to make, but it is surprisingly hearty, filling, and flavorful.  A pulled an “eyes are bigger than my stomach”, because it smelled sooooo good while cooking.  ThIMG_4945e taste, as it rarely will, matched the smell, leaving me with no other option but to scrape half of the rich deliciousness back into the tupperware to preserve for a later date.  Something that flavorful is like a rich wine: you cannot consume it too fast, and you only need a little bit to feel amazing.  Or, at least, so I like to tell myself.  ;)

Red Wine Cassoulet

4 italian sausages, cut into bite-size pieces
2 tbs. high heat oil
2 cups cooked cannellini beans*
2 yellow onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups stock*
1 cup red wine
salt and pepper to taste
*
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Serves 4
*
1. Heat oil in a large and deep saute’ pan.  When hot, add sausage pieces, and saute’ for about 3-4 minutes on each side, browning all sides.  Remove meat, leaving juices and oil in the pan.  Sweat out onions for 4 minutes, or until aromatic and soft.  Add garlic, and saute’ over medium heat for 2 minutes.  Deglaze pan with stock and red wine.
2. Add meat and beans to mixture.  Increase heat to medium-high, and reduce for about 3-4 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for about 5 minutes, or until flavor has infused nicely.
3. Remove from heat and serve with your favorite gluten-free garlic bread and a salad for something wonderful.

*I would recommend cooking the beans from dried beans.  It will take a few hours longer, but you can do in advance.  Cook 3 parts water for 1 part beans, and add a hefty tablespoon paprika, 1 bay leaf, and 2 tbs. dried rosemary to the water.  Bring beans, spices, and water to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for anywhere from 1-2 hours, or until beans are cooked al dente.  Save this liquid and use instead of stock in the recipe for something delicious.IMG_4955

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Filed under dairy bubble, gluten bubble, nut bubble, recipes

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