Cassoulet with Bacon, Andouille and Country Ribs
- ACTIVE: 40 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 3 HR plus 8 hr for soaking the beans
- SERVINGS: 6 to 8
Classically trained chef Bob Waggoner is known for his haute update of low-country cuisine at Charleston Grill in Charleston, South Carolina. Here he puts a Southern spin on his easy version of the homey French country dish cassoulet by replacing the usual duck or goose confit with three varieties of pork—the South's favorite meat.
- 2 cups dried white beans, such as haricots blancs or Great Northerns, soaked overnight in cold water and drained
- 2 quarts plus 2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 pounds meaty country-style pork loin ribs, fat trimmed, meat removed from the bones and cut into 1-inch pieces, rib bones reserved
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 pound thick-cut applewood-smoked bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3/4 pound andouille sausage, thickly sliced crosswise
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 medium carrots, finely diced
- 6 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 6 large plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- In a large saucepan, cover the beans with the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer until the beans are just tender, about 1 hour. Drain the beans, reserving the stock. Return the stock to the saucepan and boil over high heat until reduced to 4 cups, about 7 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet. Working in 2 batches, season the rib meat with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat until browned all over, about 4 minutes per batch. Transfer to a platter. Add the bacon to the skillet and cook until the fat is rendered and the meat begins to crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer the bacon to the platter. Add the andouille to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the platter. Add the reserved rib bones to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat until lightly browned, about 2 minutes per side. Add to the platter.
- Add the onion, carrots and garlic to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden, about 8 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, thyme and bay leaf and cook, stirring until the tomatoes release their juices, about 3 minutes. Return the rib meat, bacon and andouille to the skillet; stir until heated through.
- Preheat the oven to 300°. Scrape the meat and vegetables into a large glass or ceramic baking dish. Nestle in the rib bones and top with the white beans and the reduced stock. Bake the cassoulet for 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until bubbling and the beans on top are crisp. Let stand for 15 minutes. Pick out the bay leaf and serve.
A fruity, off-dry Riesling or a rich, smoky country red from the south of France such as a Cahors.