Franks and Beans Cassoulet


English likes to use a combination of knockwurst, weisswurst and Italian sausage in this take on franks and beans.

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  1. 2 tablespoons pure olive oil
  2. 4 garlic cloves, minced
  3. 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
  4. 1 medium onion, minced
  5. 1 pound navy or Great Northern beans, picked over and rinsed
  6. 8 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
  7. 4 medium tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
  8. 1/2 cup ketchup
  9. 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  10. 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  11. 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  12. 2 tablespoons chopped basil
  13. 1 1/2 tablespoons minced rosemary
  14. 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  15. 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  16. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  17. 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus more for spreading
  18. 1/2 pound each knockwurst and weisswurst, halved lengthwise
  19. 1/2 pound Italian sausage, cooked and halved lengthwise
  20. Six 1/2-inch-thick slices Italian bread, crusts removed
  21. 1 1/2 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic, celery and onion and cook over low heat, stirring, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the beans and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover partially and simmer until the beans are almost tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Stir in the tomatoes, ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, mustard, basil, rosemary, cumin and paprika. Simmer over moderately low heat until the beans are very tender and the sauce is thick, about 30 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°. Melt the tablespoon of butter in a large, deep ovenproof skillet. Add the sausages and brown over moderately high heat, about 1 minute per side. Transfer the sausages to a plate and pour off any excess oil from the skillet. Add the beans to the pan, then nestle the sausages in the beans. Butter the bread on both sides and season with salt and pepper. Set the bread on the beans and sprinkle the Cheddar over the bread. Bake in the center of the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese is browned and the bread is crisp. Serve at once.

Suggested Pairing

The bright berry fruit and strong acidity of a lively, medium-bodied Zinfandel will highlight the spiciness of the sausages and contrast with the earthiness of the beans.