Cassoulet Gascogne

This is a simple version of the famous French cassoulet. A filling dish on a cold day, Cassoulet Gascogne (kah-soo-lay

gahs-kone) may be prepared after breakfast and left to cook so that it will be ready at lunchtime. It is delicious served

with hot, crusty French bread.

1 lb. salt pork, trimmed of excess

fat and cut into 1-inch pieces 1 lb. dried white haricot beans, soaked overnight in water to

cover, and drained

bouquet garni, consisting of parsley sprigs, 1 thyme spray and 1 bay leaf tied together

½ teaspoon salt 8 grindings black pepper 1 lb. smoked pork sausages (Polish

or Italian), cut into 1-inch pieces

½ teaspoon salt

8 garlic cloves, peeled

3 oz. butter

1 teaspoon prepared mustard

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).

Place the salt pork and beans in a medium-sized ovenproof casserole. Pour enough boiling water into the casserole just to

cover the pork and beans. Add the bouquet garni and put on the lid.

Place the casserole in the oven and cook for 3 hours, or until the beans are tender.

Remove the casserole from the oven. Taste and add the salt, if necessary, with the pepper. Stir the sausage pieces into

the bean and pork mixture.

Return the casserole to the oven to cook for a further 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the Beurre de Gascogne. Half fill a small saucepan with water. Add the salt and place the pan over high

heat. Bring the water to the boil. Add the garlic cloves and boil them for 10 minutes.

With a slotted spoon, transfer the garlic to a mortar or small bowl. Using a pestle or fork, mash the garlic cloves with the butter to a smooth paste. Stir in the mustard and parsley.

Remove the casserole from the oven. Strain off most of the liquid and remove and discard the bouquet garni. Stir in the Beurre de Gascogne and serve.

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