A cassoulet is a classic slow cooked dish originating from the south of France which typically has pork or duck and white beans. I picked up some sage pork sausage from L. Halteman’s at Reading Terminal Market to make this Sausage Cassoulet with Broccoli Rabe.
There’s so many great things you can make on the stove top with a dutch oven. Cassoulets are some of my favorites. Once you pick up the basics, you can start to go all over the place with ingredients; the core classic ingredients are meat, beans, and tomatoes. You could just dump these all in to a pot, or even a slow cooker, and be done with it. To me, that’s not so much cooking as it is assembling with abandon. We want to Eat Up! by working with our food, tasting it along the way, and making adjustments as we go. That’s how you learn to cook. Maybe you realize some things don’t taste good together. Like, when I call for fresh herbs in this recipe, you probably don’t want to add rosemary. Or, maybe you try this and feel like it needs a little something extra and, next time, you add bacon to the pot before you add the onions.
Sausage tends to be a rich, salty meat so I wanted to cut that with some acid and bitterness by adding some wine and broccoli rabe. Being that I’m making this in the early spring, I chose a white wine. In the winter, I’d go with something a little deeper like a Bordeaux or a Syrah or even a Carignan which originates from the same region of France as the cassoulet. The broccoli rabe is also a nod to both Philly’s most underrated sandwich, the roast pork and broccoli rabe. This would be fantastic served on a long roll with some melted provolone.
These ingredients work so well together, you could sub out the sausage with something like pork shoulder, or lamb or venison. Actually, you could leave the meat out all together and make this completely vegan; it would still be incredibly delicious!
Sausage Cassoulet with Broccoli Rabe
Yield 4 Servings
A cassoulet is a classic slow cooked dish originating from the south of France which typically has pork or duck and white beans. Sausage tends to be a rich, salty meat so I wanted to cut that with some acid and bitterness by adding white wine and broccoli rabe.
- 2 lbs. farm fresh sausage rope
- 1 bunch broccoli rabe, chopped in bite size pieces
- 2 cans white beans, drained
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed
- 28 oz can whole San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand
- Fresh herbs
- Over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a large dutch oven. Add onions and sauté just until they get some color. Then add 3-4 smashed garlic cloves.
- Add broccoli rabe and grape or cherry tomatoes and sauté with onions for a few minutes. Add 1 glass white wine and continue to sauté until the liquid has reduced by half. Remove all ingredients from pot with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add sausage rope to pot and begin to brown. Cook until most of the moisture has evaporated and sausage begins to sizzle.
- Add 1 more glass of white wine.
- Add white beans, any fresh herbs you have such as basil, thyme, or sage, and 1 can of tomatoes. Add the broccoli and onions back and stir to incorporate.
- Cover pot and allow to simmer on medium low for 1 hour.
- Remove lid and taste for seasoning. Break up sausage and allow to slowly simmer for another 30-40 minutes until sauce has reduced.
January 9 is National Cassoulet Day in the United States.