This haricot bean and sausage stew is a riff on the classic French cassoulet – made with Toulouse sausages which we also make and have a recipe for – except we’re using sweet Italian sausages and refraining from soaking the beans overnight. Instead we give them a good long slow stew with the other ingredients. It’s the perfect Autumnal dish and judging be the weather in the last few days you might find this dish the perfect comfort meal on Saturday evening.
Ingredients (serves 6 – 8)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, more for serving
500 g sweet Italian sausage, sliced 2 cm thick
1 tablespoon tomato paste
½ teaspoon ground cumin
2 medium carrots, finely diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
500 haricot beans, rinsed and picked through
2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
2 thyme sprigs
1 large rosemary sprig
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, more for serving
½ teaspoon ground black pepper, more to taste
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and brown until cooked through, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel.
Add the tomato paste and cumin to the pot. Cook, stirring, until dark golden, about 2 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the beans, 1800 mls water, salt, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf. Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to low and simmer gently until the beans are tender, about 2 hours, adding more water if needed to make sure the beans remain submerged.
When the beans are tender, return the sausage to the pot. Simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning. Ladle into warm bowls and serve drizzled with additional vinegar and olive oil.
Perfect. Warming. Satisfying.
Thanks once again to Melissa Clarke for this recipe.