This casserole is based around the comforting French Cassoulet dish – but much faster and easier! Using only good quality, link sausages (traditional Cassoulet has other types of meat included as well), beans and lentils braised together in a rich tomato and stock broth and topped with a crunchy crust. I’ve added blobs of sharp marinated feta (that’s the soft feta cheese that comes in olive oil) to serve – a perfect contrast to earthy legumes.
This is another set-it-and-forget-it kind of dish. This is made in one pan and finishes off in the oven in 45 minutes. Perfect for a rainy day or winter warmer mid-week dinner.
Step one – Brown your sausages and set aside. Keep up the French tradition and slowly sauté a “mirepoix” of onions, carrot and celery – and then garlic. This flavour starter is the base of so many great dishes.
Step two – Add tomato paste, a can of chopped tomatoes, a can of beans, brown or black lentils and some stock. Drop your sausages in your pan. Cover with crunchy bread crumbs like Panko (not the fine ones), dot with butter and let this cook for 45 minutes – 1 hour until the crust is golden brown.
- 8 -12 Link Sausages of Choice
- 1 Brown Onion, finely diced
- 1 Carrot, finely diced
- 1 Stick Celery, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 Cup Cannelini Beans, dried or canned
- 1.5 Cups Black or Brown Lentils
- 1 Tbsp Tomato Paste
- 1 Can Crushed Tomatoes
- 1 Cup Chicken Stock
- ½ Cup Coarse Bread Crumbs
- 2 Tbsp Butter
- 2 Tbsp Marinated Feta Cheese
- If using dried beans and lentils, soak in cold water for 3 hours - overnight.
- In a casserole dish, heat a little oil and then brown the sausages all over. Set aside.
- Turn down the heat and add some more oil. Saute the onion, carrot and celery slowly until the onions are translucent (about 10 minutes). Add the garlic to the pan and saute for another couple of minutes.
- Saute the tomato paste in the pan and then add the can of crushed tomatoes.
- Drain the beans and lentils and add to the pan. Stir and season well. Nestle in the sausages and pour in enough stock to just cover the beans and lentils.
- Scatter over the bread crumbs, and dot with butter.
- Bake uncovered in 350F/180C oven for 45 minutes - 1 hour until the crust is brown and the beans are tender.
- Sprinkle over the marinated feta. Let the cassoulet set for 15 minutes before serving.
I used my Le Creuset Square Dish for this recipe – so great for casseroles like this where you want stove-to-oven-table ease.