White Bean and Ham Cassoulet Recipe

What a hearty meal! It was very filling and quite tasty; ham just makes every dish taste better.

canola or olive oil, divided
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 cup good smoked ham, trimmed and diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup dried navy beans (or use your favorite white bean), soaked overnight and drained
1 pinch thyme, rubbed
1 bay leaf
salt and black pepper, divided
1 cup canned diced tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and celery and saute about 10 minutes or til veggies soften.

Stir in ham and garlic and cook another 5 minutes or so.

Increase heat to high and stir in broth, beans and seasonings; bring to a boil. Cover and bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 1 hour.

Stir in tomatoes and cook another 30 minutes or til beans are very tender and most of the cooking liquid is absorbed.

Meanwhile, heat a small frying pan over medium high heat. Add a little oil and toast bread crumbs for a few minutes, being careful not to burn.

I served the cassoulet sprinkled with the bread crumbs.http://media-files.gather.com/images/d416/d314/d746/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

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