This version of the slow-cooked French casserole takes a little of the meat and replaces it with juicy stock enriched lentils.
By Jess Lacey
- 3 medium onions, finely chopped
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 350g Kielbasa or good quality garlic sausage, sliced into 2cm thick slices
- 150g bacon, chopped
- 250g lentilles verts or puy lentils
- 1 x 400g tin of flageolot beans, drained
- 4 tomatoes, chopped, or half a tin of tomatoes
- 2 tsp tomato puree
- 300ml good chicken, pork or beef stock
- 150ml red wine
- 2 bay leaves
- 150g breadcrumbs
- Olive oil
- Cook the lentils for 10-15 minutes in a pot of boiling water with a bay leaf and a clove of garlic until chewy and almost completely cooked.
- Fry the bacon in a large ovenproof casserole with a little olive oil over a medium heat until starting to crisp.
- Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve.
- Fry the onion over a medium-low heat in the bacon grease until glossy and soft 6-8 minutes.
- Add the garlic and the kielbasa and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
- Add the bacon, wine, stock, bay leaf, tomato puree and tomatoes and cook for 15 minutes.
- Add the beans and the lentils and season well.
- Cook in the oven at 175C for 20 minutes until some of the liquid has absorbed.
- Top with the breadcrumbs and cook for another hour to 1 and ¼ hour until the liquid has been almost completely absorbed, the cassoulet is bubbling and breadcrumbs are crunchy (if it is not cooking fast enough, you can reduce it a bit on the stove at the end, but this will make the breadcrumbs a bit soggy).
- Leave to sit for 10 minutes to rest and then serve.
- Alternatively, refrigerate overnight and reheat the next day.
Jess Lacey is an Irish food blogger and soon to be lawyer. She has found a home in London, Dublin, Leiden, Melbourne and Aarhus. After a brief foray into the world of Michelin starred cooking, she decided to keep cooking and food as relationships based purely on passion rather than income. She travels frequently, and justifies this by writing about it. More of her musings and recipes are available on her blog, Canal Cook.