I’ve been reading about cassoulet’s in food magazines for years now. I have found that they are written about with a such a reverence and anytime something is revered, I pay tend to pay attention.
Cassoulet is an earthy, rich, slow cooked bean stew originating in Toulouse, in the Southern region of France. Traditionally a rustic and provincial food, the cassoulet is hearty and good for feeding a crowd. The name refers to the earthen dish it’s cooked in called a cassole and traditionally the browned bits on the bottom of the cassole are the base for your next cassoulet, it’s like a never ending session of deglazing.
My version is quick and vegetarian, which is not usually my style but I thought I’d provide a little something for my veggie peeps. The mushrooms provide a great meaty flavor and the onions just do what onions do best – make things delicious. If you want a meat version, check out this one by Thomas Keller (he’s my hero) that includes the traditional pork and sausage.
Saute your onions until they are translucent and beginning to brown. Scoop them out of the pan and set them aside.
Add in your mushrooms and cook until tender. Add your salt pepper and garlic.
At this point, you want to deglaze with the white wine. Add the beans, onions, marjoram and stock.
Next up, topping. You want to take your bread, butter, cheese, olive oil and blend. Then add your parsley and pulse a few more times in the food processor.
You want to take your bean mixture and add it to a buttered baking dish and cover with the topping.
Finished product hot out of the oven.
Perfect hearty food for those cool Fall nights.
Mushroom and Onion Cassoulet
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 cups portabella or crimini mushrooms, diced
1 large brown onion, diced 6 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups organic vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram or dried oregano
3 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 tablespoon fresh flat leaf parsley Heat pan to medium-high heat.
Add 1 tablespoon oil, swirling to coat. Add onions; cook down until translucent and starting to brown. Remove onions from pan and add mushrooms. Cook down for approximately 5-7 minutes before adding minced garlic. Add wine to deglaze. Add beans, onions, stock and marjoram into the pan. Reduce heat to medium, and cook for 15 minutes or until thick. Salt and pepper to taste.
Heat oven to 400. Place French bread and butter in a food processor, and pulse until coarse crumbs form then add your parsley, 1 tablespoon oil and cheese to coarse breadcrumbs; pulse until combined. Take your bean mixture and add to a buttered baking dish. Sprinkle coarse breadcrumb mixture evenly over bean mixture. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes or until until crumbs are golden brown.