T's Cassoulet © TPH & llizard aka ejm 2000, 2001

An aside: It's important to say that anything I've added or done or quantities used can be changed. This ain't written in stone. Be creative with it. I am. You're eating it, not me.

From The Brilliant Bean by Sally and Martin Stone: "As a general rule, 1 cup (8oz) of dried beans increases to 2 to 2+1/2 c (1 to 1+1/4 lb) of cooked beans."
  1. Sort through and wash beans well. Cover generously with cold water and leave to soak overnight.

  2. The next day, remove and floaters and wash the beans again. Then again cover with cold water and lightly boil beans for 1 hour along with the onion, bayleaf, carrots and celery. *Add No Salt At This Point*. (The beans won't cook.)

  3. In the meantime dust chicken and lamb with flour and fry in olive oil until they are golder brown. Cut up the ham and sausage into bite sized (or desired sized) pieces. Cut up tomatoes into smaller pieces.

  4. Chop up the remaining onions and fry in olive oil to a golden brown adding the garlic for the last 5 minutes or so of frying so that it cooks through.

  5. When the beans are tender remove celery, carrot and onion.

  6. In a large casserole dish place ½ of the beans then place all the meat and cut up tomatoes and cooked onions and garlic and then layer the rest of the beans on top. Put in some of the broth that the beans cooked in until the broth reaches 1 inch *below* the top. Season with pepper and salt (quite a lot because beans need it - but you can add more later). Add the thyme and lightly stir everything up.

  7. Cook *uncovered* in an oven for 2 to 3 hours at about 300 or 325F. Lightly stir occasionally during the first two hour period. Be careful during the last because the chicken gets so tender it tends to break up. Cover or add more of the bean broth if it looks like things are drying out. I don't think it will. -tph <;) tph1998

Serve with leafy salad, green beans or broccoli, French bread and red wine.