Cassoulet is a rich, slow-cooked casserole originating in the south of France, containing beef, pork or chicken and white beans. Using mild Italian sausages and some Herbies spices makes this quick to create and delicious.
Cassoulet is named after its traditional cooking vessel, the cassole, a deep, round, earthenware pot with slanting sides.
Heat a large heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the duck fat, once the fat melts add the diced pancetta to the pot and render the pancetta in the duck fat until crispy. Then remove with a slotted spoon and drain the pancetta on a paper towel and reserve.
Keep the duck fat/the fat rendered from the pancetta heated over medium heat. Add the sausages whole and sear on one side for 3 minutes then flip and sear on the other side for an additional 3 minutes. When the sausage is browned on all sides remove from the pan and let them cool on a cutting board.
While keeping the fat in the pot hot over medium heat; begin to add the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic to the pot. Season with a pinch of salt and sweat for about 5 minutes. Then add 1/2 cup of dry white wine. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon and let the liquid reduce by 3/4 its volume.
Slice the sausages into thick slices on a bias and return them to the pot. Add the chicken stock, cooked pancetta, and cannellini beans along with Herbie's bay leaves and ground cloves.
Turn the heat down to a simmer, cover the pot, and cook slowly for about 25min. If at anytime the cassoulet becomes too dry make sure to add an additional 1/2 cup of chicken stock or water and continue cooking.
After 25 minutes are up check on the cassoulet, fish out the bay leaves and adjust the seasonings; add salt to taste. Combine the corn starch and water in a small bowl. Bring the cassoulet up to a boil and whisk in the cornstarch mixture. This should thicken the cassoulet instantly.
Finish by stirring in Herbie's Chives (freeze-dried) and fresh chopped parsley.
Enjoy with a glass of Williamson Wines Cabernet Sauvignon.