Another hearty slow cooker meal for a cold day. This method shares some similarities with the original cassoulet. A cassoulet is a rich, slow-cooked casserole originating in the south of France, containing meat (typically pork sausages, goose, duck and sometimes mutton), and white beans. The dish is named after its traditional cooking vessel, the cassole, a deep, round, earthenware pot with slanting sides. This dish is cooked in a slow cooker which contains a ceramic insert. It has pork, sausage, chicken, and white beans. It is also cooked slowly over the course of the day. So, you can consider this a modern, easy cassoulet. Whatever you want to call it, it is a great dish on a cool autumn day in Colorado.
Slow Cooker Cassoulet
- 1 pound dried great northern beans, rinsed and picked over
- 2 pounds boneless country style pork ribs, cut into 1-inch chunks
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 8 ounces kielbasa sausage, 1/4 inch slice
- 2 onions, small dice
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 3 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup brandy
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
- 4 bone in, skin on chicken thighs, excess fat trimmed
- Bring beans and 8 cups water to boil in medium saucepan over medium high heat.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until just beginning to soften, about 20 minutes.
- Drain beans and transfer to slow cooker.
- Pat pork dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
- Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium high heat until shimmering.
- Cook pork until well browned and transfer to slow cooker.
- Brown kielbasa in empty pan.
- Transfer to paper towel lined plate and reserve in refrigerator.
- Add onions to fat in pan and cook until softened.
- Stir in garlic, thyme, and tomato paste and cook until fragrant.
- Add broth, brandy, and tomatoes, scraping up any browned bits with wooden spoon.
- Bring broth mixture to boil, then transfer to slow cooker.
- Season chicken with salt and pepper and wrap in foil.
- Place foil packet atop stew in slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on low until pork and chicken are tender, about 8 hours.
- Remove foil packet from slow cooker and transfer to plate.
- When chicken is cool enough to handle, pull meat from bones in large chunks.
- Transfer 1 cup beans from slow cooker to bowl and mash until smooth.
- Stir mashed beans, chicken meat, and reserved kielbasa into slow cooker.
- Cook until heated through.