Kristine borrowed a version of cassoulet from Bob Waggoner, a classically trained chef known for his haute update of Lowcountry cuisine at Charleston Grill in Charleston, South Carolina. He puts a Southern spin on the homey French country dish cassoulet by replacing the usual duck or goose confit with three varieties of pork. Prep: 12 minutes; Cook: 3 1/2 hours; Stand: 15 minutes.
Makes 8 to 10 servings
1. Place beans in a medium bowl. Cover with water 2 inches above beans; let soak 8 hours. Drain.
2. Bring beans and chicken stock to a boil in a Dutch oven. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour or until beans are tender. Drain beans, reserving stock, and set beans aside. Return stock to pot, and bring to a boil over high heat; cook 20 minutes or until reduced to 4 cups. Set stock aside.
3. Remove meat from rib bones, reserving bones; cut meat into 1-inch pieces, and sprinkle with pepper and kosher salt.
4. Melt butter in an ovenproof Dutch oven. Working in 2 batches, cook rib meat 4 minutes or until browned. Remove from pot, and keep warm. Add bacon to pot; cook 7 minutes or until crisp. Remove from pot, and keep warm. Add sausage to pot; cook 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from pot, and keep warm. Return rib bones to pot; cook over medium-high heat 2 minutes per side or until lightly browned. Remove from pot, and set aside.
5. Reduce heat to medium; add onion, carrot, and garlic to pan, and sauté 7 minutes or until tender. Add tomato, thyme, and bay leaf; cook 3 minutes. Add reserved meats, and cook 2 minutes, stirring often, until thoroughly heated.
6. Place reserved rib bones on top of meat mixture. Top with reserved beans and stock. Bake, uncovered, at 300° for 1 hour and 40 minutes or until bubbly and beans are lightly browned and crisp. Let stand 15 minutes.