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.
2 cups dried great Northern beans
10 cup chicken stock
3 pounds bone-in country-style pork ribs, trimmed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 pound thick-cut applewood smoked bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pound andouille sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, diced
6 garlic cloves, chopped
6 large plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 bay leaf
How to Make It
Place beans in a medium bowl. Cover with water 2 inches above beans; let soak 8 hours. Drain.
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.
Remove meat from rib bones, reserving bones; cut meat into 1-inch pieces, and sprinkle with pepper and kosher salt.
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.
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.
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.