Cooking Light SEPTEMBER 2001
Sort and wash beans, and place in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; bring to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 1 hour. Drain; return beans to pan. Cover beans with water, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes; drain.
Preheat oven to 300°.
Add bacon to pan; cook over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon. Increase heat to medium-high. Add pork to drippings in pan; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Remove pork with a slotted spoon. Add the kielbasa; cook for 5 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Remove kielbasa with a slotted spoon. Add onion, celery, carrot, garlic, and thyme; saute 4 minutes or until tender. Stir in 1/4 cup water, tomato paste, broth, and tomatoes.
Return beans, bacon, pork, and kielbasa to pan; bring to a boil. Cover and bake at 300° for 1 hour. Remove 1 cup of beans and vegetables with a slotted spoon. Place in a blender or food processor; process until smooth. Return to pan. Stir in the wine, salt, and black pepper. Arrange the bell pepper rings evenly over top.
Place the bread in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs form to measure 1 1/2 cups. Combine with cheese. Sprinkle cassoulet with the breadcrumb mixture. Return the cassoulet to the oven, and bake, uncovered, an additional 45 minutes.
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