A looser, brothier version of the classic French meat-and-bean casserole, this stew delivers umami satisfaction from porcini mushrooms and rich, nutty Parmesan cheese.
3 cups unsalted vegetable stock
1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 cups chopped yellow onion
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces (about 12 ounces)
1 turnip, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces (about 8 ounces)
1 fennel bulb, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 8 ounces)
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, divided
2 tablespoons unsalted tomato paste
1/2 cup dry white wine, such as sauvignon blanc
1 cup water
1 bay leaf
2 (15-ounce) cans unsalted white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups fresh breadcrumbs
1.5 ounces grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/3 cup)
How to Make It
Bring stock to a boil in a small saucepan; add porcini mushrooms. Remove pan from heat; let stand 15 minutes. Strain stock through a fine sieve over a bowl; reserve stock mixture. Chop mushrooms.
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons oil. Add onion; cook 10 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Add potato, turnip, fennel, and 1 teaspoon thyme; cook 10 minutes or until vegetables are slightly tender, stirring occasionally. Add tomato paste; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add wine; cook 2 minutes. Stir in stock, 1 cup water, bay leaf, and chopped mushrooms; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, partially covered, 25 minutes. Stir in beans; return to a simmer, and cook, partially covered, 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat; stir in salt and pepper.
Preheat broiler to HIGH. Melt butter in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs; cook 3 minutes or until breadcrumbs are lightly toasted, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese and remaining 1 teaspoon thyme. Let stand 5 minutes. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture evenly over cassoulet. Broil 1 minute or until breadcrumbs are browned. Drizzle each serving with 1/2 teaspoon remaining oil.
Fuller's ESB ABV 5%
An oft-overlooked style of beer, ESB (extra special bitter) is a dark, malty, full-bodied brew that goes remarkably well with the warm flavors of winter stews, especially cassoulet. London-based Fuller's ESB presents hints of toffee and biscuit enlivened by a slight citrusy finish that plays nicely with the cassoulet's sugary sweet potatoes and carrots. Fuller's nuttiness lends even more depth to this flavorful dish.