3 pounds boneless pork loin, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound turkey kielbasa, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup (1/4-inch) sliced carrot
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup (1/4-inch-thick) red bell pepper rings
1 1/2 cups (1-inch) cubed French bread
1/3 cup (about 1 1/2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
How to Make It
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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What a wonderful dish. I altered it just a tiny bit by omitting the red peppers which I think can be optional anyway. Otherwise, I thought it was well worth the effort. I prepared it through just before adding the bread crumbs, kept It in the fridge until the following night and then put it back on the stove to a boil and then in the oven for the last 45 minutes with the bread crumbs. I think the overnight allowed the flavors to meld nicely. I would definitely make again!
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