I’m not sure how cassoulet, which is basically a fancy term for a slow-cooked stew made with meat and beans, has evaded me for my entire life. Now that I’ve had it, my life will never be the same.
My husband has already requested (insisted?) that I make this dinner again, and soon. It’s thick, warm, comforting, full of flavor, and filling. It comes together quickly and doesn’t require much fussing while it cooks long and slow on the stove. The cornmeal dumplings are dropped in at the very end and as soon as they are done, you’re ready to dig in.
The dumplings are buttery, hearty, and melt into the rest of the stew like sheer perfection. One recipe makes a ton of food, and the leftovers taste just as delicious days later.
Please, please try this sometime, and then come back and let me know what you think!
|Ham and Bean Cassoulet with Cornmeal Dumplings|| |
- For the cassoulet:
- 1lb dry lima beans (butter beans)
- 1lb dry baby lima beans
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 TBS olive oil
- 1 cup (generous) sliced carrots
- 1 8oz package of cooked, cubed ham
- 2 32oz. containers of chicken broth
- ½ tsp (generous) dried rosemary
- salt and pepper to taste
- For the dumplings:
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 2 TBS cold butter, cut into pieces
- ⅔ cup buttermilk
- The night before, place dry beans into a pot, cover with enough water to reach 3-4 inches above beans, and allow to soak overnight.
- When ready to begin the cassoulet, drain the beans, rinse, and pick out any odd-looking bits.
- In a large dutch oven or stew pot, heat the olive oil and saute the onions until translucent and fragrant. Add the ham and garlic and continue to cook an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Pour both boxes of chicken broth into the pot followed by the beans, carrots, and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cover, stirring occasionally, 2 - 2.5 hours until beans are very soft.
- When the cassoulet is almost done, prepare the dumplings. Mix together the first 6 ingredients and then using a pair of forks or a pastry blender, cut the cold butter into the mixture until it is coarse and crumbly. Add the buttermilk and mix until just combined.
- Drop the cornmeal mixture by heaping tablespoons into the cassoulet. Cover and simmer 15-20 minutes until dumplings are dry to the touch.