SERVES 4 TO 6 / 25 MINUTES ACTIVE TIME
Though traditionalists may insist that making cassoulet is an all-day affair; this hearty version-cooked with country-style spareribs, the meaty ones located closest to the pork shoulder- can be made in under 3 hours.
2 pounds country-style spareribs (or pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch-thick slices)
2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced, plus 1 whole clove
2 whole sprigs fresh thyme, plus 2 tablespoons thyme leaves
1 pound bacon (slab is best), cut into 2-inch pieces
1 large stalk celery, chopped
1/2 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup white wine
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, with their juice
2 bay leaves
2 14-ounce cans white beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup coarse bread crumbs
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
2. Place the spareribs in a heavy pot with half the onion, half the minced garlic, and the thyme sprigs and bake for 1 1/2 hours.
Side dish green beans
A wonderful side dish to accompany the Cassoulet is almond green beans. 1. Ground a good handful of almonds. 2. Melt butter and olive oil in a pan. 3. Add chopped garlic and let them get a little bit brown. 4. Add steamed green beans and add salt and pepper to taste.
Continue with Pork Cassoulet
3. Remove the ribs; set aside.
4. In the same pot, over medium heat, brown the bacon.
5. Remove all but about 2 tablespoons of the fat and add the celery, carrot, salt, pepper, thyme leaves, and the remaining onion and garlic (minced and whole) and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
6. Add the broth, wine, tomatoes, bay leaves, and beans. Bring to a simmer.
7. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the olive oil, bread crumbs, and parsley.
8. Sprinkle the bread-crumb mixture over the cassoulet and bake for 1 hour, uncovered, occasionally pressing the bread crumbs into the cassoulet to thicken it.
9. Let cool and serve.