hautemealz.com is more than just a business for us, it’s a means of helping and supporting our community and those who need us most, by doing what we love…feeding hungry folks. In fact, a significant portion of our subscription income sponsors and supports charities and non-profits that share this goal.
Today we had the opportunity to cook, once again, for some of our favorite people, the staff and visitors at The Father’s Heart Street Ministry, in Oregon City. On the menu today was Ham & Turkey Cassoulet (because, well…we had a ham and a turkey, lol).
It was a hit, and we got a lot of happy comments from everyone there.
Cassoulet is a rich, slow-cooked stew originating in the south of France, containing meat and white beans (typically white haricot or cannellini beans.)
It’s sort of the French answer to Whatchagot Stew.
The secret of a great cassoulet is the method the French use of building layers of flavor in specific order. First, saute the meat, creating a crust (or “fond”) in the bottom of the pot. Next, deglaze the pan, then saute the veggie with oil, then add the rest of the ingredients and cook long and low.
Preparing the dish in this order creates an amazing depth and richness that would otherwise be missing if we simply chucked all of the ingredients into the pot at one time.
Ham & Turkey Cassoulet
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 lb. smoked ham, large cube
1/2 lb. roasted turkey breast, large cube
1 med. yellow onion; coarsely chopped
4 stalks of celery; coarsely chopped
2 tbsp. Italian seasonings
1 cup baby peeled carrots
2 garlic cloves; finely chopped
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 15 oz. cans cannellini beans
Healthy pinch of red pepper flakes
1 – 2 cup chicken broth
Salt & pepper to taste
Heat oven to 350F.
Sear ham and turkey cubes in a little oil, until just browned. Remove and set aside. Deglaze the pan with a little chicken broth, scraping all those lovely brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
In the same pan, saute celery, carrots, and Italian seasoning in olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute).
Add all remaining ingredients, and the meat, to the pot along with just enough chicken broth to bring the liquid level with the other ingredients.
Cover the pot and place it in the oven for 1 1/2 hours.
Remove the cover and continue cooking for another hour until a few beans began to split and release some starch into the broth for thickening. Taste for seasonings and add salt and pepper, to taste.