Harissa-Spiced Cassoulet Recipe

Harissa-Spiced Cassoulet | Food & Wine:

I thought today we can have something in t9he category of winter comfort foods. Today we are going to fix harissa-spiced cassoulet. I know a lot of people who like North African foods, and North African food traditions. Harissa is one of many North African food recipes.

Cassoulet is a rich, slow- cooked casserole originating in the South of France, containing meat  (typically pork sausages, goose, duck and sometimes mutton), port skin (couennes) and white beans (haricots blancs). The dish is named after its traditional cooking vessel, the casserole, a deep, round, earthenware pot with slanting sides.

Ingredients:

1/2 pound thick-cut bacon, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely diced
1 celery rib, finely diced
2 medium carrots, finely diced, plus 2 large carrots, cut into 2 1/2 inch lengths
14 ounces diced cannellini beans (2 cups), soak overnight and drained
kosher salt
black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
3/4 teaspoons crushed red pepper
1/4 cup plus1 tablespoon extra- virgin olive oil
12  2-ounce mergueg sausages
2 large sweet potatoes (1 1/4 pounds), peeled and cut into 2 1/2 inch pieces
3 turnips (3/4 pounds), peeled and cut into 2 1/2 inch pieces
4 ounces rustic peasant bread, crust removed, bread turned into 1/4 inch diced (2 cups)
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
plain yogurt, for serving

Directions:

  1. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, cook the bacon over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the fat is rendered. Add the onion, celery and diced carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 8 minutes. Add the beans, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer the beans until al dente, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, add a generous pinch of salt and let stand for 30 minutes. Drain the beans, bacon and vegetables and transfer to a bowl; reserve 2 cups of the cooking liquid.
  2.  Meanwhile, preheat the oven 350 degrees F. In a small skillet, toast the cumin, coriander and mustard seeds over moderate heat, shaking the pan, until fragrant and the mustard seeds begin to pop, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder and let let cool. Add the smoked paprika and crushed red pepper and grind the harissa blend into powder.
  3.  Wipe out the casserole and heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in it. Add the merguez and cook over moderate heat, until lightly browned all over, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Do not wipe out the casserole.
  4.  Add the sweet potatoes, turnips and large carrots to the casserole. Season with salt and black pepper and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the harissa spice blend and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in the bean mixture and the reserved 2 cups of cooking liquid and bring just to a simmer. Arrange the merguez on top. Cover and bake the cassoulet for about 1 hour, until the beans are tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove fro the oven and uncover the cassoulet.
  5.  Preheat the broiler. in a bowl, toss the bread, parsley, lemon zest and the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil; season with salt and black pepper. Sprinkle the bread over the cassoulet and broil until golden and crisp. Let the cassoulet stand for 10 minutes before serving. Pass yogurt at the table.

Servings: 10 to 12

Prep. Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 55 Minutes to 1 hour

Bake Time: 1 Hour

Stand Time: 30 Minutes

Soaking Time: Over night

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