(An adaptation of the 'Toulouse cassoulet')

As the nights are beginning to draw in, here at Hog HQ we are spending a lot of our time discussing our favourite winter food. The lovely Iain wowed us with The Hog Cassoulet a few weeks ago so we thought it would be rude not to share this blimmin delicious recipe. This one is a perfect weekend treat with a large hunk of bread.

Ingredients

800g haricot beans, soaked in cold water overnight

1 whole onion, peeled and studded with cloves

1 head of garlic, unpeeled

2 sprigs of thyme

1 bay leaf

2 Carrots (Whole)

2 Sticks of celery (Cut into two ie 4 halves)

6 rashers of Jolly Hog Beech and Oak Smoked Bacon, diced

Duck fat (Or Goose fat)

500g pork belly cubed

250g of any other pork cuts (Smoked if you prefer a deeper saltier flavour)

6 Jolly Hog Proper Porker sausages

Chicken stock

Method

1. Drain the beans well and put them in a large, ovenproof casserole dish. Pour in chicken stock until it comes about 3cm above the top of the beans, then add the clove studded onion, carrots, celery, whole head of garlic and herbs. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for about two hours, until just tender, but not falling apart.

2. Fry the diced bacon, pork belly (and any other pork being used) and sausages separately in plenty of duck fat until golden. When cool, cut the sausages into four and set aside.

3. Remove the carrots, celery, onion and herbs from the beans and discard. Squeeze the garlic cloves from their skins and mash to a paste with four tablespoons of duck fat. Preheat the oven to 140-150c/gas mark one.

4. Drain the beans, reserving the liquid. Grease the bottom of the casserole with a little of the duck fat/garlic mix, then tip in the beans, the rest of the duck fat and the pieces of meat, keeping back half the sausage. Mix well, then top with just enough liquid to cover – you probably won't need to add any seasoning, as the smoked bacon will be quite salty.

Put the rest of the sausage on the top and place into an oven at 140-150c for about two hours.

(If you want to miss out the faff of using dried haricot beans, you can use tinned, but the end result isn't quite so creamy, but still very acceptable! In which case start at 2. Fry the bacon etc and then add two tins of haricot beans, all the veg, onion and herbs and cover with stock. Put in the oven at 140-150c for 2 hours. After 2 hours remove all veg, onion, herbs and return to the oven for a further hour.)

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