Recipe: One-pot white bean pork cassoulet
Many Alberta Pork producers across the province also grow pulses, which are high in protein and fibre and low in fat; growing pulses are profitable for our farmers and an essential element in a sustainable cropping system.
Alberta Pulse Growers represents 6,000 growers of field pea, dry bean, lentil, chickpea, faba bean and soybean in Alberta. In addition to being great for the soil and for our bodies, pulses pair deliciously with pork! Over the past few years I have been trying to introduce more Canadian-grown pulses to my diet, but I often get stalled in the kitchen with pulses because of the need to soak dry pulses overnight.
Debra McLennan, food & nutrition coordinator with Alberta Pulse Growers, is a registered dietician who made my life a little easier recently. I asked if there was a nutritional difference between dry beans, lentils, chickpeas, and those that are in a can.
The major difference is the sodium in canned pulses. Canned pulses are convenient as they are pre-cooked and ready to use, but be sure to:
- Always drain and rinse well before use.
- Drain and rinse regular canned pulses to reduce the sodium content by 40% or try No Salt Added canned pulses.
With that knowledge, along with a cupboard packed with canned white beans and a fridge containing sausages (Fuge Meats Italian Fennel) and some Irvings Farm Fresh side pork I was able to create a one-pot cassoulet backed with Alberta Pork flavour and Alberta Pulse Producers fibre.
One-Pot White Bean Pork Cassoulet
What you’ll need…
500 g side pork or pork belly, cut into cubes
2 large pork sausages (e.g. Italian)
1 large onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cans of white beans, drained and thoroughly rinsed
1 can diced stewed tomatoes
1 cup soup stock (chicken, pork or vegetable)
1 cup white wine (or substitute with more broth if you prefer)
2 tbsp of mixed dried herbs (such as thyme, parsley, oregano, rosemary)
1 1/2 cup bread crumbs, divided
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large oven-proof pot or Dutch oven, brown sausages over medium heat for four to five minutes. Remove to a plate until cooled and cut into 1 cm slices.
Using the fat left in the pot from the sausages, add the side pork and onions and cook until the onions are translucent, approximately 5 – 7 minutes. Add the garlic and herbs; cook for 2 minutes more.
Add the tomatoes, beans, broth and wine. Bring to a simmer and add in one cup of bread crumbs and the sliced sausage. Stir to combine. Top with remaining 1/2 cup and transfer to preheated oven.
Cook for 1 – 1 1/2 hours and the bread crumbs have browned. Enjoy!
* Other combinations of canned pulses would also work with this dish, so get creative with any cans of Canadian beans, lentils or chickpeas you have in your cupboard.