Cassoulet-Style French Bean Stew Recipe

This recipe is an 8-hour, multi-step method that I approach in 3 parts over 3 days, so plan accordingly. The results are well worth it!

Bean stew is comprised of a richly seasoned broth, heavily caramelized vegetables, and of course, beans.

Cassoulet is a traditional French dish of white beans baked and braised with meats. Its name comes from the type of pot it’s cooked in, the cassole d’Issel.


Pork stew meat Ham hocks Salt pork Fat back Salt Black pepper Cannellini beans

Grab a large baking dish and place the smoked ham hocks, pork or lamb stew meat cubes and fat back inside; season lightly with Kosher salt and black pepper before covering to refrigerate overnight.

In a stockpot, cover the beans with enough water to exceed by 3 inches and soak overnight. 

The following day, cover the salt pork and fat back with water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer over moderate heat, about 30 minutes.

Drain and cool slightly before cutting the fat back into 5 long pieces. Roll each piece as you’d roll up a rug and tie/secure with kitchen twine. Refrigerate the salt pork for now.

Dry the ham hocks and stew meat cubes with a paper towel. In your largest Dutch oven, heat the duck fat. Add half the stew meat and cook over moderately high heat until lightly browned all over.

Transfer to a plate using a slotted spoon and repeat with the remaining stew meat. Add the smoked ham hocks to the Dutch oven and brown them lightly.


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