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Nov 2, 2011 01:35 PM

Looking for a good bean cassolette recipe

I looked through all my cook books, and the only one I could find was in the Art of French Cooking, which had a recipe that involved making homemade sausage. I don't need anything overly authentic, but I want that deep flavor and comforting flavor.

Thanks in advance


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    1. I took the popular (why??) basic processed-foods green bean casserole and made it with real ingredients. Cooked fresh harticot verts, made a white sauce (added a bit of white wine), sauteed mushrooms, topped with crispy sauteed onions. Oh, also added water chestnuts, since I wanted a textural element.

      1. Once again, here's my best:

        This is timed for cooking from late afternoon into late evening - I started before supper and took my own sweet time, putting the pot into the oven at around 11.

        2 lbs dried beans
        1 red onion and 3 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
        handful of diced bacon
        olive oil
        black pepper, dried thyme to taste

        salt - add later

        Soak the beans or not, according to your personal feelings on the subject. If you do, drain them before proceeding. Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot, then add the vegetables, bacon and seasonings. Stir and cook over high heat for a minute or so, then reduce the heat and cover the pot for about ten minutes, or until the bacon and onion are both transparent. Then raise the heat back to high, put in the beans, stir well to mix and pour in enough water to cover by 2" if beans were soaked, 4" if cooking from dry. Bring to boil, cover pot and adjust heat to induce a simmer.

        Cook until beans are just tender and add salt to taste. Continue cooking until they're tender clear through but not mushy, adding boiling water if necessary to keep the top layer covered.

        olive oil or duck fat
        salt and pepper
        3 lbs lamb, neck slices or shanks (neck was used here, and is strongly recommended)
        2-3 slices smoked pork shank
        large can Italian tomatoes in juice - break up and discard seeds and hard cores

        Oven at 200º

        Place your braising pot over high heat and put in about 1/4 cup of fat or oil. When the fat is hot, brown the lamb, salting and peppering as you go, and then do the same with the pork shank. Set the meat aside and pour off the excess fat. Now cover the bottom of the pot with a layer of beans, and cover this with as much lamb and pork as will fit in a single layer. Strew some of the tomatoes over that, then more beans, more meat and so on. Finish with a layer of beans. Pour the tomato juice over all, then pour in enough bean broth just to cover the top. Put the lid on the pot, and place in the center of the oven (with a small cookie sheet under it if your pot is really full), and then go to bed. Set your alarm for 7 to 8 hours...

        Set oven at 350º

        cooked or uncooked pork sausages (brown well if uncooked)
        duck confit, optional
        panko crumbs or breadcrumbs

        The house will smell very good when you wake up. When you're good and ready, take the casserole out and check out the contents. With a wide slotted spoon, carefully scoop everything out of the pot, down to the bottom bean layer. Check to make sure there are no little bones left behind. Remove all the meat from all the bones. Now rebuild your layers, this time including some sausages (if you're using precooked, you may want to put them on top towards the end, pushing them down amongst the beans). In the top layer include only the confit, if you're using it, and sausages, all pushed down into the beans and barely showing. Adjust the amount of liquid so it comes up to just below the top layer and then spread on a good layer of crumbs. Set back into the oven uncovered, and cook until bubbly and beginning to brown on top, an hour or so. For best effect, cover this and let it sit all day in a cool but not cold spot, then return to the oven and reheat for dinner.