True cassoulet, the southern French dish of beans, duck confit, sausages, pork, etc., is a monumental kitchen undertaking. I’m not always up for a monumental undertaking, so I’ve devised a short-cut version. A couple times a year, I cook batches of seasoned white beans, simmered with lots of celery, bay leaf, thyme, black pepper, and a little chopped tomato& bacon fat, and I freeze the cooked beans in batches (that’s the first part of the shortcut).
Here’s the second shortcut–I grill fresh pork sausages until nicely charred, but not done through, and then nestle the sausages into an enameled cast iron skillet, and sprinkle the whole shebang with garlic bread crumbs. Tightly covered, the skillet goes back onto the grill (the Big Green Egg, I mean) to bubble away for 45 minutes to an hour….enough time for the pork sausages’ fat to permeate the beans, the crumbs to brown nicely, and for the dish to begin to approach the sublime perfection of true cassoulet. No, it’s not exactly quick, nor is it a slavish reproduction of the Toulouse or Carcassonne versions…but it is damn delicious.