In these cold winter months we could all use a little comforting. I find little more comforting than a warm bowl of creamy-tomatoey beans studded with rich sausage. On these frigid days when all you want to stay inside and snuggle under blankets on the couch, a meal like this will zap any ambition you might have had and keep you firmly planted indoors. Think of it as cassoulet on a budget of both time (about 20 minutes vs. 6 hours) and money (6 ingredients vs. 12+).
Here’ s what you do:
1. get some sausage- what ever you like: italian, chorizo, bratwurst, anything (I actually used a pork liver sausage I created when testing recipes for my new charcuterie workshop at ICE). Cut it in to 1 inch pieces and brown in a skillet.
2. Add 1 cup minced onions and 1 tablespoon minced garlic, saute until tender.
3. Add approximately 16 ounces chopped tomatoes (canned are a good option right now). Stir well and bring to a simmer. Allow the tomatoes to simmer until slightly thickened.
4. Add approximately 24 ounces cooked white beans and simmer 5 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Serve in bowls topped with celery that has been thinly sliced and dressed with lemon juice and olive oil.
And for the ambitious out there:
Pork Liver Sausages
500g pork liver
1200g pork shoulder
200g fat back
20g kosher salt
2 g white pepper
1 g marjoram
2 g basil
1 g ground allspice
Thoroughly chill all ingredients and grind each separately. Combine the ground meats in a bowl, add the spices and blend well.
Cook a small pieces of the mixture to taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
Pack the seasoned mixture into casings and rest in the refrigerator over night. Poach the sausage to an internal temperature of 160˚ then cool in the poaching liquid. Seal sausages in cry-o-vac bags or store refrigerated in the poaching liquid.