Yesterday it snowed a little. Big flakes, but they melted. Today it snowed. A LOT. While it’s picturesque, the chill in the air is a bit of a shock. Maybe this is what urges so many of us towards warm comfort foods. Whatever the reason, cassoulet felt like the thing to do. A cursory glance around the kitchen told me that I didn’t have all the ingredients that a traditional cassoulet would have, but that doesn’t have to stop a creative mind. (Sweet Baboo is shuddering….)
Cassoulet has a bean base, so 2 cups of beans were brought to a boil in a dutch oven for 2 minutes before being taken off the heat to sit in a corner with the lid on for an hour. That’s the quick soak method. I’ve never had the guts to try the regular overnight soak method – I tried that when I lived in a tropical climate and the shocking smell that accompanied the beans was burnt into my nostrils permanently – it won’t happen again. Anyway, once the hour was up, I drained the beans and put the glistening beauties into the waiting slow cooker.
The beans needed flavour and a rich, thick liquid to stew in.
1/2 cup maple syrup, 2 cups apple butter, diced onion and diced dried tomatoes joined the beans in the crock pot.
A 2 pound pork loin roast was slated to be the meaty star of the show. Pick a cut of meat with some marbling of fat – it does wonders for texture and taste. It was slathered generously with 1 cup of Evans sour cherry barbeque sauce and placed gently in the pot.
Black pepper added the final touch of zingy bling this roast needed to hit the sauna in style.
Now it was time to put a lid on and set the slow cooker to go through the night.
In the morning, the smell of tender roast and simmered beans drew me to the kitchen.
The roast was perfectly done, but what about the beans?
I’ve never had white beans turn out so lusciously deep, dark brown. I nibbled on a few and it was all I could do not to just sit and have them for breakfast! Can’t wait for suppertime!