Pork and Bean Cassoulet

Ingredients: 

1 pound
dried cannellini beans (you can use canned)
1
onion, small dice
3
cloves garlic, minced, plus 1 head garlic peeled
2
carrots, medium diced
4
canned, peeled plum tomatoes, crushed by hand
1/2 pint
cream
1 1/2 pounds
left over pork shoulder, 1 inch dice
salt
1 cup
bread crumbs

Directions: 

  1. Soak the beans overnight in water and drain well before cooking (or use the canned ones)
  2. In a large pot, cook the bacon on low heat to renter the fat, about 10 minutes, then add the onion and the minced garlic and cook until lightly browned.
  3. Add remaining vegetables, tomatoes and the drained beans and stir together well. Add water to just cover the beans, stir and simmer for 1 hour.
  4. While beans are cooking, bring 2 cups water to boil in a small saucepan over high heat, 2 to 3 minutes; blanch the head of garlic for 30 seconds, then drain.
  5. Repeat two more times.
  6. Return garlic to empty pot, add cream and bring to a simmer over high heat, three to four minutes.
  7. Reduce heat to low; cook for 30-40 minutes.
  8. Pour garlic cream into a strainer over a bowl.
  9. Press heads through strainer with a spatula or the back of a spoon; garlic will mash to a paste.
  10. Place garlic cream on a warm spot on the stove between the burners.
  11. After beans have cooked for an hour liquid should be reduced by almost half.
  12. Add water to cover again and add the diced pork meat.
  13. Raise temperature to medium and continue to simmer until everything is tender and the cooking liquid has thickened slightly.
  14. Salt to taste.
  15. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  16. Put the bean mixture in a 3 quart casserole dish.
  17. Drizzle with garlic cream and top with bread crumbs.
  18. Bake until golden, 20-25 minutes. (If casserole is filled to the top place it on top of a sheet pan to catch drips)
  19. Serve with crusty bread.

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