During yet another Atlanta snow day, I decided I wanted some soup. I knew I had onions, so French Onion soup was the most likely outcome. But I’ve had some Rancho Gordo Cassoulet beans sitting around for awhile waiting for the perfect time to use them. Since that time doesn’t seem to be happening, now seemed perfect.
However, a true Cassoulet is a decently “complicated” dish and would need many more ingredients like duck confit, different varieties of pork, etc. than I had on had during the life threatening blizzard we were being subjected to. After reading a Serious Eats article on the Cassoulet, I decided to improvise. Kenji takes all the “traditionalists” to task by reminding that the cassoulet is peasant food and therefore was made with what was on hand. Like all traditional tasty food, it is just food made at home.
I figured I could start with a french onion base ( the carmelized onions from my previous iPot FOS recipe ) and then add the beans and stock to complete the soup/stew. The other ingredient that I had on hand was 1 lb of Conecuh Hickory Smoked Sausage. That would take care of the pork requirement.
I started off browning the sausage using the saute function of the iPot. I added a little canola oil and let it brown while I sliced the onions. After the sausage browned, I removed it and deglazed with some dry vermouth.
Melting the butter to incorporate all the sausagey goodness and deglazing liquid and sausagey fats. was the next step. Then just carmelize the onions as in the iPot French Onion Soup recipe.
One idea I took from the Serious Eats article is to add unflavored gelatin to the stock prior to using it. This thickens up the stock to simulate using real homemade gelatin filled stock. Kenji suggests using 3 packs/quart of stock, but as this was the first time for me, I just used two. It worked out well.
After the onions are finished, add the beans, sausage, stock and spices. Pressure cook for 40 minutes and let the pressure release naturally.
iPot French Onion Cassoulet Soup … uh … Stew …
- 3 large sweet onions very thinly sliced
- 1 lb Conecuh Hickory Smoked Sausage, sliced
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 tsp of baking soda
- 1 lb Rancho Gordo Cassoulet Beans ( uncooked and unsoaked )
- 32 oz Chicken Stock
- 2 packages unflavored gelatin
- Kroger frozen mirepoix blend ( or fresh celery, carrots, green peppers, etc )
- garlic ( fresh or granulated )
- dried oregano
- vermouth or other liquid for deglazing
- Brown sausage in a small amount of oil in iPot using medium saute function.
- Remove sausage and deglaze with vermouth
- Melt butter in iPot the oil and remnants of sausage
- Saute onions in butter to coat.
- Add baking soda, salt and pepper and saute for about 5 minutes.
- Cover and pressure cook on manual for 20 minutes
- Add gelatin to stock to let bloom.
- Force relieve pressure after 20 minutes.
- Add beans, stock, seasonings, mirepoix blend, sausage and stir together.
- Cover and pressure cook for 40 minutes.
- Let pressure release naturally.
- Season to taste and enjoy!
**Note that I did not use the boullion pictured above.