Carey says,”We’re in for some cold and wet weather in Cape Town for the next couple of days and I’ve got just the dish to keep you snug as a bug. My smoky pork, bean and vegetable cassoulet. I use smoked pork rashers, they add such a wonderful flavour to soups and stews. I love this type of cooking, a few simple ingredients that simply work so well together to make an utterly humble yet mouth-watering meal. I particularly enjoy the use of fennel bulb in my recipe, it works a treat with pork and of course, a cassoulet ain’t a cassoulet if it doesn’t have wine and beans added to the mix. Pure heaven and cooked within 35 minutes, yay! Enjoy with garlic bruschetta to soak up all every bit of goodness. Keep warm and hold onto those soup pots, winter’s not over yet! This recipe was developed, styled and photographed for my regular Midweek Meals feature in Crush issue 42.”
Smoky Pork, Bean and Vegetable Cassoulet
500 g smoked pork rashers, diced
2 T (30 ml) butter
1 T (15 ml) olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 fresh bay leaves
3 fat cloves garlic, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 large carrots, diced
1 baby cabbage, shredded
1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 c (250 ml) dry white wine
1 x 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
2 c (500 ml) chicken stock
1 x 400 g tin borlotti beans, rinsed and drained
1 x 400 g tin cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
salt and pepper to taste
Heat half the oil and half the butter in a large heavy based pot.
Fry the pork until the fat until slightly crispy and fragrant.
Add the remaining butter and sauté the onion, herbs, garlic, celery and carrots until softened. Add the cabbage and fennel and saute until wilted.
Add the wine and simmer until reduced by ½. Now add the tomatoes and stock and gently simmer for +- 40 minutes. Add the beans and heat through for another 10 minutes.
Season to taste. Serve immediately with garlic bruschetta or crusty bread. Tip
Add kale or spinach at the last few minutes of the cooking time.
Carey Boucher Erasmus is a food writer, photographer, recipe developer and restaurant consultant.
She says, “As far as I can remember, I loved being in the kitchen. I grew up watching my mother in wonder as she prepared a myriad of dishes on any given day. And when my grandmother baked, I would be the official bowl licker. I even owned a mini wooden oven and stove set and always imagined myself being a chef while “cooking up” pots of mud and grass.
When I was old enough to reach the real stove and sink, I started cooking and experimenting – from dodgy rubbery microwave chocolate cake to edible and sometimes rather delicious meals. I loved home-economics in high school and even joined a “catering society”.
After matric, I studied Food science and Nutrition at Cape Technikon where I specialised in recipe, product development, nutrition and food communication (styling, food demonstrating etc.). In my final year, I graduated with 8 distinctions and achieved the title of Class valedictorian which I was pretty chuffed about. I was ready to go out into the food industry!”