Cassoulet with Squash, Bacon, Kale + Sausage


have a habit of pushing this entire season before it has actually arrived, but finally this past weekend had that perfect fall chill in the air. Just enough to make you want to sit outside with a blanket, and enough to dive right into making cold weather comfort food. We're just a few days shy of being one year out from our wedding, and while the planning process is becoming very real, this October weather is a nice reminder of why we picked the fall.

I really can't say enough about how good homemade cassoulet is. Our seasonal take on classic cassoulet includes squash, naturally. We also used a bunch of kale, which will cook down significantly, so don't be nervous if it looks incredibly kale heavy when you start. This is one that you'll want to dedicate an afternoon to making, and one thing I'll highly recommend is getting fresh thick cut bacon. It holds up beautifully during the cooking process and adds such rich flavor. 



Cassoulet with Squash, Bacon, Kale + Sausage
serves 6-8

16 oz dried white beans
1 lbs pork sausage, in links, casing split
1/4 lb slab bacon, roughly chopped
2 lbs butternut squash, peeled and roughly chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 small onion, chopped
1 bunch laciato kale, deveined and chopped
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 qt chicken stock
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
2 tbs olive oil, divided
3 tbs fresh sage
2 tbs rosemary
1 tbs herbs de Provence
salt and pepper

  • To prepare dried beans, rinse and sort, making sure to remove any dried or shriveled beans. In a large pot, fill with beans and cover with 3 inches of water. Bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes, uncovered. Remove from heat, cover, and set aside 1 hour. Drain and reserve for recipe.
  • Preheat oven to 350°. In a 4 qt dutch oven over medium high heat, warm 1 tbs olive oil. When oil is shimmering, cook bacon and sausage until sausage is browned and bacon has crisped, about 5 minutes. Remove from dutch oven and set aside. Add onion, celery, and garlic, cooking until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Deglaze dutch oven with white wine, scraping to remove brown bits. add squash, kale, beans, bacon, and sausage. Pour in chicken stock, add rosemary, herbs de Provence and a generous serving of salt and pepper. Stir to combine, cover and bake for 1 hour.
  • After 1 hour has elapsed, remove from oven and check cassoulet. If mixture has a soup-like consistency, remove lid and continue baking for 30 minutes. If cassoulet has reduced, and thickened into a stew consistency, continue baking covered for 30 additional minutes.
  • Meanwhile, mix breadcrumbs with sage and set aside. After additional 30 minutes, remove from oven and top with 1/2 of breadcrumb mixture. Bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove dutch oven again and top with remaining bread crumbs.
  • Drizzle remaining 1 tbs olive oil on top and broil for 5-7 minutes, or until breadcrumbs are golden brown.