Family Recipe

img_1436Cassoulet ala Emily Lowenfels Oppenheimer

 

This is a dish that my mother, the late great Emily Lowenfels Oppenheimer used to make for New Years Eve or New Years Day party . When she died I found the recipe she used, but she had adapted it and made it her own version. In our household growing up, it was what she did with the Christmas goose carcass, and it got served to all of their friends at one of their big parties of the year. When they were in their 80s , the New Years Eve bash turned into a New Years Day open house.

I only recall goose, and sausage. I don’t recall her adding cubed lamb, or cubed pork. When I made it at her Yahrzeit Dinner this was my version. It really is not tricky, Just make sure to read and reread this recipe

 

And the fennel seeds are her touch.

 

INGREDIENT LIST

2 pounds of small dried pea beans (rinsed and cleaned)

2 quarts of water

1 Tablespoon of salt

½ pound of bacon

3 Tablespoons bacon fat, or vegetable oil

1 ½  pounds lean pork cut in 2 “ or less cubes

1 pound of boneless lamb cut in 2 “ or less cubes

3 – 4 cups chopped red oninon

1 cup chopped shallots

1 cup thinly sliced celery

1 cup of dry white wine

1 cup of tomato sauce

3 tablespoons fennel seed

1 2 -3 pound garlic or polish sausage, cut up into 1 inch pieces

3 tablespoons fennel seed

2 – 3 cups bread crumbs

 

At least Two Days before  soak

 

2 pounds of small dried pea beans (rinsed and cleaned)

2 quarts of water

1 Tablespoon of salt

In a large bowl soak overnight

 

Fry   ½ pound (weight before frying)  of bacon, cool and then chop in small pieces, reserving the fat separately.

 

Day of cooking

The Beans

2 tablespoons minced garlic

2 carrots quartered

2 onions each studded with 5 whole cloves

1 bouquet garni made up of parsley,celery leaves, bay leaf, thyme and wrapped in a cheese cloth

Put soaked beans in large pot with above ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat simmer gently for 60 minutes, skimming the foam from the surface.

The Meat

 

3 Tablespoons bacon fat, or vegetable oil

1 ½  pounds lean pork cut in 2 “ or less cubes

1 pound of boneless lamb cut in 2 “ or less cubes

3 – 4 cups chopped red oninon

1 cup chopped shallots

1 cup thinly sliced celery

1 cup of dry white wine

1 cup of tomato sauce

3 tablespoons fennel seed

 

1 2 -3 pound garlic or polish sausage, cut up into 1 inch pieces

3 tablespoons fennel seed

 

Heat fat in a large skillet. Add meats and saute until brown transfer to bean mixture.

 

Saute the red onion, shallots, celery in the remaining dripping until tender and the onion is translucent. Add tomato sauce ,fennel seeds and wine.

Simmer for 5 minutes.

 

Add the vegetables to bean mixture,

 

Add the sausage to the bean mixture.

 

Cover the pot and simmer 60 minutes until the beans and meat are tender.

The crust

2 – 3 cups bread crumbs

 

Transfer to oven proof casserole. Top with bread crumbs, bake  at 300 uncovered for  30 minutes

 

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