Prep 35 mins
Cook 3 hrs 30 mins
This classic French casserole mixes white beans, smoked ham, lamb and sausage. Neither too dry nor too solid with beans in this interpretation, it is handsomely crusted with crisp bread crumbs. It makes a good buffet dish with French bread and a green salad.
- 1 cup small dried white bean, rinsed (250 mL)
- 4 cups cold water (1 L)
- 2 lbs boneless lamb shoulder, fat trimmed, cut into 1 inch cubes (900 g)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 medium carrot, pared, shredded
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce (225 g)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 (1 lb) smoked ham hock (about 1 pound or 450 g)
- 1 lb Polish sausage (450 g) or 1 lb smoked sausage (450 g)
- 2 tablespoons butter (30 mL) or 2 tablespoons margarine (30 mL)
- 1 tablespoon salad oil
- 1 1⁄2 cups french fresh breadcrumbs
- Place beans in 4 cups water in deep bowl; let stand 8 hours or overnight. Or, heat beans and 4 cups water in 2 quart saucepan, to boiling, boil briskly 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand covered 1 hour.
- Soak top and bottom of 3 1/4 quart unglazed clay cooker in water about 15 to 20 minutes; drain.
- Combine beans with liquid, lamb, onion, carrot, garlic and thyme in clay cooker. Stir in tomato sauce. Insert bay leaf and ham hock in center.
- Place covered cooker in COLD oven. Set oven at 375°F (190 C). Bake, stirring once or twice, until ham, lamb and beans are tender, about 3 hours.
- Cut sausage into 1 1/2 inch pieces; pierce each piece with fork.
- Heat butter and oil in frying pan; stir bread crumbs in oil mixture until well coated.
- Remove ham hock from cooker. When cool enough to handle, discard bones and skin; cut meat into chunks. Return meat to cooker. Stir in sausage. Sprinkle evenly with bread crumbs.
- Bake uncovered until sausage is hot and bread crumbs are crisp and brown, about 35 minutes.
- Clay Cookery.