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I recommend you make this cassoulet (not the topping) a day or a night before, the flavors strongly intensify when left in the fridge overnight, you can just warm on top of the stove, prepare and top with the bread topping, then bake.. Although I have listed canellini beans in the ingredients, you can use any beans that you like, use a dry smoked kielbasa sausage for this, this is an old-fashioned hearty dish with TONS of flavor!
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil (more if needed)
- 3 lbs fully cooked smoked kielbasa
- 3 large leeks, thinly sliced (use white and pale green parts only)
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
- 1 large apple, peeled cored and chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (can use a teaspoon dry)
- 2 teaspoons dried sage
- 1⁄2 cup brandy
- 2 (14 ounce) cans diced tomatoes (with juice)
- 3 (15 ounce) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained, but RESERVE 1/2 cup of the juice
- 1 (10 ounce) package frozen baby lima beans, thawed
- 1 1⁄2 cups chicken broth
- 3 -4 tablespoons tomato paste
- salt and pepper
- 4 cups white bread, diced into about 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 lb tomato, seeded and diced
- 1⁄2 cup fresh parsley
- salt and pepper
- Set oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat oil in a heavy oven-proof pot over medium heat.
- Add in sausage slices and saute until browned (about 10-15 minutes) remove with a slotted spoon to a plate.
- Add in more oil of needed and add in the leeks; saute for about 8 minutes or until softened.
- Add in chopped apple, rosemary and sage; mix to combine.
- Add in the brandy and simmer until ALMOST evapoarted (about 4-5 minutes).
- Mix in canned tomatoes with juice, canned beans with 1/2 cup reserved bean juice, the lima beans, 1 cup broth and tomato paste.
- Add in sausages and season with salt and pepper; bring to a boil, cover pot and transfer to a 350 degree oven for about 35 minutes (watch to see if the mixture is dry, if so add in more broth).
- Remove pot from the oven and prepare the following.
- Heat 1/4 cup oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat.
- Add in bread cubes; saute until golden brown, stirring often (about 25 minutes).
- Combine the fresh chopped tomatoes and parsley in a large bowl; mix in the browned bread cubes.
- Season with salt and pepper and spoon on top of the warm cassoulet.
- Return to oven and bake uncovered 15 minutes longer.