Despite its French name, this hearty stew is built on the familiar flavors of pork, chicken, and beans. Traditional cassoulet takes days of cooking, but we streamlined the recipe for the slow-cooker.
Why This Recipe Works
To enhance the meatiness of boneless country-style ribs in our Slow-Cooker Cassoulet, we browned the ribs before adding them to the slow cooker. We preferred garlicky kielbasa to andouille and chorizo, browned first and added to the stew just before serving to prevent it from drying out. As for the poultry, we preferred the moist texture and richer flavor of bone-in thighs. To slow down their cooking time to match the six hours the pork needed, we wrapped the thighs in a foil packet and cooked them on top of (rather than in) the stew. We found dried white beans were similar to traditional French flageolets and easier to find. We simmered them first to give them a head start before adding them to the cooker. They became tender and creamy by the time the stew was done. For the broth base, we sautéed chopped onion in the flavorful drippings left from browning the meats, then add plenty of garlic and thyme, as well as tomato paste for richness and body. To thicken the stew, we removed a cup of the cooked beans, mashed them to a paste, and returned them to the broth.