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FLAGEOLET "CASSOULET"

1 cup dry flageolet beans
2 slices hickory smoked bacon or a piece of smoked neck
1 bay leaf
1 to 2 ham, pork, lamb, or chicken bouillon cubes, or use a flavorful stock
1 medium sweet onion, chopped, sautied in a bit of olive oil until
translucent and golden, with
2-3 cloves garlic, minced and added to onions when nearly cooked
1 15.5 oz can diced tomatoes, with liquid
1 to 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 tsp Herbes de Provence or Quatre Epices (a mix of thyme, basil and rosemary)
salt and pepper
dash red pepper
1/2 small head of green cabbage, chopped
1 cup dry red wine

Sort, wash and soak flageolet beans overnight or quick soak them.
Drain, rinse, and place in pot large enough to accommodate all of
the ingredients in this recipe. Add bacon or smoked neck to beans,
add bay leaf, and cover with water or unsalted stock, or a mixture.
Bring to a boil, skim off any scum, reduce heat to low and cover.
Simmer for 1.5 to 2.0 hours, or as long as it takes to cook beans
without disintegrating them (they hold up well for a long time
after they are cooked). Add a bit of liquid and stir as needed to
prevent beans from drying out or scorching.

Add to the pot the cooked onion and garlic mixture, tomatoes, 1
tablespoon of the tomato paste, herbs, salt (and any stock cubes)
and pepper, red pepper, cabbage, and red wine. Stir well, bring
to a boil, cover, and simmer for an additional 20 minutes. Taste
and adjust seasonings, if needed, and stir in extra tomato paste
if needed. Add a bit of water or stock if needed, or let simmer
uncovered for a few more minutes if too watery. (Much depends on
the age of the beans, the amount of water in the cabbage and the
tinned tomatoes, and how much steam escapes from your pot during
the long cooking process.)

Provides 6 ample servings as an accompaniment to lamb roast or
chops. If you have leftovers, your leftover lamb can be cubed and
added to leftover cassoulet on day 2 for a one pot meal. If not
enough beans remain to feed everyone, you could add a bit of stock
and some cooked carrots and/or elbow macaroni, and call it soup.

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