- 400-450g streaky steaks (strips of pork belly ), rind trimmed
- 1 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
- 400-450g pack of pork sausages (try Cumberland, garlic or sage-flavoured Lincolnshire varieties)
- 4 back bacon chops, about 400g/14oz
- 400g can cannellini, haricot, butter or mixed beans, drained
- 1 large onion, chopped
Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…
- 4 medium carrot, thickly sliced
The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…
- 400g can chopped tomatoes
A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…
- 1 bouquet garni 'tea bag'
- about 600ml chicken stock (from a stock cube is fine)
- 25g fresh white breadcrumbs
- 2 garlic clove
Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Quickly pan-fry the strips of pork belly in the oil, followed by the sausages and back bacon chops, until well browned.
Mix together the beans, onion, garlic, carrots and tomatoes in a bowl. Starting with a spoonful of the veg, inter-layer the vegetable mix and meats in a deep braising pan (about 3 litres capacity, 7.5cm deep, preferably one that will go on top of the stove – see Gary’s tip, below). Place the bouquet garni in the centre as everything is being stacked.
Pour just enough chicken stock on top to almost cover, then bring to a simmer on top of the stove (see Gary’s tip). Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the top and braise in the oven for about 1hr 20- 1hr 30 mins, until the meats are all tender and the top is golden brown. If the stock reduces while braising, simply pour a little more on top to moisten. Remove from the oven and allow to settle for 5 mins before serving. (Remember to take out the bouquet garni.)
Back bacon chops are available from large supermarkets. If you can't find them, use gammon steaks instead. Trim off the rinds first and halve the steaks if they're large. If you prefer, or if your pan isn't suitable, skip the simmering in Step 3 and just leave the cassoulet in the oven for an extra 15 mins.