A long time ago I ran across an article entitled ‘44 Classic French Meals You Need to Try Before You Die’ so I jumped right in to tackle the list, modifying each one for easier boat galley cooking. Please feel free to scroll through what I was able to accomplish aboard our little 26 foot sailboat with a one-burner alcohol burning stove, a hand pump sink and precious little counter space. You can find them here: 44 Classic French Meals.
It was fun….that is until I reached Cassoulet. My husband (of French origin) said it was a must. The catch? It takes three days to make properly…key word being ‘properly’. So at that point I caved and went on to other pursuits. Recently though, one of my Galley Peeps asked it I had made it yet also saying it was a must…echoing my husband’s comment from several years ago.
Duck confit, toulouse sausage, bacon or pancetta, lots of garlic and white beans are the base with chicken stock, some use a little chopped carrot and some tomato paste or fresh tomato from what my Frenchman tells me. Seasoning is simple – thyme, bay leaf and salt and pepper, maybe some parsley and a crisp topping. Still sounding way too complicated for camper life, so I caved and made this super easy version. Don’t jump on me please! It probably doesn’t even deserve to have the word ‘cassoulet’ in the title…but it was very tasty and as I said so easy with simple ingredients and it didn’t take me three days to make…barely twenty minutes, really!
I did some internet research and Kolbassa sausage was recommended – apparently a good substitute if you can’t find the traditional Toulouse…and bonus, it’s already cooked.
This could easily be an old fashioned camp fire dish…Frenchman approved and as he reminded…do not forget the bread….perfect for sopping up the rich juices and as my guy does, wiping out the bowl leaving no trace of the yumminess behind. Once you scoop portions into individual bowl, I recommend you sprinkle some of my crispy topping over all (see Galley Kat Notes below)
By the way, leftovers are wonderful reheated and served on toast for a quick breakfast. You’re welcome!
…peace and love…
- 1 tbsp Avocado oil any neutral oil will work well
- 3 stalks celery chipped
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 19 oz can white beans drained and rinsed
- 1 14 oz can pork and beans
- 1 6 oz can tomato paste
- 1/2 tsp salt and pepper
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 lb Kolbassa cut into 1/2” chunks (pre-cooked)
- crispy topping optional (see Galley Notes below for making your own)
- Heat oil in pan and saute onion and celery until softened
- Add garlic and cook until frangrant being careful not to scorch.
- Stir in beans and tomato paste and simmer for a couple of minutes.
- Season to taste then add sausage, heating through.
- Serve with some crusty bread to sop up the juices
Galley Kat Notes: