Mary Berry Sausage Cassoulet is a symphony of comforting flavors, ideal for those who savor the rich blend of tender sausages, creamy beans, and aromatic herbs in a luscious tomato base. This dish is not just a feast for the taste buds but also fills the air with a delightful aroma, making it a perfect meal for chilly evenings or heartwarming family gatherings. Mary Berry, celebrated for her straightforward yet delectable recipes, ensures that this cassoulet is both simple to prepare and a joy to eat.
In this article, I will lead you through the preparation of Mary Berry’s Sausage Cassoulet, offering insights to achieve a dish that’s beautifully balanced and deeply satisfying. Designed to serve 4-6 people, this recipe is uncomplicated, ensuring a delightful culinary experience without demanding extensive preparation time. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or new to the kitchen, this sausage cassoulet is
What is Mary Berry Sausage Cassoulet?
Mary Berry sausage cassoulet is a delicious and hearty dish that is inspired by the traditional French cassoulet. Cassoulet is a slow-cooked stew that originated in the south of France and usually contains white beans, meat, and herbs. Mary Berry sausage cassoulet is a simplified and easy version of this dish, that uses canned beans, sausages, bacon, and a tomato sauce. It is baked in the oven until the sausages are charred and the sauce is bubbling. It is a perfect dish for a cold and cozy night, or for a casual and festive occasion.
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Why You’ll Love This Recipe
There are many reasons to love this Mary Berry sausage cassoulet recipe, such as:
- Comforting and Satisfying: It’s a hearty dish that not only fills you up but also provides warmth and comfort.
- Nutritious: Loaded with protein and fiber from beans and sausages, it’s a meal that sustains.
- Ease of Preparation: With minimal prep and straightforward ingredients, it’s stress-free cooking.
- Versatility: The recipe allows for customization in terms of sausage types, beans, and vegetables.
- Crowd-Pleasing: Its rich sauce and tender sausages are sure to delight any palate.
Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Sausage Cassoulet
To make this Mary Berry sausage cassoulet recipe, you will need the following ingredients:
- 8 pork sausages (or any kind you like)
- 4 rashers of bacon, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2 celery sticks, sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 2 cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cans of chopped tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons of sugar
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley, for garnish
Instructions to Make Mary Berry Sausage Cassoulet
To make this Mary Berry sausage cassoulet recipe, follow these steps:
Step 1: Preheat the oven and brown the sausages
- Preheat your oven to 180°C (160°C fan) or 350°F (320°F fan).
- In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, cook the sausages for about 15 minutes, turning occasionally, until browned all over.
- Transfer them to a plate and set aside.
Step 2: Cook the bacon and the vegetables
- In the same pan, cook the bacon for about 10 minutes, until crisp.
- Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- In the same pan, cook the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, bay leaves, and thyme for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden.
- Add a splash of water if the pan gets too dry.
Step 3: Make the tomato sauce
- In a small bowl, whisk together the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, salt, and pepper.
Step 4: Layer the beans, tomato sauce, and bacon
- In a large ovenproof dish or casserole, layer half of the beans, followed by half of the tomato sauce, then half of the bacon.
- Repeat with the remaining beans, tomato sauce, and bacon.
Step 5: Arrange the sausages and bake
- Arrange the sausages on top of the cassoulet, pushing them slightly into the sauce.
- Cover the dish with a lid or foil and bake for 45 minutes, until bubbling and hot.
- Remove the lid or foil and bake for another 15 minutes, until the sausages are slightly charred on top.
Step 6: Garnish and serve
- Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve hot, with crusty bread or a green salad.
What Do I Serve With Mary Berry Sausage Cassoulet?
Ideal Accompaniments for Mary Berry Sausage Cassoulet
While Mary Berry’s sausage cassoulet is a complete meal in itself, pairing it with suitable side dishes can enhance the dining experience. Here are some top recommendations:
- Crusty Bread: A slice of fresh or toasted bread is the perfect companion for cassoulet. It absorbs the flavorful sauce and adds a contrasting texture. For an extra burst of flavor, consider buttering your bread or adding a hint of garlic.
- Green Salad: A light, green salad offers a fresh counterpoint to the hearty cassoulet. Choose your favorite greens—be it lettuce, spinach, arugula, or kale—and dress lightly with olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. For added variety, sprinkle in some cheese, nuts, or a selection of fruits.
- Roasted Vegetables: Enhance your meal with a side of roasted vegetables. They not only add color and nutritional value but also complement the flavors of the cassoulet. Opt for vegetables like potatoes, carrots, parsnips, or squash, and roast them with a drizzle of oil and a sprinkle of herbs. A touch of honey or maple syrup can add a delightful sweetness.
Pro Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Sausage Cassoulet
To achieve the best results with the Mary Berry sausage cassoulet, keep these pro tips in mind:
- Select Quality Sausages: The sausages are a pivotal element. Opt for high-quality ones with robust flavor and texture. While pork sausages are traditional, feel free to explore chicken, turkey, or vegetarian options, perhaps with added spices, herbs, or cheese.
- Thoroughly Brown Sausages and Bacon: Ensure that the sausages and bacon are well-browned before incorporating them into the cassoulet. This step is crucial for enhancing flavor and texture, as well as enriching the sauce with rendered fat.
- Opt for Canned Beans: For ease and speed, canned beans are a great choice. They come fully cooked and ready to use. Whether it’s cannellini, butter, kidney beans, or even chickpeas, remember to drain and rinse them well. If you prefer, dried beans can be used but require overnight soaking and precooking.
- Well-Seasoned Sauce: The sauce binds the dish together, providing moisture and flavor. Create a balanced sauce with chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, salt, pepper, and your choice of herbs like bay leaves, thyme, or oregano. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your preference.
Variations of Mary Berry Sausage Cassoulet
Personalize your cassoulet with these inventive variations:
- Cheese-Topped Cassoulet: Add a layer of grated cheese over the sausages before baking for a gooey, cheesy twist. Experiment with different cheeses such as cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan, or gruyere. Consider a breadcrumb topping for extra crunch.
- Chicken and Mushroom Cassoulet: For a lighter version, use chicken sausages and incorporate sliced mushrooms into the vegetable mix. Substitute water with chicken stock to enrich the sauce.
- Vegetarian Cassoulet: Create a vegetarian-friendly version by using plant-based sausages and omitting the bacon. Amp up the dish with additional vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, or eggplant for more color and nutrients.
How do I store Mary Berry Sausage Cassoulet Leftovers?
If you have any leftovers of Mary Berry sausage cassoulet, you can store them in the following ways:
- Cool the cassoulet to room temperature before storing to prevent bacterial growth.
- Use an airtight container to keep the cassoulet fresh for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
- Consider portioning the leftovers into individual containers. This not only simplifies reheating but also aids in managing portion sizes.
- For longer storage, freezing is an effective option. Place the cooled cassoulet in a freezer-safe container or a sealable freezer bag.
- Label each container or bag with the date, helping you track how long it’s been stored.
- Freezing in smaller portions can be particularly convenient, allowing you to thaw only what you need for a meal.
How do I reheat Mary Berry Sausage Cassoulet Leftovers?
If you want to reheat your leftover Mary Berry sausage cassoulet, you can do it in the following ways:
- Preheat your oven to 180°C (160°C fan) or 350°F (320°F fan).
- Transfer the cassoulet to an ovenproof dish and cover it with a lid or aluminum foil to retain moisture.
- Heat for 20 to 30 minutes or until thoroughly hot and bubbly.
- For added texture, uncover for the final 10 minutes to allow the top to crisp up, especially if cheese is used.
- Place the cassoulet in a microwave-safe dish and cover loosely with a microwave-safe lid or paper towel to avoid splattering.
- Heat on high for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring midway to ensure even heating.
- This method is quick and convenient, especially when you’re reheating a single serving.
- If the sauce has thickened, add a little water or stock to the cassoulet before reheating.
- Transfer to a pot and heat over medium flame.
- Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- This method is great for restoring the cassoulet’s original texture and allows you to adjust seasonings if needed.
Nutrition value per serving (based on 6 servings):
- Calories: 635 kcal
- Fat: 35 g
- Carbohydrates: 42 g
- Protein: 38 g
- Fiber: 11 g
- Sodium: 1010 mg
- Sugar: 12 g
Can I make Mary Berry Sausage Cassoulet in advance?
Yes, you can prepare Mary Berry Sausage Cassoulet in advance. It’s a great dish for this purpose as the flavors often enhance when left to meld together. You can prepare the cassoulet a day ahead, store it in the refrigerator, and reheat it in the oven before serving. Just remember to cover it while reheating to retain moisture.
What are the best types of sausages to use in this recipe?
The choice of sausages can vary based on personal preference. Traditional pork sausages are commonly used for their rich flavor. However, you can also use chicken, turkey, or vegetarian sausages. For added flavor, consider sausages that are herby, spicy, or contain cheese.
Can I use regular duck legs instead of duck confit?
Yes, you can use regular duck legs, but you will need to season them well with salt, pepper, and herbs, and roast them in the oven for about an hour until the skin is crisp and the meat is tender. Then, you can shred the meat and add it to the cassoulet, along with some of the rendered duck fat.
How can I make this dish vegetarian or vegan?
You can make this dish vegetarian or vegan by using vegetarian or vegan sausages instead of meat sausages and omitting the duck and bacon. You can also use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock, and add some more vegetables, such as mushrooms, zucchini, or eggplant, to make the dish more hearty and nutritious.
What can I do if the sauce is too thin or too thick?
If the sauce is too thin, you can uncover the dish and bake it for longer, until some of the liquid evaporates and the sauce thickens. You can also add some cornstarch or flour mixed with water, and stir it into the sauce, to help it thicken. If the sauce is too thick, you can add some more water or stock, and stir it into the sauce, to thin it out.
How can I make this dish more spicy or less spicy?
You can adjust the spiciness of this dish by adding more or less chipotle paste, which is a smoked and spicy chili paste. You can also add some red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, or hot sauce, for more heat, or some honey, brown sugar, or maple syrup, for some sweetness.
I hope you enjoyed this article and learned how to make this Mary Berry sausage cassoulet recipe. This is a great dish to make for a cozy family dinner or a casual gathering with friends. It’s also a great way to use up any leftover sausages or bacon you have in your fridge. You can serve it with some bread or salad, or just enjoy it on its own. It’s a delicious and hearty meal that will make you feel happy and satisfied.
If you liked this recipe, please share it with your friends and family, and leave a comment below to let me know what you think. I would love to hear from you and see your photos of your cassoulet. You can also follow me on my food blog, where I share more recipes like this one, as well as tips and tricks for cooking and baking.
Thank you for reading, and happy cooking! 😊