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Moroccan Cassoulet

Cathy Erway author of Not Eating Out in New York blog and the cookbook The Art of Eating In, invents a Moroccan Cassoulet with spicy lamb merguez sausages.

Makes 10-12 servings
Equipment: Dutch Oven


Cassoulet Marocaine3 cups dried cannelini beans
2 lbs lamb shoulder with bones
1 lb merguez sausages
2 carrots, chopped small
2 large onion, chopped small
2 celery ribs, chopped small
3 cups canned tomatoes, crushed well with hands
2 cups white wine
2 bunches cilantro, chopped
1 head garlic, chopped
2 cups green olives, pitted and halved
1-2 cups pitted dates, coarsely chopped
1-2 cups golden raisins
2-3 tablespoons harissa
3-4 teaspoons cumin
3-4 teaspoons ground ginger
2-3 teaspoons coriander
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1 cup fresh lemon juice
chicken or vegetable stock as needed
extra-virgin olive oil as needed
salt and pepper to taste
duck fat (optional, and as much as you want!)

optional pita breadcrumb topping (crush all ingredients together in a food processor):
2 pitas, torn to pieces and toasted or baked until crisp
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons olive oil


    Cassoulet Marocaine
  1. Soak beans overnight. Bring to a boil in a pot with enough water to cover by a few inches. Simmer for 1 hour.
  2. Rub lamb shoulder with salt and pepper. Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pan with olive oil and brown on all sides for a couple minutes each. Remove from pot. Add half the carrots, onions and celery and a few cloves of garlic to the pot and sweat over medium-low heat for about 8 minutes. Return the lamb shoulder to the pot, and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 hour or more. Let cool completely and once meat is cool enough to handle, remove the bones and pick apart the meat to smaller shreds.
  3. In a large, oven-safe pot or Dutch oven, heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Soften the rest of the carrots, onion and celery over medium-low heat about 8 minutes. Add the cumin, coriander, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper and garlic and stir another couple minutes. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Add the white wine and let boil for another few minutes. Strain the beans and add them to the pot along with the cilantro, harissa, dates, raisins, olives and optional duck fat. Add the lamb shoulder meat and all its braising liquid to the pot. Bring to a boil and cook, covered, for about one hour.
  4. In a separate heavy-bottomed pan, brown sausages on all sides. Transfer to a cutting board and slice into 1/4-inch or so disks. Remove lid from cassoulet and taste for seasoning, adding extra spices or anything desired. Depending on how large your beans are and how much liquid was used, you may want to add extra stock. Once the beans are tender enough to just begin to fall apart when you stir, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Stir in the sausage slices, lemon juice and remaining coriander. Top cassoulet with the optional pita breadcrumb topping and bake uncovered for about 30 minutes. Let cool at least 10 minutes before serving.

Source: Not Eating Out in New York blog by Cathy Erway author of The Art of Eating In.
posted at accessed July 22, 2010

May 7, 2011