The (Romanian) Cassoulet


For the first time, you only see one lunch box and this is not even mine; it’s my man’s. It contains a serious portion of (Romanian) Cassoulet and some cornishons in brine (which are amazing, we buy them from Polish supermarkets; dzięki Polish friends!).

I never liked this dish; as a child I even had a horrid aversion towards it. To this day, I just can’t. I have, of course, tasted it and, yes, it does taste good enough, but I can’t bring myself to actually eating a full serving. It’s one of those things, you know, that don’t make any sense, but where you consciously indulge and say: what the hell, I’m just quirky like this (because quirky sounds better than idiotic).

So yes, the Cassoulet. 20-30 minutes on the clock, almost zero effort and, as some say, super-delicious. A wintery dish again, but have you look outside your window today?!? Yes, dear rest-of-the-world, we’re fucking freezing here in Belgium! Breathe in, breathe out, here comes the recipe!

What you need

One large onion
One red pepper
One carrot
Tomato juice
2 cans of white, normal beans (you guessed, I buy mine from Delhaize)(because cooking dry beans takes foooooorever)
1-2 garlic cloves
Olive oil, salt & pepper, (smoked) paprika
A pinch of dried thyme
Few allspice pods/ Yenibahar
Dried pili-pili (only if you like spicy stuff)

How to make Cassoulet

Start by finely chopping the onion & the red pepper and grate the carrot. In the meantime, heat olive oil in a pan with the 2 crushed garlic cloves and the pili-pilis (if you decided for spicy), allspice & dried thyme. Add the veggies, season with salt, cover with a lid, decrease the heat. Roll a cigarette and pour a glass of wine, flip through a magazine. 10 minutes later add the tomato juice (to cover well) and mix. 10 more minutes uncovered and them simply toss in the beans. Canned beans are very soft, so they only need about 5 minutes. A life savior recipe for the time-pressed bean lovers. You’re welcome!

The fine print: this dish gives you fearful gases. I know Eastern European stomachs can take it, but be mindful if you decide to pack this for lunch @work

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