Having pre-soaked some pulses last night, I decided, to invent an easy, heart-warming cassoulet, using pork fillet. The longest part is cooking the pulses for about 45 minutes or so, on the hob with water to cover and a large onion, or microwave for about a half an hour Otherwise, using canned beans is a great option, and what I would usually do.
Ingredients: 250g beans of choice I used butter beans and black-eyed beans for their creaminess. 1 large onion 1 clove of garlic 1 medium pork tenderloin or pork steak, well trimmed of any sinew and fat. 1 tub crème fraîche 1 400g tin of good quality tomatoes 1 small glass of white wine or very dry cider, 1 tbsp white wine vinegar works as well. Basil and parsley, Oil for cooking.
Sweat an onion gently in a little oil until soft then add a grated clove of garlic and cook for a minute or two (once you start using a fine microplane-type grater for garlic you will never look back. I use Cuisipro, not expensive.) Remove to a plate. Slice the tenderloin or pork fillet or tenderloin in rounds about 1cm thick. Turn up the hob to a high heat. Add two tsps of oil. When hot add the slices of pork taking care not to overcrowd the pan. You are looking for a nice brown caramelization on both sides, so better to do in two batches rather than have the meat stew and look anaemic. Remember, we eat with our eyes too.
When the meat is done, add back the onion, garlic and beans. If you have some white wine handy, or some dry cider, add a small glass now, adding lots of flavour. Let it bubble to reduce slightly and burn off the alcohol. Then add a tub of crème fraîche and the tomatoes, stirring to mix. Cover and turn down the heat and let everything come to temperature for about ten minutes. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Please – do taste! If the tomatoes are a bit bitter, adding just a pinch of sugar will remedy this. At the last-minute add some chopped basil and parsley and serve with plain boiled rice or some steamed fluffy potatoes or indeed some lemony couscous. Enjoy!