Slow Cooker Cassoulet is a rich and hearty pork stew made with white beans, vegetables, cubed pork, cubed smoked sausage, bacon and fresh thyme, rosemary and dried bay leaf. Cassoulet is a meat and bean French stew recipe traditionally made is a cassole. A slow cooker, pressure cooker or a Dutch oven can be used to cook this rich and savory stew recipe.
Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from the pan, leaving the drippings. Drain the bacon on a paper towel.
Add the onion, diced carrot, minced garlic, salt and pepper to the pan.
If using dried thyme and rosemary add it to the pan and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes.
Place the sauteed vegetable mixture into a 6 or 8-quart crock pot.
Add the smoked sausage to the hot pan and lightly brown. Remove to the crock pot.
Add the cubed pork to the hot saute pan and saute until lightly browned. Add the browned pork to the crock pot.
Add the undrained diced tomatoes to the crock pot.
Add the chunky mashed beans to the slow cooker. Open the other can of beans, drain and rinse well. Add the second can of drained beans to the slow cooker.
If using fresh thyme and rosemary add it to the crock pot with the dried bay leaf.
Pour the beef broth in and stir with a wooden spoon.
Place the lid on the crock pot and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 to 8 hours or until the cubed pork is cooked through the center.
Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese to serve. Serve with crusty bread.
If you don't have time or don't feel like sauteing the vegetables and browning the meat you can skip this step. The Cassoulet will still taste delicious. But when you saute the vegetables and meat to a golden brown it adds a richness to the flavor. It is worth the extra fifteen minutes it will take.
I slightly thickened the broth with cornstarch. I like a slightly thickened broth in my stews. Cornstarch and water is the best way to thicken stews and soups without changing the flavor.