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Kicked Up Venison And Sausage Cassoulet

  • Yield: 6 servings


  • BEANS:
  • 1 pound dried white beans, soaked for at least 8 hours, or overnight, and drained
  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • Two 1-pound ham hocks
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onions
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless lean venison (such as loin or shoulder), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons Emerilís Original Essence
  • 1/2 cup bleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil, or as needed
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell peppers
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 pound andouille or other spicy smoked sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups fine dried bread crumbs
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • To make the beans, combine the first 7 ingredients in a large, heavy stockpot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the beans are tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Skim from time to time to remove any foam that forms on the surface.
  • Drain the beans, reserving the cooking liquid; discard the bay leaves.
  • When the ham hocks are cool enough to handle, cut the meat off the bones, discarding the skin and bones. Chop the meat and set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Season the venison with 1 teaspoon of the Essence. Combine the flour and the remaining 1 teaspoon Essence in a shallow bowl. Dredge the venison in the flour, shaking off the excess. Reserve the remaining flour.
  • Heat the oil in a large heavy ovenproof pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. In batches, add the venison and cook, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to paper towels to drain, leaving the oil in the pot.
  • Add more oil to the pot if needed to make 1/4 cup. Add the onions, celery, bell peppers, salt, and cayenne, and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes. Add the andouille and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the andouille is hot, about 3 minutes.
  • Add 1/4 cup of the reserved seasoned flour and cook, stirring constantly, to make a medium-dark, peanut butter–colored roux, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the Worcestershire. Slowly add the reserved bean cooking liquid and the chicken stock, stirring to a blend. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Stir in the reserved ham hock meat, venison, and beans.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • To make the crust, pulse all the ingredients in a food processor for 30 seconds, or until blended.
  • Top the cassoulet with the bread crumb mixture and bake until the crust is golden brown and crispy, 30 to 45 minutes.
  • To serve, spoon onto dinner plates and serve hot.