500 grams Cannellini beans
1 medium onion, finely chopped
500 grams Continental sausages
200 grams smoked bacon, medium sliced & cut into 3 cm pieces
500 grams beef
225 grams canned finely crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped thyme
1 teaspoon garlic crushed
1 teaspoon ginger crushed
4 medium red chillies (optional)
salt to taste
oil as indicated
1 litre water
Wash Cannellini beans in running cold water. Soak in cold water for 1 hour. Drain, place in pressure cooker with 1 litre of water. Add salt to taste and the cloves. Bring to boil and cook under pressure for 15 - 20 minutes. Release pressure and check if beans are cooked but are still firm. If not cooked enough, cook under pressure for a few minutes more. Remove from heat.
Chop onions with a sharp knife very finely.
Place sausages in a microwave proof dish in one layer. Prick each sausage with a tooth pick all over (to prevent bursting) in several places. Cover with kitchen paper and cook under high for 6 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. Cut into 2-3 cm long pieces or according to your own preference.
Cut beef into bite size pieces. Season with salt and crushed black pepper to taste.
Heat up a large casserole pan over medium high heat and add 4 tablespoons oil. Add the sliced onion, crushed garlic, crushed ginger and thyme until the onions slices become transparent. Add the finely crushed tomatoes and simmer until the sauce is well blended and the tomatoes are well cooked. Stir sauce at intervals to prevent burning.
Add beef pieces to tomato sauce and mix well. Continue to cook for about 10 minutes or until the meat becomes opaque. Optional: add the sliced red chillies. Add the bacon pieces, cut sausages and mix well together without crushing the sausages. Cook over low heat for a further 5 minutes or until bacon pieces are cooked.
Drain the Cannellini beans from the cooking water. Retain the water for adding to dish later. Add the cooked Cannellini beans to the beef, bacon, sausage and tomato mixture in the pan and carefully mix well together. Do not mash up the beans. Cook for a further 10 minutes.
Add the retained boiled water to the pan and carefully mix well together. Cook for a further 20 minutes or until the sauce reaches the desired consistency, according to your own preference. It has to be bit liquid as the beans will continue to absorb the water. If there is not enough sauce you can stir in some hot water.
Add salt to taste.
Serve hot and eat with bread or rice.
Madeleine's recipe : Mauritian Cassoulet
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