Rosemary Pork Chops and White Bean Cassoulet

I frequently hit the reduced meat or quick sale section of the grocery where meats that are coming up on their sale date wait for bargain shoppers like me to snatch them up.   These mark downs are still perfectly good and you can save a great deal of money keeping a sharp eye out for these cuts.  Frequently I find high-end cuts like tenderloin or roasts in this section.  Just pick them up and cook them that day or freeze for later.

Rosemary Pork Chops and White Bean “Cassoulet”
Earlier in the week I picked up some pork chops, three for $5.07 so pork chops it is.  I think one of the reasons I can cook well, is that I don’t discriminate against ingredients.  Basically, if it’s on sale, I’m willing to try cooking it.  Something in my marrow that loves a deal.  I’m very grumpy if I have to pay full price and often change the whole menu for the week dependent on sales I run into.  I don’t mind and neither does my family.  It’s lead to some of the most interesting and some of the best meals we’ve ever eaten.

This is one of those meals that I just started formalizing in my head based on a cassoulet I had at the Paris buffet in Las Vegas.  A cassoulet is a french term for a deep earthen ‘casserole’ dish and typically this dish features slow cooked beans and meat – sausage, duck or lamb.  It is typically very rich, savory and full of flavor.  My goal was to slim this down and still get a lot of flavor – and of course, to use up the pork chops.  I was really pleased with this outcome.  I made it for dinner, but we ate it as a late lunch instead because the wonderful aroma was too much to bear!  Oh yeah, and it cost me about $8.50 to make this meal for three.  No bad!

Rosemary Pork Chops and White Bean “Cassoulet” by Debra Crawford
Makes 3 servings

3 – Bone in pork chops
2 – Tablespoons olive oil

1 – Medium onion – diced
2 – Medium stalks celery – diced
2 – Medium carrots – diced

3 – Cloves garlic – minced
1 – Medium fresh Jalapeno – minced
3 – Sprigs Rosemary
1/2 – Teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 – Teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 Cup white wine

1 – 14 Ounce can white beans (Reserve liquid)

Salt and Pepper

Pat chops dry.  Salt and pepper both sides.  In heavy gauge frying pan, heat olive oil and add chops, don’t crowd.  Sear on medium high heat until chop releases and sear other side.  Remove from pan and hold aside.  Add onion, celery and carrot to same pan.  Saute for 5 minutes or so until the vegetables begin to soften.  If they stick, deglaze them with 1/2 cup of wine.

Add the thyme, Worcestershire sauce, the rest of the wine and the liquid from the white beans.  Stir, then lay the Rosemary sprigs on top and lay the chops back in the pan.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to low and cover.  Simmer 1 hour.  Turn chops and simmer for 1/2 hour more.  Remove chops carefully.  Add the beans, stir thoroughly.  Taste and salt and pepper as necessary.  Lay chops back in the pan and simmer for the last 1/2 hour.  Turn off the heat and let set for 15 minutes or until cool enough to serve.

Main Ingredients
Just beginning the braise
At the end of the braise

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