Don't scoff at the idea of a skillet cassoulet that's done in 30 minutes. We've managed it before, and we'll surely do it again—after all, this column is dedicated to reinventing classics to cut down on time without detracting from flavor.
While the precise composition of this slow-cooked meat-and-beans dish is often debated, all agree that the name comes from the earthenware dish in which its cooked. Traditional versions take a few hours of slow cooking in the oven, but for many of us that's not a weeknight option so I decided to get creative.
To keep things quick, I use both pork sausage and pork tenderloin to bulk up the dish. The only catch is that the sausages take a few minutes longer than the pork, so you'll want to begin browning the links before adding the medallions. Don't worry if one side is less browned than the other—the medallions will finish cooking through with the sauce and, most importantly, they'll do so without ending up overcooked and tough.
After the pork has browned, tomatoes and beans enter the picture with a little bit of stock. Once the sauce has reduced and thickened, we get to the dish's hallmark crust. Here, we'll combine a topping of breadcrumbs, shallots, garlic, and dried herbs like oregano and thyme. Best of all, it only needs about two minutes under the broiler to crisp up and fill your kitchen with its mouthwatering aroma.
If you're using a pretty pan like a cast-iron, then skip a serving bowl and bring it straight to the table. If you're anything like me, it'll become a go-to meal when the weather gets frigid and all you want is some hearty sustenance and a happy smelling home.