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Winter Bean Peasant Stew

It was cold and rainy in Manhattan yesterday and after a day spent wandering around the Chocolate Show and the Asian Contemporary Art Fair, I wanted something warm and fulfilling that wouldn’t take a lot of effort to make. Thoughts of Cassoulet and Feijoada both popped into my head but those aren’t the kind of
Course Soups & Stews
Cuisine Italian
Level Beginner
Main Ingredient Legume, Pork
Diet Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar


  • 3/4 pound pork sausage cut into pieces
  • 1 ham hock
  • 1 onion large diced
  • 2 celery small stalks diced
  • 4 cups duck stock (or chicken )
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary chopped
  • 4 - 5 sprigs thyme stems removed
  • 1 teaspoon lavender
  • 1 bay leaves
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons demi glace (optional)
  • black pepper
  • 1 cannellini beans (16 oz can) rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 bunch kale shredded
  • 4 spring onions trimmed (or ramps or baby leeks)


  1. Heat a medium stock pot over medium-high heat and add the sausage and ham hock (if the hock doesn't fit, you can brown them separately). Brown the sausage on one side the flip and brown on the other for the ham hock just turn it every few minutes to get it as brown as you can. You should have a nice layer of dark brown fond on the pan as well as some oil from the sausage. Transfer the hock and sausage to a plate and set aside.
  2. Add the celery and onions to the pot and saute until they are soft and starting to caramelize. If they look kind of dry add some olive oil to help the process along. Add the stock, herbs, and demi glace and return the sausage and ham hock to the pot. Grind some black pepper on top then cover the pot and let it simmer over low heat for 1.5 to 2 hours.
  3. When the ham is fork tender and falling off the bone, transfer it to a clean cutting board then add the kale and beans to the stew. Carefully remove the bones from the hock and chop the meat up into rough chunks. Add it back to the stew, cover and and continue simmering for another 20-30 minutes or until the kale is tender.
  4. To roast the onions, just cover them in a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. I just stick them on a piece of foil and put them in my toaster oven for a few minutes on "toast", but you could just stick them under your broiler for a few minutes as well. To plate, just laddle the stew into a bowl, top with an onion and grind a little pepper on top. Serve with a crusty baguette.


edit: this is getting submitted to Marx Food's Comfort Food Recipe Contest