12 December 2010

Veggie Cassoulet - I'm Back!

As you may know, I've been sick lately and haven't felt like eating anything, let alone cooking it.  But, my friends, I am back.  I used an altered version of a recipe from Veganomicon (I think the recipe was originally Leek and Bean Cassoulet with Biscuits or something like that) to make this tasty dinner.  Well, as I didn't have leeks, I decided to just make my own version using potatoes, carrots, onions, mushrooms and garlic.  It's basically a very tasty stew with biscuits cooked on top.  And, it was delicious.  Don't be freaked out by the steps involved, its actually super duper easy!  Although it does take a little time to make, and it helps greatly if you are a multi-tasker, like myself because it really will cut down your time involved.

I think the only changes I would make next time would be to add some sauteed celery and a few shakes of a curry powder.  One of my favorite potpie recipes uses curry powder for a little kick and I love it, so I think it would be a pleasant flavor to add to this dish as well.

Easily feeds 2 hungry adults with some leftovers.

Ingredients for stew:
  • 2 large carrots, peeled, sliced thinly
  • 2 medium red potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • about 1/2 can great northern beans, rinsed well
  • 4 large cremini mushrooms, chopped into bite-sized chunks
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 TB cornstarch
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1/8 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • any other spices that strike your fancy
  • salt to your tastes, but add in little by little because your broth might be pretty salty already. Also, I just love salt, so I tend to put more in food than is probably necessary.
Ingredients for biscuits:
  • 3/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 TB vegetable shortening
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup milk
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In a small pot, bring your potatoes and some salted water to a boil. Boil potatoes until fork-tender. Then drain and set aside.
  3. While the potatoes are cooking, I got an oven safe pot out. I used a 2 qt. cast iron stock pot, and put it on medium-heat.  Add the oil and heat about 2-3 minutes. Then add in the carrots.
  4. Cook carrots for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep them from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Then add in the onion. Cook for about 7-8 minutes, until onions are translucent and the carrots are softened.  
  5. By now, your potatoes should be done cooking and setting aside. Take a moment to combine your broth and the corn starch and set aside for a minute or two. Make sure it is mixed well, with no lumps.
  6. Add the peas, beans, and potatoes to the pot. And then add in the broth mixture and mix well.  Turn the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. The sauce will thicken and bubble. BUT, after you increase the heat, you need to start your biscuits.
  7. Put the dry ingredients into a small mixing bowl. In a small bowl, add the vinegar to the milk and let set 3 minutes to curdle slightly like buttermilk.  Meanwhile, back to the dry ingredients. Mix them well, then using a fork, gently mash the shortening into the flour. There will be chunks, which is what you want, but only make them pea-sized. You don't want giant chunks.
  8. Now, drizzle the milk over the flour mixture and mix gently with a fork until combined. It should be a smidge sticky. I actually didn't need all of the milk to make it work, so add it in a little at a time. If its too wet, add a bit more flour.
  9. Your stew should be thickened now. I'd recommend you add your spices and adjust them before adding the biscuits.  Remove from the heat. Add your biscuit dough in small clumps onto the top of the stew.  Making at least 6 biscuit mounds. 
  10.  Then put the whole pot in the oven and bake about 13-15 minutes.  Serve up nice and hot. 


  1. i love this stuff in the winter. this looks great, and has some color to it. i decided i need to add more color to my food. i need to make some of your cookies first though:) i'm glad your back, missed not seeing you around.

  2. It looks okay, I guess.