The Holidays are upon us and the cooler weather is here. For my house, that equates to soup and stew time. I have a great down-home recipe thanks to my wonderful friend Erika who snuck me a family treasure. I think you will love this delicious meal, courtesy of her proud Cajun husband, Wayne (they claim Lafayette, Louisiana). Enjoy all Winter long!
Wayne’s White Bean and Sausage Stew
1 12 oz. pack sausage (any sausage, but I opt for Kielbasa and I usually throw in extra sausage)
1 pack of bacon (the secret to any great stew)
1 bag small white beans
2-3 celery stocks chopped finely
2-3 large whole carrots chopped finely
2 yellow onions chopped finely
1/2 a bell pepper or 1 whole (red, yellow or green is up to you!)
5 cloves garlic
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups of water
1.5 tsp apple cider vinegar
3-5 bay leaves
1-2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Now What? Here’s what to do with all those ingredients!
In a Big Pot (I love my Dutch Oven) pour in the olive oil and pack of bacon. I like to cut up my bacon with cooking sheers before adding to the pot. Cook to taste (but don’t char) and than remove and put aside for later. Next, add the sliced sausage to the bacon fat. Cook through and remove. Yes, we are cooking pork in pork fat. Add celery, onions, bell peppers, carrots and garlic to the pot and cook down until soft. Once soft, place the bacon and sausage with the veggies. Add broth and water, bag o’ beans, bay leaves and pepper to taste. (but if you want the true Lafayette experience, add “LOTS” of pepper!) Let Boil on low for 2-3 hours uncovered, allowing it to “enjoy life.” Stir occasionally. Add apple cider vinegar at the very end for the last 20 minutes and give it a taste. If it needs any salt, add some.
Why apple cider vinegar at the end? Check out this great read from Reader’s Digest for the 411: Cooking With Vinegar – Reader’s Digest
In the spirit of my dear Louisianan friends, I will leave you with this:
“Ca c’est Bon.”
– Translation: It’s good or bon appetite of course!