Cassoulet is easy, quick and tasty

September 26, 1990

Weeknight meals for busy families have three requirements: easy, quick and good tasting.

But do you sometimes yearn for classic dishes, which often require lengthy preparation and long cooking?

Some of those favorites can be streamlined for weeknight dining. Cassoulet, for example. This hearty bean stew inspired by the cooking of southwestern France is traditionally made with white beans, seasonings and one or more meats which cook long and slow.

Our Quick Veal Cassoulet features flavors and ingredients reminiscent of the traditional dish, but it's prepared in about 30 minutes.

Convenient canned beans replace traditional dried beans, eliminating the need for soaking and long cooking. Onions and carrots, white wine, garlic and thyme season the beans which need only a short simmering to blend flavors. Pieces of veal cubed steak, quickly sauteed are stirred into the beans just before serving. Veal's mild flavor blends deliciously with the lightly seasoned beans.

Veal cubed steaks cook in minutes making them an excellent choice for any quick meal. Lean and tender, they're ready to cook as purchased, without additional trimming.

This recipe takes about 15 minutes to prepare and about 17 minutes to cook.

Quick Veal Cassoulet

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

3/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 pound veal cubed steaks, cut into 1 1/2 x 3/4 -inch pieces

1 small onion, cut into thin wedges

2 small carrots, sliced 1/8 -inch thick (about 3/4 cup)

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/4 cup water

1 can (15 1/2 ounces) white beans, preferably Great Northern, drained

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Combine oil, thyme and garlic powder. Heat one teaspoon of seasoned oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook half of veal cubed steaks in preheated skillet just until cooked through, about three minutes; stir frequently.

Remove veal from skillet and transfer to plate. Add another teaspoon seasoned oil to skillet. Allow skillet to reheat, then cook remaining veal; transfer to plate. Add remaining seasoned oil to skillet.

Cook onion and carrots over medium-high heat four minutes, stirring frequently. Add wine and water; stir. Add beans and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered five minutes, stirring occasionally. Return veal to skillet; continue cooking until vegetables are tender and mixture is thickened, about two minutes. Stir in parsley.

Makes four servings. Each serving has 340 calories, 37 grams protein, 8 grams fat, 27 grams carbohydrate, 216 milligrams sodium and 91 milligrams cholesterol.

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