So I was wandering up and down the aisles of the grocery store when I came across these white eggplants. Have you ever seen a white eggplant before? Well, I hadn’t and you know what happens when I find something new in the grocery store, right?!? I bought 4 eggplants, took pictures on Instagram so everyone could see my new purchase and starting doing some recipe research. Didn’t take long to come up with this rich and filling cassoulet made with veal bacon, ground veal and veal stock (all of which just happened to be in my freezer). The white eggplant was the perfect choice for this stew, with it’s creaminess and mild flavor. Just don’t forget to top it with crunchy bread crumbs and pine nuts for a fun mix of textures.
Veal and White Eggplant Cassoulet
1/4 lb. veal bacon, chopped (can use 1/4 cup olive oil)
1 lb. ground veal
1 cup onion, chopped
3-4 medium white eggplants, peeled and chopped (can use any type of eggplant)
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (14 oz) cannelloni beans, drained
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 cup veal stock (can use vegetable stock)
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 Tbsp margarine
I heated my dutch oven over medium heat and added the chopped veal bacon. I cooked the veal until crispy, removed from the pot and set aside to add back to the stew later.
I added the chopped onions and cooked for two minutes, until clear but not browning yet. I added the ground veal and cooked the mixture for 10 minutes, until the veal was fully cooked.
I added the eggplant and stirred until the edges were brown, around 5 minutes. I added the veal bacon, tomatoes, white beans, salt, thyme, oregano, garlic, bay leaf and veal stock and stirred to combine.
I brought the mixture to a boil then lowered the heat to a simmer and covered the pot. I cooked the stew for 45 minutes. While the stew was cooking, I preheated the oven to 375 degrees F. Instead of using packaged bread crumbs, I decided to make my own with some extra challah. I diced up the challah and toasted it in the oven for 20 minutes, until crispy. I placed the crumbs in a plastic bag and crushed with a rolling pin.
When the eggplant and veal mixture was cooked, I stirred together the bread crumbs, melted margarine and pine nuts and sprinkled it over the stew. Let me tell you, you must add the pine nuts! The crunch factor with the soft stew is so clutch. I placed the stew in the oven uncovered and cooked for 30 minutes, until the top was crisp and golden brown.