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French Cassoulet Burgers

One of my absolute favorite things to order when I go to a French restaurant is Cassoulet. Cassoulet is a famous dish that comes from the South of France. It contains all kinds of meats (assorted pork, sausage, veal, lamb, etc.) that are served with white beans and herbs. It really is delicious and hearty. I wanted to transfer this regional favorite and convert it into burger form (which I concede was a challenge, but I think I’ve done it). I start off with a patty of veal and lamb that also has onions and celery. I top that with pork lardons which are popular in France (I use chopped pancetta to simulate that). It’s all served on toasted pieces of French country loaf and it’s served with tomato and a savory Sausage White Bean spread which has some parsley, rosemary, and thyme to help bring out the regional flavors. You put all of this together and you really have the superior dish of Cassoulet put into burger form!


1 can (16 ounces) white beans (e.g., cannellini, Great Northern)
1 clove garlic
1/3 cup smoked pork sausage, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
8 ounces pancetta, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
1 pound ground veal
1 pound ground lamb
1/4 cup onion, finely minced
1/4 cup celery, finely minced
2 teaspoons fleur de sel
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6 pieces of a French country loaf cut into bun-sized pieces, sliced lengthwise
6 slices tomato


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

To make Sausage White Bean Spread: Pour about 1/3 of the liquid from the can of beans into the bowl of a food processor; discard the remaining liquid. Add the beans and garlic; puree. Transfer to a small bowl. Add chopped sausage, parsley, rosemary, and thyme; mix until well combined. Refrigerate until serving.

Heat a large fireproof non-stick skillet on the grill. Add diced pancetta and cook over medium-high heat until crispy, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

To make the patties, combine the veal, lamb, onion, celery, fleur de sel, and pepper in a large bowl. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the buns.

Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, just until done, about 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare. During the last few minutes of cooking, place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.

To assemble the burgers, spread a generous amount of Sausage White Bean Spread on the cut side of the buns. On each bun bottom, place a slice of tomato, a patty, and equal amounts of pancetta. Add bun tops and serve.