This is an Americanized version of a French meat and bean dish. It can be very casual and “peasanty,” or dressed up and fancy. This version is not fancy. It also hit the spot perfectly on a cold, January night. Growing up, my mother used to make this particular recipe for us.
2 cups cubed beef or pork
olive oil, 2 or 3 TBS
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup boiling water
1 herb bouquet (Bouquet Garni )
1 lb. baked beans in tomato sauce
1/2 pound sausage links or cakes, browned
1/2 cup chili sauce
3 TBS buttered bread crumbs
Season meat with salt and pepper. Sauté in olive oil until browned on all sides. Add onion and garlic; cook until onion is golden brown. Add water and herb bouquet (I had to google what that was and then I simply added some of the general spices included in an herb bouquet); bring to boil, cover and simmer 15 minutes.
Spray a casserole dish with Pam. Layer half the beans on the bottom. Remove meat from sauté pan with slotted spoon and layer on beans. Add sausage. Top with second half of beans.
To the onions in liquid, mix in chili sauce and pour over casserole. Bake for 45 minutes at 350º until bubbling and hot. Top with buttered bread crumbs the last 15 minutes of baking.