With an eye on the inclement weather above and a nose on the ground below, this is a sort of midway recipe for all you folks out there, to keep you going until things warm up a touch.

Spring is here, most certainly. But it is definitely dragging its heels temperature wise!

Adapted from Richard H. Turner’s HOG, the ‘Spring’ element is purely a nod to all the wild garlic that is in abundance right now. Just take a quick jaunt to your local woodland and you’ll most likely see lots of the broad leaves popping up around tree trunks, ripe and ready for the picking (remember the forager’s rule though and don’t take too much).

And perhaps some might think that the introduction of even more allium is a step too far - the dish does already contain garlic and our Le Pig sausages after all.

However, garlic is well known for its health properties, boosting your immunity and warding off cough and cold infections.

So, get this down your Gregory and you will be in fine fettle for when the sunshine does finally arrive.

Ingredients - serves 6

6 Le Pig Sausages

150g Cumberland Smoked Streaky Bacon, sliced into thick lardons

500g pork belly, cut into 5cm slices

600g dried haricot beans, soaked in cold water overnight

75g lard

1 celery stick, roughly chopped

1 small onion, roughly chopped

1 large carrot, roughly chopped

6 whole garlic cloves, peeled but left whole

1 bouquet garni

1.2 litres chicken stock

8 pinches of Maldon sea salt flakes

2 pinches of freshly ground black pepper 

Large bunch of wild garlic leaves, washed

50g dried breadcrumbs

Half a bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped


First, drain the soaked beans and tip them into a large saucepan and add the bacon lardons and cover with fresh water. Bring to the boil and blanch for 10 minutes. Skim the surface of any scum. Drain the beans and lardons in a colander, discarding the cooking water.

Preheat the oven to 120°C and heat 25g of the lard in a flameproof casserole over a low heat, add the celery, onion, carrot, and 5 of the garlic cloves and cook gently for 5 minutes. Add the bouquet garni, sausages, bacon, pork belly and beans into the pot and pour in the chicken stock. Bring to the boil, skimming as necessary and then season with the salt and pepper.

Transfer the casserole to the oven and cook uncovered for 3 hours, stirring every hour. 

The beans will be soft toward the end and the juice should have thickened. Remove from the oven and stir in the wild garlic leaves. Crush and chop the remaining garlic clove and mix with the parsley and breadcrumbs and sprinkle over the cassoulet, dotting small pieces of the remaining lardons on top.

Return to the oven and cook for another 30 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs have browned.

Serve hot and bubbling.

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