Maple-Bourbon Pork Stew with Bacon-Sage Crumble

This is a version of cassoulet, with the addition of Maple syrup and Bourbon - minus the chicken.  You cold realistically replace the chicken for the pork shoulder should desire.  Homey and comforting, this is surely a great meal to start in your slow-cooker on a Saturday morning and enjoy all weekend long.  The bacon-sage crumble adds a crunchy dimension like you get from apple crisp.

2.3 - 3 lb. boneless pork shoulder, quartered
3 large yellow onions, sliced
3 celery stalks, sliced
3 garlic cloves, rough chopped
3 tbsp. tomato paste
2 tsp. chopped thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup Bourbon (I prefer Maker's Mark)
1 - 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 - 28 oz. cans Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup maple syurp (I prefer Burton's)
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 lb. bacon, diced
3 cups bread crumbs
1 tbsp. rubbed sage

Season the pork shoulder with salt and pepper and brown on your stovetop on all sides in a pan that has been prepped with 1/4 cup olive oil over medium-high heat.  Remove and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium and add onions, celery and garlic - cook until softened, roughly 5-7 minutes.  Add tomato paste, thyme, bay leaf, Bourbon, canned tomatoes, beans, maple syrup and broth.  Bring to simmer, stirring regularly for three minutes.  Add pork back to pot then cover, simmering for roughly 3 hours - the pork should be very tender.  Simmer with cover off for an additional 15-30 minutes to reduce liquid if necessary.  Taste the mixture and adjust with salt & pepper to taste.

In a nonstick fry pan, cook bacon until crisp.  Remove from heat and add bread crumbs and sage, stirring to combine the mixture.  Place back on stove and cook until mixture crisps up and browns.  Sprinkle over top of stew and serve.



  1. I just watched you make this on TV (WGN Lunch Break). I think for the effort involved, that the end result looked AMAZING! I want to make this for dinner tonight.

    Must. Go to store now.

  2. I love cassoulets and was so pleased to catch your presentation on WGN today. I will be cooking your recipe very soon. Next the Cinnamon rolls to enjoy around Christmas.

    So glad to have discovered your web site!