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Beef with White Beans

Lots of driving.  Nearly 500 miles since early Saturday.  First down to New Haven to pick up my daughter, then to Foxboro for her to meet friends for a concert she decided she wasn't feeling well enough to attend, so home with her and to pick up my son, then all three of us out to dinner and back.  Today, first off to buy her a winter coat, then out to Worcester to let her take the bus back to the college, and a meandering way back home for me so that I could check out a couple of possible event sites, plus a stop for groceries.

Good dinner.   A not-cassoulet of beef and white beans I put together on the fly, and so there's no exact recipe, but it goes something like this:

Beef with White Beans (Not Cassoulet)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2 to 3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 lb. bacon, cut in 1/2" pieces
1 large onion, chopped

In an oven-proof and burner-okay casserole (or in a skillet and transfer to casserole later) on top of the stove, on medium high, heat the oil and saute the bacon till browned.  Add onions and cook till translucent.   Pretend you're being healthy and pour off some of the bacon fat.  Add:

1 prosciutto end from deli leftovers, diced  (maybe 1/4 lb.?)
4 to 6 cloves garlic, minced
3 lbs. chuck roast of beef, cubed

Saute till beef is somewhat browned.  Add:

(1) 14.5 oz. can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes
(4) 15.5 oz. cans of small white navy beans, drained of top liquid
2 teaspoons rosemary
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 1 cup of apple cider (not apple juice, I mean the real unfermented but unfiltered stuff), enough to make the rest easy to stir and stew-like

The cider is to remind you it isn't cassoulet.  But if you do happen to have a knob of leftover goose or duck fat (I keep it in the freezer), throw in about 2 to 4 tablespoons to make up for wasting all that good bacon fat.    Mix all together and put in the oven and bake uncovered for 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 hours, adding more liquid if needed.   Makes 8-12 servings.