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Sort, wash and soak flageolet beans overnight or quick soak them. Drain, rinse, and place in pot large enough to accommodate all of the ingredients in this recipe. Add bacon or smoked neck to beans, add bay leaf, and cover with water or unsalted stock, or a mixture. Bring to a boil, skim off any scum, reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 1.5 to 2.0 hours, or as long as it takes to cook beans without disintegrating them (they hold up well for a long time after they are cooked). Add a bit of liquid and stir as needed to prevent beans from drying out or scorching. Add to the pot the cooked onion and garlic mixture, tomatoes, 1 tablespoon of the tomato paste, herbs, salt (and any stock cubes) and pepper, red pepper, cabbage, and red wine. Stir well, bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for an additional 20 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed, and stir in extra tomato paste if needed. Add a bit of water or stock if needed, or let simmer uncovered for a few more minutes if too watery. (Much depends on the age of the beans, the amount of water in the cabbage and the tinned tomatoes, and how much steam escapes from your pot during the long cooking process.) Provides 6 ample servings as an accompaniment to lamb roast or chops. If you have leftovers, your leftover lamb can be cubed and added to leftover cassoulet on day 2 for a one pot meal. If not enough beans remain to feed everyone, you could add a bit of stock and some cooked carrots and/or elbow macaroni, and call it soup.
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