1 pound dried Great Nothern beans
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 1/2 pounds boneless country-style ribs
8 ounces smoked sausage, sliced
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cups chicken stock or broth
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 bay leaves
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 cup panko bread crumbs
Soak Great Northern beans overnight by placing in a large bowl and covering with cold water. Leave at least 3 inches of water for the beans to expand.
Drain and rinse the soaked beans and place in a slow cooker.
Place bacon in a skillet over high heat, and cook until bacon is crisp. Remove cooked bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve.
Add country-style ribs to the bacon grease in the skillet, and brown on both sides, about 5 minutes. (You can also do this right in the crock of many modern slow cookers by using the cooker’s browning function.)
Transfer browned ribs and reserved cooked bacon to the slow cooker, and cover with remaining ingredients, except butter and bread crumbs. Stir to combine.
Set the cooker to LOW, cover, and let cook 8 hours, or until beans and ribs are tender.
Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat and add bread crumbs, shaking the pan to toast them until they are golden brown.
Serve Pork Cassoulet topped with the toasted bread crumbs.
Any boneless cuts of pork can be used in place of the country-style ribs, as long as you cut it into easy-to-serve pieces before cooking.