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Pork Cassoulet

['2 pounds country-style spareribs (or pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch-thick slices)', '2 medium onions, peeled and chopped', '2 garlic cloves, minced, plus 1 whole clove', '2 whole sprigs fresh thyme, plus 2 tablespoons thyme leaves', '1 pound bacon (slab is best), cut into 2-inch pieces', '1 large stalk celery, chopped', '1/2 medium carrot, peeled and chopped', 'Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste', '4 cups chicken broth', '1 cup white wine', '1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with their juice', '2 bay leaves', '2 (14-ounce) cans white beans, drained and rinsed', '2 tablespoons olive oil', '1 cup coarse bread crumbs', '2 tablespoons chopped parsley']

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Place the spareribs in a heavy pot with half the onion, half the minced garlic, and the thyme sprigs.
3. Cover with a lid or foil and bake for 1 1/2 hours.
4. Remove the ribs; set aside.
5. In the same pot, over medium heat, brown the bacon.
6. Remove all but about 2 tablespoons of the fat and add the celery, carrot, salt, pepper, thyme leaves, and the remaining onion and garlic (minced and whole) and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
7. Add the broth, wine, tomatoes, bay leaves, and beans. Bring to a simmer, then add the cooked ribs.
8. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the olive oil, bread crumbs, and parsley.
9. Sprinkle the bread-crumb mixture over the cassoulet and bake for 1 hour, uncovered, occasionally pressing the bread crumbs into the cassoulet to thicken it.
10. Let cool and serve.

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